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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mysteria Lane by Mary Janice Davidson, Susan Grant, Gena Showalter, and P.C. Cast

Mysteria Lane by Mary Janice Davidson, Susan Grant, Gena Showalter, P.C. Cast
Publisher: Berkley Sensation, Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary; Paranormal; Sci-Fi/Fantasy; Suspense
Length: Full (293 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Return to a town of bewitching seduction and sensual demons. There’s a spellbinding witch of love who wants to make one man hers; a vegan having trouble adapting to vampirism; Satan’s emissary, who is looking for steady work in Colorado; and angelic triplets feeling a wee touch of the devil.

There are certain places on Earth that blossom with love and understanding and there are some places that simply breed evil. Mysteria Lane is a combination of both, but never dull and never without a good time.

Each author brings her own great take on the personalities in Mysteria. Each character is intelligent, witty and engaging. This is a collection you won’t soon forget.

In "Disdaining Trouble," Mary Janice Davidson gives her take on splitting triplets and time travel in the Mysteria wishing well. Withering falls into the well and ages past her fourteen years. She’s seen the devil up close in the parallel universe of Earth Prime. I loved watching her relearn the town after her absence. The scene in the bowling alley with the evil pins was hilarious. I also enjoyed Thad’s take on their coupling. Although there are a lot of characters to keep straight, the story itself is very crafty.

In Susan Grant’s "The Nanny from Hell," Shay is just that, a demoness from Hell. She’s one of Satan’s right hand women. When Shay crashes to Earth, she has her own encounter with the wishing well. But in her case, her demon powers of persuasion are revoked and she must use her own natural charm to get what she wants. I liked her interaction with the townsfolk and her frustration that she had to rely on herself, not the demon powers. For the hero, Quel Laredo was mighty fine. He sensed her change before she even understood it, and was still drawn to her. For such a selfish woman, her care for Damon Junior was touching.

Every once in a while a wonderful story about an average girl comes along to show the world that average isn’t always bland. "A Tawdry Affair" by Gena Showalter is that novella. Falon the Fey rejected Glory Tawdry so she gets a revenge pen and sets out to level the playing flied. She just doesn’t expect him to really care for her. I found many parts of this story relatable including Glory’s penchant for writing herself much thinner than her physical form. What woman is completely comfortable with her body when mainstream culture applauds thinness? Glory’s fear of rejection resonated with me as well. We want to be accepted for who we are by the object of our desire and when that doesn’t happen, it can be crushing. I felt for Glory throughout the story. I also liked that revenge isn’t always a sweet dish. Very well written.

In the final novella, P.C. Cast shines. "It’s in His Kiss" is a sweet romance between a witch with a kink in her magic and the vampire she shouldn’t fall for. I loved that Summer wasn’t perfect. She couldn’t control her magic and it made the spells she spun and those around her go a little askew. I also liked the pairing of two opposite characters. Colin loves the sunshine, but can’t experience it in his vampire form. This story was relatable because many people want things that are just out of their reach, but fear trying to going for it anyway, just as Summer did with Colin. You couldn’t help but root for them to get together.

If you want a collection of stories with a witchy twist, peppered with sizzling sensuality and four to-die-for heroes, then Mysteria Lane is the anthology for you. I give this collection 4 ½ books.