Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review: Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin and Milla Vane


Night Shift
(Kate Daniels 6.5, SPI Files 0.5. Psy-Changeling 12.1)
Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin and Milla Vane
Release: November 25, 2014
Links: Goodreads Amazon
Summary: Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark...

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms .
Review: Night Shift is a pretty well-balanced anthology with two romances and two UFs, so there should be something for everyone. If you're a fan of any of these authors, you won't be disappointed.

Nalini Singh's Secrets at Midnight is probably my least favorite of the stories and she really doesn't write anything bad. Fans of the Psy-Changeling series will remember Bastien as one of Dark River sentinel Mercy's three brothers. Anyone not familiar with the series could easily read this as a stand-alone. The only spoilers would be who Mercy and a few of the other pack members end up mated with, but since it's a romance series those usually aren't big surprises anyway. But there's nothing that gives away the larger plot of the series, just that there's been some recent upheaval among the Psy. I can't even tell if it takes place before or after Shield of Winter without using the series numbers. (It's before.)

Bastien scented his mate on the street one day and has spent two weeks searching for her. When he finally meets her, she's having some unusual medical issues which he solves pretty quickly but has to figure out how to explain to her. The experience, of course, helps them bond as mates. I thought Kirby's situation was interesting and a little different than anything I've read in a shifter romance. And I enjoyed seeing Bastien's family and some of the other members of the pack.

Ilona Andrews' Magic Steals takes place during Magic Rises while Kate and Curran are out of the country and Jim is left in charge of the pack. Again, I don't think there are any big spoilers for the series for anyone who isn't caught up. Jim and Dali have been trying to date since their last novella Magic Dreams, but haven't been getting to spend much time together. It's left Dali unsure of how serious the relationship is and she's convinced herself she's not strong enough to be the alpha's mate. But when a family friend comes to her for help finding her missing grandmother, Jim stays by her side and helps her solve the mystery.
Jim wasn't just a badass. He was a badass who wrote a book for badasses on how to be a badder badass.
It was great to finally see Dali using her Indonesian white tiger magic. She's always been kind of awkward and insecure before, but she's formidable when she's in her element. I loved getting to see a softer side of Jim as well. This story has several great action scenes, just like you'd expect from a Kate Daniels story, as Dali and Jim battle magical creatures from different parts of the world, including zombies (!) I loved getting to know these characters better. Kate Daniels fans, don't miss this one!

I loved The Grendel Affair, the first book in the SPI Files series, but if you haven't read it Lucky Charms is a great introduction to the series. It's a prequel, set on Mac's first day at the agency and it's got lots of background information. She's a seer, a human who can see through Fae glamours, which is a rare skill. Her reluctant new partner, Ian, is part trainer and part bodyguard since SPI's seers typically have a short life expectancy. When the agency loses five leprechauns during a bachelor party, Mac, Ian and their team have to find and return them before dawn to avoid an international incident.
A naked leprechaun was many things, but scary wasn't one of them.
What I love about this series is its humor. The first stop on the search for wayward leprechauns is a fairy tale themed strip club with Disney princesses in corsets and Lucite heels. I also love the supporting cast, which is made up of a variety of different supernatural creatures. This is the only story that's definitely not a romance, but there are still some sexy moments. I loved Mac and Ian's developing chemistry. This one got me really excited about the next book in the series, The Dragon Conspiracy, which is out in January.

I wasn't sure what to expect from The Beast of Blackmoor. The only thing I've read from Milla Vane's alter ego, Meljean Brook, is her Iron Seas series, and this story is definitely not Steampunk. It's more fantasy than anything I normally read, with sword-wielding heroes on horseback battling demons. It took me a little bit to get into, but by the end I kind of loved it. I think that this is the beginning of a series of barbarian romances, but no titles or release dates have been announced yet.

Recommended for fans of: any of the authors in this anthology or anyone thinking of trying them

 4 1/2 stars

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