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Winter Wishes: Tangled Tinsel / No Angel / Freeze Line

af Moira Rogers, Vivi Andrews, Vivian Arend

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
1341,548,446 (3.71)Ingen
Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. HTML:

A Twist on Tradition

A woman has the Christmas Eve from Hell. Two cat shifters play naughty games. And a witch brings out the beast inside the man. The magic of the season takes on a whole new meaning in these three fantastic--and festive--novellas from some of the best voices in paranormal romance.

Anthology includes:

Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend
No Angel by Vivi Andrews
Freeze Line by Moira Rogers

Stories also available for purchase separately.

97,000 words

… (mere)

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Viser 4 af 4
I was pleasantly surprised by all 3 entries in this series. I picked it up because I'm a fan of Moira Rogers. I hadn't read the other two authors before. I will be picking up more soon, however.

This collection features strong women, lots of action and men who need saving - either from outside danger or from themselves.

Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend

This was my least favorite story in the collection. Though I enjoyed it, it wasn't as well fleshed out as the other two. I think there was too much going on in the background - I kept feeling like I was missing things. I assume, just based on what I read here, that this is part of a series. Unfortunately, having never read any of the previous books, I felt left out and confused much of the time.

The romance was well done. The couple worked well together and I liked that the heroine was just as strong as the hero. It isn't often that a female bodyguard is actually a strong bodyguard. I like that Arend didn't try to "weaken" her. Not only that, but the hero appreciated that she was the strong type. That doesn't happen often either.

No Angel

Much to my surprise, this was my favorite of the collection. Having never read Andrews, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm excited to report a mouthy, strong, capable heroine is what I got. She was everything I love in a heroine - sarcastic, kickass and relate-able. She wasn't perfect, or too independent or stupid. She was very refreshing. And her man was, of course, totally worthy of her. I can't wait to read more from Vivi Andrews.

Freeze Line

Rogers long ago became a favorite of mine and she doesn't disappoint here. I'm used to strong emotions from her characters along with a gripping plot, but this was better than I had anticipated. The hero was a perfectly balanced alpha male - strong, tortured and angry, but also tender and caring. Rogers often writes heroes closer to the beta side, so this was a nice surprise. The heroine was another strong woman, though she was also very vulnerable.

Overall a great collection. ( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
Review originally posted here: http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-winter-wishes-anthology-by.ht...

Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend

First story of this anthology was Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend. Now I have never read a book by Vivian Arend, but I have always seen her name around, specially for Erotica. Well Erotic doesn't even describe it, just downright nasty. And well, I loved every last minute of it.

Tangled Tinsel starts off with us following our male lead, Kyle Branegan, who is a werecat. He is hiding and on the hunt...for a fellow playmate. That is when he comes across Eloise Scott. Another werecat that he is sure can't resist him. But Kyle soon finds out that she had his number way before their little "get together" in a lingerie shop. Eloise (El) is an undercover cop who was sent to tail and keep tabs on Kyle. They know he is in the middle of a case (not they way they think) and he needs watching since he can't keep his hands to himself.

While they are stuck together, El has to visit her family for Christmas. El is not the biggest fan of her ridiculously wealthy family and has tried to avoid them, but can't any longer. So while El and Kyle are together at her folks place, they end up together after El finally comes to terms that she is a cat, not a human. It is okay to just let go. While there, they also get a surprise visit from Kyle's uncle, who he can't stand and to get his uncle off his back and not think he is after El's family's money, he announces they are engaged to be married.

This was a great story. Plenty of ups and downs between these two. I liked Kyle even though he was a manwhore to the max and El had her own issues, but I liked her too. She has been trying so hard to live in the human world. Didn't like her cat side because she wants her independence and didn't want to be like other female cats barefoot and constantly pregnant. Seriously, her parents needed to slow down. Goodness! Kyle was great too, I like that he helped El break her shell and actually changed in the book.

I did have a couple of problems though. I wish that we got to know more of Kyle's uncle. It was so random with him at the house. How and who invited him? We know it wasn't Kyle because he hates him which in turn means he doesn't talk about him much. So how? Then there was the almost fight at the New Years' Party. Kyle said it seems like his uncle was almost looking for someone to fight with, but we are never told why exactly.

