17 original stories by some of today’s bestselling urban fantasy authors.
I’ll admit, a lot of these authors were new to me. 15 to be exact. Some of the short stories were prequels to new series. Some of them were character introductions and some of them were little treasures that added to existing series. Naturally, I enjoyed the tidbits from characters that I was familiar with, but the others gave me incentive to check out some new authors and broaden my Urban Fantasy horizons. 😉 Even if you’re not familiar with some of the stories and or authors, I bet you can find at least one or two characters in this compilation that you’d like to learn more about. Below is the list and description of the books included in Nightshade found at Goodreads, along with my mini reviews.
The Agency by Donna Augustine: Before Karma joins the agency, she’s just another assignment handed to Fate from the Universe. But she’s destined to become more than that.
Review: This was a fun one and definitely left me wanting more…
De Facto by Annie Bellet: Verity Li’s just a bureaucratic cog, going through the motions until she interrupts a kidnapping next door, and now all the problems are hers.
Review: Another fun story in this anthology. I was definitely intrigued by Varity and her magic sniffing rat.
Venom by Sarra Cannon: On the run from a coven of witches determined to capture and enslave him, Rend must overcome the limitations of the human world and embrace his true demon power. But will he survive?
Review: Venom left me wanting more. Full of fast-paced action and danger.
Honeysuckle Memory by Selene Charles: Scarlett Smith’s on a mission to track down the man who sentenced her to an eternity of purgatory, but first she needs to pass the mental health assessment board of the paranormal investigative department.
Review: This little taste made me want to find out more about Scarlett. It’s the introduction to a new series that I’m definitely going to be looking out for.
Spirits of Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase: It’s Halloween and time to party, but when a spirit traps everyone in the past, white witch Jade Calhoun’s forced to forgo the cocktails in order to save those she loves.
Review: Spirits of Bourbon Street is actually a novella that takes place several books into the established Jade Calhoune series. I’ve only read the first book in the series (Haunted on Bourbon Street) but this short story reminded me of why I need to pick up the rest of the series.
The Ghost & Mrs. MacKay by Kate Danley: It’s Halloween and Maggie’s mother has invited all the ghosts of the neighborhood over for a party. Unfortunately, one of the ghosts is wanted by the Other Side’s finest. It’s up to Maggie and Killian to find out what caused this soul’s unrest and return him to his happy haunting ground.
Review: The Ghost & Mrs. MacKay is another novella that takes place mid-series, but it was such a fun read that I got up to speed pretty quick. Plus, Maggie is such a fun character and the banter between her and Killian is so witty, I’m eager to track down the rest of the books in the Maggie MacKay, Magical Tracker series.
Full Moon Mischief by Debra Dunbar: Getting summoned on Halloween isn’t any demon’s idea of fun especially when yanked from a rocking party into a coat closet. But rules are rules and Imp Sam must find a way to get rid of a gold-digger hussy then hope the pint-sized mage sends her back before the party’s over.
Review: Before I was even finished Full Moon Mischief, I knew I wanted to get to know Sam better. Fortunately, there’s several books in the Imp series that will help me do just that.
Dog Days of Summer by Hailey Edwards: When a fae boy goes missing, Thierry is called to lead the hunt for the rogue. But the closer she gets to locating the boy, the further she gets from the truth.
Review: This short story was from another established series, Black Dog, but it gave readers just enough to make me want to find out more about Tierry.
Victoria Gardella: Vampire Slayer by Colleen Gleason: Balls, beaux, dance cards….and stakes? Lady Victoria Gardella must juggle her responsibility as a debutante in 19th century London Society while fulfilling her family legacy as a vampire hunter.
Review: A 19th century vampire slayer? What’s not to love? The Gardella Vampire Hunters is another established series.
Atomic by C. Gockel: Sigyn is prophesied to be the consort of a king. Instead she marries a fool. Centuries after his chaos destroys their marriage, the fallout begins.
Review: This one was a little hard to get into, but I still enjoyed the story.
Highland Magic by Helen Harper: The Veil has kept the Highlands of Scotland free from demons for centuries, and ensured relative peace for the Sidhe Clans. However, a strange encounter on a dark, heather-strewn hillside might mean all that is about to change.
Review: There are so many reasons why I want to continue where this story left off. It’s a great introduction to a series, not to mention heartbreaking. *sigh*
Contents May Have Shifted by Shawntelle Madison: Return to the Coveted universe in this tale featuring werewolf Natalya Stravinsky. Two werewolf shopkeepers in a mystical flea market encounter deadly merchandise that has no intention of being sold.
Review: This short story from the Coveted series was packed full of action, humor and wit. Contents May have Shifted just added another series to my TBR pile.
Illusions by Christine Pope: Warlock Damon Wilcox is plotting to kidnap the most powerful witch in a rival clan. But Damon’s brother Connor has plans of his own.
Review: This is actually a prequel to an established series. The Witches of Cleopatra Hill is a series that has hit my reading radar.
Dying Night by SM Reine: Hell’s trying to squeeze its way onto Earth via the Grand Canyon. Elise and James, a demon hunting team, haven’t spoken about that thing that happened in Copenhagen for six months. With all the pressure boiling under the surface, something’s sure to blow.
Review: It probably comes as no surprise that I’m a huge SM Reine fan. Mainly because you don’t have to look very far into my reading history to find at least one book that belongs to one of her many series. The one series that I haven’t finished is Descent, which is where this short little treasure comes from. It really didn’t matter though, because I’m well acquainted with Elise and James and this story is all about them. If you are a fan of Elise and James, then Dying Night is a story that you won’t want to miss. Oh, and just an FYI – it broke my heart just a little.
Brea’s Tale: Arrival by Anthea Sharp: When a faerie girl is sent on a mission to the mortal world, she must learn to navigate the intricacies of life among humans – but will she survive undetected?
Review: Evidently Brea isn’t just fae. She was a mortal first, but the world’s changed a lot since her last visit. She’s on a mission, but before she can complete it, she has to figure out how to fit in.
Angels and Demons by Colleen Vanderlinden: A mysterious woman haunts the streets of Detroit, dishing up her own version of vigilante justice.
Review: Angels and Demons may have been short, but it wasn’t lacking in action. While Nain and his crew of demons and shifters were fighting crime, a mystery vigilante known as ‘the Angel’ was taking matters into her own hands. The only problem was her kind of power was dangerous if she decided to switch sides.
Dragon’s Fury by Phaedra Weldon: A tragic part of Crwys Holliard’s past is revealed when his lover becomes a target in a serial killer’s vendetta against women who have crossed Crwys’ path. Unfortunately, this also makes Crwys the prime suspect in their deaths.
Review: Dragons, a unique twist on vampires, and did I mention dragons? This taste provided more than enough reasons to add any other books that include Crwys and Levi to my ever growing TBR pile.