GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: DARK SECRETS, A Paranormal Noir Anthology + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review: DARK SECRETS, A Paranormal Noir Anthology + giveaway

DARK SECRETS, A Paranormal Noir Anthology
Participating Authors: Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden, Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, and Mina Khan
ISBN: 978-1-942840-05-3
Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.
MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine
Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he's been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won't let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner's a ghost, and he blames himself for her death. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss.
FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden
PI Mick Swayne has seen it all—his clients have included liars, thieves, and even killers. He thinks he can handle anything and anyone. Then she walks into his office. Savannah Moreau is beautiful, seductive, and…a vampire? The gorgeous vamp hires Mick to help her track down a killer who is hunting in Chicago, but as Mick slips deeper into Savannah’s paranormal world, he wonders if he can really trust his new client…
When the devil starts the music, you'd better get ready to dance.

Kathleen Murphy has sold her soul to the devil. Fame, fortune, success...everything she's ever dreamed of is hers, and all she has to do is the devil's bidding. When love comes knocking, the last thing in the world she wants to do is involve Jake in her twisted world, but the devil's started up the jukebox and Kathleen has no choice but to learn the steps

THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson
Faulkner Hearne, the captain of the ruthless Fae Hunters, finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture the consort of Faerie’s cruel Prince of Summer when she flees across the veil into modern New Orleans. Can Faulk turn Liandra over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her?
An all-new novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans multiverse.
HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella
A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name.

Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix.

With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong... if it ever can be.

THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan, a Djinn World novella
A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother.

Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?

This is a solid anthology of quality stories. All the authors were new to me except Caine and Khan so it was a great chance to sample some authors I've been meaning to try.

All the stories are considered urban fantasy and there are varying degrees of romance depending on the story. They all have a dark edge to them, some darker than others, but they all have happy ever afters.

Marion, Missing is a noir mystery set during the segregation period, and. P.I. Valentine is a white man and his P.I. partner is Tilde, a black woman. Caine does a great job of touching on the racial tensions of the times and expressing Valentine's deep guilt and eventual forgiveness of himself.

Femme Fatale isn't as complex, and not as dark as the others. It is pretty straightforward with some dark humor.

Dance With the Devil delivered the darkest emotional punch. The plot kept you guessing and your heart will break right along with Kathleen. I was worried there was no way this one could turn out happy, but Megan Hart pulled it off.

The Consort had the most humor and romance. I love fae stories and have always wanted to read Suzanne Johnson's series. It is the world building that attracts me (and sexy fae men, duh!) and this story delivered.

Heart's Blood had a horror element to it. I loved the contrast of the innocence of Nix and Prince Cavan pitted against the evil of Princes Natilde. Well told with a heavy fairy-tale feel.

The Djinn in the Mirror has me wanting to find a magical mirror with my own djinn! Great mixing of an urban setting and djinn mythology. Ashmael is toe-curling sexy and Dahlia is an underdog heroine you can root for and be very jealous of...

At $.99 you would be a fool not to grab this one. Whether you love urban fantasy or PNR, you will find something to love in each story.

4 1/2 "Dark and dangerous" Sheep


$120 Amazon GC & Gothic Lace Choker & Earring Set

All the author bios and links are past the break...

About the Author:
Rachel Caine is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 45 novels to date, and many short stories, including fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, young adult fiction, mystery, thriller, and horror. Her notable series include The Morganville Vampires, Weather Warden, Revivalist, Red Letter Days, and Outcast Season novels. She graduated from Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her first short story was published in 1990, and her first novel in 1991.

After a long career in business (including working as an office manager, payroll manager, insurance investigator, web designer, graphic designer, and corporate communications executive) she began writing full time in 2009.

She and her husband, artist R. Cat Conrad, live and work in Fort Worth, Texas.

About the Author:
Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award . Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.

About the Author:
Megan Hart is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of romance, erotic fiction, mainstream fiction, science fiction and horror, as well as young adult fiction under the name Em Garner.

Hart began writing short horror and science fiction stories in elementary school, then added writing romance in the late nineties. Her first novel, An Exaltation of Larks, was published in 2002, followed by more than thirty novels and dozens of short stories in multiple genres.

Hart writes full time in the deep, dark woods of Pennsylvania and on the sandy shores of Delaware. She can’t stand the feeling of corduroy or the smell of Stargazer lilies, but she loves zombies, rainbows, the internet and the ocean. Find her at

About the Author:
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series for Tor Books, including the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award-winning Elysian Fields. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series for Montlake Romance, including 2013 Holt Medallion Winner for paranormal romance Absolution, as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series, including Lovely, Dark, and Deep, 2015 Holt Medallion winner and 2015 Booksellers Best Award winner for romantic suspense. She starts a new romantic suspense series about Louisiana game wardens, beginning with WILD MAN’S BLUFF in early 2016. Susannah was a finalist for the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards in both 2014 and 2015.

A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, and claims an affinity for SEC football, fried gator on a stick, redneck reality TV, and Prince Christof’s best friend, undead New Orleans pirate Jean Lafitte.

About the Author:
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

About the Author:
Award-winning author Mina Khan grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns, ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. She daydreams of hunky heroes, magic, mayhem and mischief and writes them down as paranormal and fantasy stories. Between stories, she teaches culinary classes and writes for about food for her local newspaper. Other than that, she's raising a family of two children, three cats, three dogs and a husband.

Her first published work, The Djinn's Dilemma, won the novella category of the 2012 Romance Through The Ages (published) contest. A Tale of Two Djinns won the 2013 Readers’ Crown for best paranormal romance. Wildfire, her female dragon shifter, won the 2014 Prism for Best First Novel. A Christmas Wish won the Novella division of the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.


  1. Eeep! LOVE! Ahem...thank you for your thorough and thoughtful review. So glad you enjoyed the anthology! *happy dancing*

  2. Suzanne and Mina stories were my favourite! really this is a great opportunity i love this anthology