Nonetheless, this was a great story. It took a turn that I didn't see coming towards the end and it made me enjoyed it even more. I love books that do that. When you think you have it all figured it and just like that, you find out you didn't know anything. It was a fun surprise. I highly recommend this if you want a great story and you aren't offended by very graphic and detailed sex scenes. Vivian Arend is definitely not a shy woman. Wow!

4 out of 5 stars

No Angel by Vivi Andrews

This was the second story in the anthology and this was hands down my favorite of the three. What a story! I love how unique it was. Never read anything from Vivi Andrews either, but I have added her on my must reads list after reading this.

No Angel is about a young woman named Sasha Christian who lives in Los Angeles. Sasha is the daughter of the world's most beloved "angel" her Hollywood actress mother, Layla Christian. She hates the recognition, hates the attention and hates airhead blondes from Oklahoma who think being rich and famous is the key to happiness. But while on the phone being hassled by her mother over not ever getting the chance to meet Sasha's boyfriend (Layla believes he was made up), Sasha has the sinking feeling, he is going to bolt for good.

Sasha's boyfriend, Jay, is in trouble. He is half-demon and half-human. But he hasn't told Sasha that. Not only that, but he is on a very tight schedule. Since he is a demon, he has limited time on earth. Demons aren't allowed on Earth on Christmas Day. Thing is, Jay doesn't want to go back to Hell with his ruthless mother who just happens to be the wife of the devil himself. Jay is in love with Sasha and doesn't want to lose her, but telling her he is a demon and his stepdad is the devil, will definitely put a damper on things.

When Jay finally gets the courage to tell Sasha the real reason he can't be with Sasha on Christmas, it is too late. He is grabbed through a vortex to Hell in the middle of her kitchen while baking cookies. She is in shock, but to add to that, she gets a visit from an angel. This angel drops an even bigger bomb on Sasha to let her know she is God's Champion of Virtue and if she wants Jay back, she will have to go into Hell and save Jay or he will be there forever.

I could talk about this story forever. It was so amazing. It was complex and simple all at once. The characters were amazing. I absolutely loved Sasha. She reminds me of myself. Nice, but is not afraid to show her edge and push back when she needs to. I loved Jay as well. The fact that he is from Hell and doesn't seem to have an evil bone in his body is insane.

I also love that this story really takes what we think about Hell and twists it a little. When and how Sasha gets to Hell was definitely unique and funny. With such a topic as Hell, this book can be surprisingly light. It is full of humor, action, and apparently lets us know Lucifer isn't so bad.

Like I said, this was a definite win for me. Only disappointment for me was that it wasn't longer. I would have loved to have read more of Sasha and Jay. Sasha is just a great heroine. Takes a lot for a woman to go to Hell to save her boyfriend. Nonetheless, highly recommended.

5 out of 5 stars

Freeze Line by Moira Rogers

Now for the very reason I requested this anthology, Moira Rogers. Rogers is no stranger to amazing paranormal romance. I saw her name and knew I had to get this because I have read other works from her and knew I would love it. Unfortunately, this wasn't a love for me, a like, but not love.

Freeze Line is about a werewolf named Shane Sullivan who lives on his own. Doesn't have friends or neighbors. So while out in the ridiculous winter, he stumbles on a witch named Nadia. She is on the verge of dying since she was above the freeze line. The closer to the line, the less powerful you are, which is what Shane wants since he doesn't like his werewolf side. But in order to help save Nadia's life, he has to go further South and he is afraid to lose control, of both his wolf and with Nadia.

Now my issues. My problem, the biggest problem, were the back stories. Not just for the characters, but for the environment itself. When we meet Nadia, she is bruised and beaten into an inch of her life. We find out that she was either kidnapped or sold and somehow escaped her captors. Problem is, we don't find out who or why. All we know is that she was in a lab and was being studied and somehow got away. That's it. We do actually find out why Shane resents his wolf side so much and I was happy to get that, made me feel sorry for him.

Then there's the environment. We don't know exactly where they are and even more, we don't know what exactly happened to America. California is not California, it is called the Gulf of California. Shane says he has heard of the place, California. They are in a time where everything is split up into tribes or regions. It says that they are in the middle of a 21st Century ice age, but how did America itself change? I mean it seems like there was an apocalypse of some kind, but we don't know for sure. Hell, we don't really know the year is exactly. Is it now or sometime way later in the 21st century?

