Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Shorts: A Rock and a Hard Place

My Saturday Short this week is a two-for-one deal--99 cents for two great short stories that can easily fit into a busy Spring weekend. I read both on a hectic day where NOTHING went right, and I will testify to their 1 hour or less restorative powers! Snatch this up while it's still such a great deal!

A Rock and A Hard Place (Neuri/Psychic Hunters)A Rock and A Hard Place by Charlene Teglia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This 2-for-1 Short Story set is 99 cents right now for Nook/Kindle, and it's a great way to sample the voices and flavors of two different erotic paranormal series. Intriguingly, I am a total Sasha White fan girl--but I've stuck to her contemporary stuff. I don't read very much in the paranormal genre, and pre-nook, I didn't have an easy way to make sure that I would like it as much as I like her contemporary work. I started with her tale (and in a very cute tie-in to the title, there is indeed a Rock in Teglia's story and a hard place in White's). Both stories as super-short (around 30-40 pages each) and center around couples from earlier books. However, having not read anything in either series, I think they stand well alone.

If you've read White's paranormals, you'll see the return of all her previous characters as they make cameo appearances to help when Gina and Caleb's romantic weekend takes a turn for the paranormal when they discover a strange artifact. Keeping all the secondary character names and couples straight did get a bit confusing for me as a newbie to the series, but I enjoyed the chance to meet the different couples and to see which of the previous books I might want to purchase. (Note to self: Hero named Devil? Must purchase.) She also introduced a few new characters, including one story-stealing 6 and a half foot Scotsman who had me shouting MORE PLEASE! And of course, she manages to work in some super hot love scenes. These were sweeter and more loving than her contemporary ones, perhaps because this story featured a committed couple, and I enjoyed seeing this side of her writing. White's paranormal voice is very close to her contemporary voice--upbeat, sassy, with hints of comedy thrown in.

Charlene Teglia is a new-to-me author who has an impressive back list. I read her tale second without many expectations, and I was blown away. Seriously. I don't read much paranormal. I don't really like shifters. But, Teglia managed to suck me into her Neuri universe in less than 30 pages. Unlike with so many paranormal novellas (including many three times as long), I didn't feel lost at all--I understood who everyone was and what their roles and powers were without a lot of unfamiliar terms or series jargon. She also managed to inject a suspense element that added urgency to the story and gave a cohesive narrative. Like in White's tale, a committed couple having a getaway is interrupted, but unlike in White's tale, the couple is actually a M/F/M trio. This is one of the more believable menages I have encountered (which since I don't read much menage fiction isn't many), and I'm desperate to read their original book now as I really enjoyed their dynamic. She waits until the end of the story to bring the sexy, but her love scenes are every bit as powerful as White's. Teglia's going at the top of my to-buy-very-soon list as I loved her Emma Holly-esque voice and crisp plotting.

It's always hard rating anthologies--I gave White's tale 4 stars, Teglia's 5 stars, and averaged the two for 4.5 stars. I don't think you can ask for more from a 99 cent read, especially TWO reads for 99 cents, so if erotic paranormal is (or might be!) your cup of tea, scoop this up!





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