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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tales from the Treasure Trove Volume V by Jewels Of The Quill

Tales from the Treasure Trove Volume V by Jewels of the Quill (Christine DeSmet, Dee Lloyd, Carrie S. Masek, Jane Toombs, Janet Lane Walters, Karen Wiesner, C.J. Winters)
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Suspense, Paranormal
Length: Full (anthology)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Seven authors offer new, short, exciting Tales from the Treasure Trove—each featuring a sparkling jewel!

This Anthology “Tales from the Treasure Trove Volume V,” includes romance and light mystery as well as romantic suspense, a splash of comedy and couple more fantastical tales.

In Princess and the Tanzanite Necklace, Winters hooks us from the start with Princess, a Boston Terrier, who is such a great character in her own right. Jeremy Farrier establishes himself as a real charmer, right from the get-go because of his relationship with ‘Princess.’ Winifred by no means leaps from the pages as a darling (in fact, we might be forgiven for thinking Jeremy might just want to take up with the ex, again.) Then the unexpected and the unthinkable happens – and it’s a chance for everyone to prove their worth. This one is just plain charming.

“Lunch at the Topaz Diner” is a little gem, as is Masek’s main character. Sarah, is not exactly young anymore, and not without scars. Still, she’s not to be sidetracked from her goal. Not love; oh, no, she’s a realist. She’s going to claim what’s owed and put the past behind her… our curiosity is engaged throughout.

Next comes “The Turquoise Heart” and Toombs’ romance is all that a romance should be. The world of the Yuppers becomes oddly exotic. Toivi, there at the punch bowl, seems pretty exotic too – and dear old Dock is intrigued at once. Their immediate banter is more than light-hearted, and we suppose things will go along in a predictable fashion. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Disaster surprises everyone here – and we can only hope things turn out as well as they once promised. Toombs has a humorous, but subtle turn of phrase.

After the dark moments in the previous story, “The Big Love & Murder Shilly-Shally in Moonstone" seems positively slapstick. Tootsie, sparkling with spangles from the get-go, is utterly implausible and impossibly fun. DeSemet has created this one character with such depth and breadth she almost obscures even the handsome Jules. A very fun read.

In “Woman Freed From Amber” Walters drops us into a medieval-like landscape, full of royal duty and magic. Kriston Riva, a descendent of kings, is driven by duty – and the threat of a curse. His own love is, of course, a great beauty. This story has a ton of appeal, especially to those who enjoy fantasy. While it might seem more predictable, one has to note the amazing world created for this, and the appeal of descriptions.

Lloyd’s “Return to Lake Aquamarine” is another that brings beautiful background into focus. But its far from the picturesque settings; think names up in casino lights! Nita McCulloch seems ready to set off into adventure – but it’s one she never expects. From the first, she’s plunged into a desperate search. She has the compassion of friends, and even the wonderful Scott, hovering – but will she be able to find resolution? This one keeps you guessing.

“Behind Amethyst Eyes” is a great one to wrap up this anthology. Main character Aimee Cooper is easy to identify with – from her less than total confidence to her desperate attempt to totally recreate herself. Rob is rumored to like the ‘confident,’ so she will become ‘confident,’ even while hit with more self doubt. Rob’s point of view really gives the reader another whole view: this one is all romance.

Tales from the Treasure Trove Volume V” makes a nice bedside reader. The stories within are just the right length – and each different enough from the next to be a fresh start. While some are part of series (appearing in similar anthologies) each stands alone as a story, so you need not have read earlier version. The quality of the writing is consistent throughout, making this a very pleasant read, indeed.