It has taken me a couple of days to do this review because I was debating what to give this. I won't line. As much as I enjoy Moira Rogers work, I was tempted to give this 2 stars, but at the end of the day, this was about the romance. I did love it. Shane has his demons and is afraid of his wolf side, afraid of hurting people (given his story, can't blame him) and I like that Nadia doesn't push him into it, I would have hated her for that. There is an attraction between them that was great because they really defended each other. Happy Nadia wasn't a damsel in distress, she really was a warrior and could take Shane head on if she had to.

Overall, this was a good story, despite my complaints. I just wish I didn't feel like there was a whole chunk missing out of this story. When I read, I like being engulfed in a new world, I couldn't get engulfed in this world since I didn't really know where I was and what I should and shouldn't do. Hope that made sense. There will be those who love the simplicity of the story, which is great. But I just wish there was more development.


3 out of 5 stars

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5 stars ( )
  harleyquinn0887 | Mar 31, 2011 |
Review provided by Black Lagoon Reviews:

Tangled Tinsel

'Tangled Tinsel' was a fun, playful story about a pair of cat shifters who are tethered together through the holiday season. Perfectly capturing the Christmas atmosphere this novella had moments of scorching romance and a nicely paced sense of action and intrigue.

While the novella starts off with a blisteringly sexual allure, the characters and the readers are quickly doused with cold water. Because of this I think I came to like El's character a bit more then I thought I would. At first glance she's a bit of a tart, but quickly we find that she actually a strong if not stubborn character who only grudgingly begins to accept the playful inner cat that lurks just beneath the surface. Kyle on the other hand starts off as a rather an entertaining character who fully accepts the tomcat nature inherent to him. He has a wonderful charisma making him humorous, charming and often times playful and cunning. He is completely at ease with his inner feline and helps ease El into accepting her true nature. With nearly constant sarcasm between the two, I was constantly chuckling late into the night.

The plot, while interesting, at times can be a little ambiguous. It isn't clear at first exactly what the point of the novella is other then keeping Kyle in a loose sort of witness protection program under El's watchful eye. But, as the story evolves the plot becomes much clearer and I loved the aspect of Kyle being a sort of shifter secret agent. The atmosphere created was on the other hand was much more strongly developed the plot. The sense of Christmas and family is wonderfully captured and offset nicely by the moments of naughty pleasures the characters partake in.

Overall, this was a nice story that captured the season well. It was nicely written with characters that the reader can relate to while keeping a paranormal edge. There was a nice sense of humor that kept me reading and enjoying the characters and the moments of action kept the pace moving. Since this is my first time reading this author, I am uncertain if the universe created is an ongoing one, but I have to say that I would definitely read more about it! I loved the secret agent aspect and would love to see if further explored within the world of shifters.

No Angel

'No Angel' was a great adventure into the realm of angels and demons. Tautly written with wit and action I couldn't put this novella down!

The writing style of this story was concise and read quickly. The introduction into the lives of the characters was well done building a substantial back story without weighing down the tale with unnecessary information. And yet despite the character building the main premise of the story starts quickly and we are drawn into the uncertain relationship between Sasha and Jay as we follow them into the depths of Hell.

The characters are likable, the sarcasm of their natures endearing me to them instantly. Sasha is a bit of a wild child and once she falls in love with supposedly good-boy Jay she becomes a bit self conscience, feeling that she isn't good enough for him. Quickly we discover that Jay has a whopper of a secret of his own, he's the stepson of Lucifer and half-demon. While the status of their relationship is often in question, you can't help but become enamored of the two. They fit together so well despite the omitted truths the relationship was built upon. But, most of all I loved Andrews's depiction of Lucifer. He came off as being extremely human and I loved the fact that he could never tell his wife, Jay's mother, that he cared for her due to the fact that in Hell even truths can be used against you.

The action of the story was wonderfully written and the atmosphere was unique. The pace was quick making this is a fast read. The theme of redemption to the story was a nice one for a holiday tale and it gave a wonderful reminder as to the spirit of Christmas. The world building was wonderful with the knowledge that Angels do walk amongst us and hold celebrity status hob-knobbing with the Hollywood elite. This is definitely one world that I would enjoy returning to!

