I am stuck sitting here waiting for someone to call me before I can move on to step B so I may as well do something useful like post here.
A Real Emergency by K.C. Warwick (17 pages)
This is a continuation of the story of Rowan the hapless enchanter and Valiance his snarky elven bodyguard from The Right Kind of Help. They are back home and spending their time together but haven't gone "all the way". Just when they decide to take things to the next level and are almost there .... Rowan is called to take care of an emergency vortex. So off they go, and with Valiance's help again Rowan is able to deal with it handily. They are just about to get funky in the woods when the town comes to thank them once again thwarting their plans. Valiance is getting pretty touchy by this point. Next night they almost get there and once again Rowan is called to banish a dragon near the Elf settlement. He is totally freaked but Valiance agrees they'll do it and they take off with Rowan freaking and Valiance being vague. When they get there it's not quite as Rowan suspected and he gets thoroughly pissed at Valiance for treating him like he has no brain and a little hissy fit ensues. Will they EVER get the chance to "do it"? I liked how Valiance was much softer with Rowan but could still pull out the attitude especially with Rowan's boss and how Rowan's confidence not only in his ability to control his magic but in his relationship with Valiance was growing. I just really like these two characters and how they get along. Another cute short.
A Taste of Darkness by A.R. Moler (14 pages)
This is a continuation of the Halloween Sip Crimson Regret. Tristan had to run off from the Halloween party because of his job as a cop leaving Brian to become the detective and track him down. He finally does and invites him to a beer tasting. Tristan accepts and they seem to be having a good time (some funny comments about a weird beer) but every time Brian brings up Tristan's job he shuts down. They end up back at Brian's for some hot stuff and again, the slightest mention of Tristan's job causes a freeze-out although he does admit it was a bad day. He kind of acts weird after sex and takes off leaving Brian thinking it was a one-off. Brian discovers via the news why Tristan had a bad day which helps him feel not so dumped. Tristan then sends him an e-mail apologising for his behaviour and asking for another date. The end. Arrrgghhhhh There is a third one that I am now compelled to buy because I really liked them and want to know more about them. I liked both characters and it will be interesting to see how Brian deals with Tristan's job which has a very dark side being a homicide detective.
Satyr-Day Night Fever by Kiernan Kelly (45 pages)
Bill is a satyr (yes, half goat man) who is a porn star as Pan the Satyr Man and is VERY well endowed. He has a human form but his whole schtick is performing in satyr form. His best friend since childhood Mitch is straight (divorced with kids) but is an Assistant with the porn company. They hang out together but Mitch always seems to get freaked at the idea of watching Bill, being straight and all. While editing some film one day Mitch suddenly kisses Bill and ACK!!! They both kind of freak out. Is Mitch gay? Does Bill "love" him? Bill heads home to his parents' place to do some soul searching (he's got a great Mom who is freaky about knowing what's going on) and she sends him back to work it out with Mitch. It was a cute story with some smoking porn scenes with Bill as well as tender scenes with Mitch. Kiernan Kelly has a light humourous touch which appeals to me. It's not over the top but little things that make you smile. So a cute read about a world in which satyrs selling used cars are no big deal.
Animal Attraction 2 by Kiernan Kelly, Aaron Michael, Jane Davitt, CB Potts, Julia Talbot, Sean Michael
This is a follow-up to Animal Attraction 1 which I quite enjoyed and I started reading it right after and I think I got burned out on animals, so I put it aside for several months and came back to it. My faves. Hmmm, did I have any? Well, I'd have to say they were all about the same except one I really couldn't get into. The story just didn't catch my interest and maybe that's where I stalled out because I skipped it and enjoyed the rest. You have:
* A story set in maybe the 30's or 40's when the carnival comes to town. A train accident lets one of the tigers loose and the local sheriff bands together with the lion tamer (who he was attracted to) to find it before the close-minded locals shoot it (and everyone else in the circus).
* A private eye in Vegas helps a guy find his missing boa constrictor. Some very funny lines and a mystery as they track down who could have taken the boa and why. With some romance and flirting thrown in.
* Set in the golden age of Hollywood a high powered agent of a flighty actress and her tough body guard end up trapped in her house with a loose panther. Seems while the body guard is totally tough and in control during work, off hours he likes it a little different. A cute ending to the panther dilemma and some very steamy action between the two men.
* A search in the jungle for snails and ... I said I lost interest. Can't say why, just didn't seem to get into it or care.
* An young animal rights anti-rodeo activist is convinced to go to a real ranch and find out the realities behind the different types of ranching. It's an eye opener for both of them and a zipper opener. (Wow, that was bad wasn't it?)
* A photo journalist and a snow leopard expert end up stranded in an snow storm and avalanche in Uzbekistan (I think, one of the "stans") while searching for the target. During their period storm-bound they get to know one another (in the biblical sense) and become friends too. A sweet story that gave me the heebie jeebies because seriously, climbing a mountain in a snow storm? HAHAHAHAHA In your dreams. Or in my nightmares I suppose.
But all in all a good little anthology and I'm sure others will find the snail story compelling but I just couldn't get into it.