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Carina Press Presents: Editor's Choice…
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Carina Press Presents: Editor's Choice Volume I: Kilts & KrakenNegotiating…

by Angela James

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Recently added bybeckymmoe, AmyCR, Kaetrin

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An interesting collection of novellas from two readers who are new to me and one I've read before.

Slow Summer Kisses was definitely my favorite of the three, and it's probably not a coincidence that Shannon Stacey is also the author I've read before. Slow Summer Kisses is a short, sweet summer read about Anna, a woman who is used to living life in the fast lane...until her job is downsized and she starts suffering health issues related to stress. She decides to move into her grandparents' summer camp temporarily, just until she can refresh, recharge, and get another high-pressure job. She barely remembers Cameron, the boy who was two years older and who she hasn't seen since she was last at her grandparents' camp at the age of ten. Cam too used to live a fast-paced life, until his father's death from a heart attack caused him to rethink his life choices. He left his career as a big-city lawyer and now does carpentry and odd jobs, and is one of the few people who live on the lake year-round. Anna and Cam get on each other's nerves from the start; neither can (or wants to) understand the other. Is it possible, though, that they just might be able to give each other what they didn't even know they needed? What will happen when Anna gets called back to the big city?

Negotiating Point is a novella in the Private Protectors series, but it's not necessary to have read the books before it to appreciate this one. Though be warned, it will probably make you want to! In this story, the wife of the owner of the security firm, Roxann (introduced in an earlier book in the series, Risking Trust), has been taken hostage. The time frame of the story is essentially the single day stake-out of the farmhouse in which the HTs (hostage takers) are holding her. The main characters are Gavin, a former top negotiator in the FBI, and Janet, the firm's computer specialist. The two had apparently shared a fairly heated kiss a few weeks before the action of the novella takes place, and were still feeling its effects as they entered into this highly charged situation. Out of the three stories, this one definitely felt the most rushed to me. I did like their story, but it could have benefited from more character and relationship development. Still, it had me looking up the other books in the series, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I've already purchased one on my Nook, Man Law. It's just moved up on my "to read" list. :)

Kilts & Kraken was a pretty good story, and though of the three my least favorite, I did enjoy it overall. I'm not sure steampunk is quite my "thing", but it is hard to tell with such a short sample. I did enjoy the characters, though I felt as if our relationship was unnaturally brief. It was fairly easy to figure out "whodunnit" in this one--I pretty much had the culprits pegged from the first scene that they were in--and overall the issues in the story were solved pretty darn quickly. Again, it's a novella. I wouldn't mind reading more from this author if the opportunity arose.

Overall, this anthology achieved its purpose--introducing readers to a nice selection of genres and authors they might not have read before and encouraging them to read more. ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
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