Freeze Line

'Freeze Line' held all the appeal of an indie movie playing out within my head. The bitter cold survivalist novella was wonderfully written with highly developed characters and a chilling atmosphere that reminds readers that snow isn't just the pretty white stuff drifting lazily in the breeze around Christmas time.

The world Roger's created was a post apocalyptic ice age reminiscent of the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow' with the northern part of the globe covered in ice. While how the world became broken as such, we are left with the impression that most people feel this was caused by witches. The chilling atmosphere created had me huddled under a nice warm blanket because it was described so wonderfully. The basic survival elements of the story were nicely detailed giving a sense of being trapped with the characters waiting for the next snow storm to strike. While I am once again unfamiliar with this (or rather these) authors I was left feeling a little at a loss when it came to the scientists that were holding Nadia captive. I would have liked to know more about how she was captured, or why. I would have liked to have been given more history about the state of the planet as well. The world was just so vast and interesting I wanted to know more and when the information never came I was a bit disheartened.

Like the world and atmospheres created, the characters were wonderfully written and extremely three dimensional. I loved Nadia's fierce warrior qualities and her embrace of the wilder aspects within her nature. She is at peace with the magic that flows within her veins and the connection between her and the Earth was interesting. Shane was a nicely complicated character, his past heartaches and grief making him weary of the beast the lives within him. His need to protect is endearing and his care of Nadia made me fall in love with him. The connection between these two starts off a little awkward but the warmth that slowly develop is organic and believable. There is a very tender feeling that grows between the two that turns fiercely protective which left me engrossed and wanting to follow the characters further.

While this didn't have a Christmas theme to it, I enjoyed it none the less. The bitter cold of the frozen lands reflected the winter season perfectly and the themes of survival and acceptance were wonderfully translated. This is definitely my favorite novella from the 'Winter Wishes' anthology and I will definitely be looking into this author more! ( )
  wenj | Dec 2, 2010 |
I received an ARC of this through NetGalley. Stories are available as an anthology or separately.

Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend
Overall, this story is funny, playful and sexy.

However, there were certain word choices and references that made me go huh?, like when there was "palatable" tension in a room. It's possible that that was a stylistic choice, but it read more like an error that hadn't been caught in the editing process. Those instances didn't happen too often, but in something the size of a novella they tend to stand out. Also, the plotline about Kyle's undercover investigation efforts and his super-powerful family knowing nothing about the agency he worked for really didn't make any sense to me. It might be related to an ongoing series that I'm not familiar with, but as a new reader I found that whole storyline distracting and baffling.

My issues with the plotting aside, the characters were so charming and the energy of the story so positive that I'm glad I read this and am looking forward to trying more by the author.

No Angel by Vivi Andrews
Sasha, a Hollywood stunt double, wants to bring her boyfriend Jay home to meet her mother for Christmas. Jay doesn't know how to tell Sasha that the reason he can't is because he's a half-demon. Before he gets the chance, he's abducted to Hell... and Sasha is charged by an angelic visitor to retrieve him.

I'm not normally a fan of the angels, demons, Christmas sweetness shtick, but the story is so vivid and funny and smart that I was sucked in despite myself. Very nicely done.

Freeze Line by Moira Rogers
After the humor and lightness of the first two stories, entering this dark, cold, dystopian landscape was quite a shock. At its best, it was like a fabulous blend of Ilona Andrews and '90s-era Linda Howard--tender, sexy and adventurous. At it's worst, there were some awkward transitions, both in writing and in character development, that made me wonder if perhaps some scenes had been edited out because of space constraints. Overall, though, I enjoyed the characters enough to hope that the authors plan to write more stories in the saga of Shane and Nadia. ( )
  thewalkinggirl | Nov 24, 2010 |
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Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. HTML:

A Twist on Tradition

A woman has the Christmas Eve from Hell. Two cat shifters play naughty games. And a witch brings out the beast inside the man. The magic of the season takes on a whole new meaning in these three fantastic--and festive--novellas from some of the best voices in paranormal romance.

Anthology includes:

Tangled Tinsel by Vivian Arend
No Angel by Vivi Andrews
Freeze Line by Moira Rogers

Stories also available for purchase separately.

97,000 words


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