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Charmed

This anthology has a Halloween theme as all of the stories take place on or close to Halloween. If paranormal stories aren’t your bag of tricks, skip by this one, as all the stories have strong paranormal overtones.


Pandora's Bottle

- by Eileen Wilks
Grade : A      Sensuality : N/A


Pandora's Bottle by Eileen Wilks
Ever been faced with a difficult choice? Pandora Elsbeth Kitlock will face an impossible decision. Dora is an extremely sensible woman, no fooling around with supernatural forces in her life, no sir. Just because her fiancé, John Raven, looks like an Arab prince doesn't mean he isn't sensible.

John is ready to ask Dora to marry him, but he must tell her his family secret first. John is descended from a djinn, who had to give up his magic to marry the woman that he loved. The women who marry into the Raven family are faced with a choice, accept the mortal, or choose the leftover magic in the bottle. What form the choice takes is different for each bride. Poor Dora, not only must she make a terrible choice, she must come to terms with her own special gift, which she has denied her entire life. Her own gift makes the choice that much harder for her. This was easily the best story in the anthology. I will be on the lookout for other work by Eileen Wilks, no difficult choice to be made on that!


Bridal Jitters

- by Jayne Castle
Grade : C+      Sensuality : N/A


Bridal Jitters by Jayne Castle aka Jayne Ann Krentz
This story is the fourth in Jayne Castle's Psynergy series, complete with its own set of "words." Get used to hearing "rezzed", "de-rez", zapped, etc, because this story is full of these terms. Virginia Brown, an ephemeral energy para-resonator, (AKA a tangler), uses her psi energy to neutralize illusion traps. She has recently joined forces with Sam Gage, a dissonance energy para-resonator, or ghost hunter. He uses his psi powers to dissipate unstable dissonance energy manifestations, or, you guessed it, ghosts. Sam and Virginia have agreed to a marriage of convenience renewable if they so wish after a year's time. Otherwise, no children and no ties. Lately, however, Virginia wants a real marriage with Sam, but doesn't know how she can let him know. Good thing for Virginia that Sam wants the same thing, but both need a little push, which comes in the form of investigating some underground Harmonic tombs. There is good focus on the lead characters, and good tension between them, but please stop with all these crazy terms already!!


Man in the Mirror

- by Julie Beart
Grade : D-      Sensuality : N/A


Man in the Mirror by Julie Beard
Katherine Montgomery has been plagued by a string of bad luck. She has dropped out of medical school and broken her second engagement. On top of that, a strange old lady told her to watch out for mirrors and that the right man for her will be wearing the sign of the dragon, whatever that means. She should have listened to the old lady. While Katherine is performing a hokey spell in front of a mirror on Halloween, she suddenly sees a man calling her name, and he appears to be in dire need of her medical skills. She cannot resist his call, and steps through the mirror, into. . . Camelot. So at this point, the reader might think that Tristan is the man she is supposed to love, right? Wrong! If you are someone who hates it when the souls end up together instead of the actual bodies, stop reading right now, because this is one of those stories. The writing style is also problematic; the adage show, don't tell was not used here. As a result, the author tells us that Tristan and Katherine make love, we are told about how much Katherine grieves after she leaves Tristan, we are told that she finds herself falling in love with the reincarnated Tristan, etc. The premise of the story was interesting, but could not hold up under the weight of the other problems.


Tangled Dreams

- by Lori Foster
Grade : B+      Sensuality : N/A


Tangled Dreams by Lori Foster
Warning, this story contains elements of sexual domination, bondage, and hot love scenes. Allison Barrow has a problem. Her house is haunted, but that's not the problem. Rose and Burke are very nice ghosts, who also happen to be her ancestors. Rose and Burke had a very passionate love, and want Allison to have this for her own life, as well as the family heirloom, which can only be found by someone with great passion. Allison doesn't feel like a very passionate person, so unbeknownst to her, Rose and Burke help out a bit.

Chase Winston can't figure out why he can suddenly read Allison's every thought. Sure he has treated her cordially, as a friend of the family, but never thought she would be his type, especially in bed. These hot fantasies of hers are driving him nuts, however. Allison has had a crush on Chase for a while, but is mortified when he informs her that he can hear what she is thinking! The tension between Chase and Allison sizzles, and the dialogue between them is excellent. The ghosts are fun, but there was an extraneous villain subplot that did nothing for the story. Still, it was a minor complaint.


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Book Details

Reviewer :      Liz Zink


Grade :     C+


Sensuality :      Varies


Book Type :     


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