A mixed bag with a hit for Ward fans

Shadow of the Moon - Sherrilyn Kenyon

DEAD AFTER DARK contains 4 paranormal romance stories, with two from a couple of heavy-weight authors in the genre. This anthology was really hard for me to rate because the stories varied from 5 big stars, to meh, to DNF. I would definitely recommend this to fans of  J.R Ward though, her contribution was excellent and by far the most complete as a stand alone short story.

I’m sure Kenyon’s fans will appreciate her story too, however for myself without any knowledge of her long running series and world rules I was completely lost. Also enjoyable was the historical romance by Susan Squires, who transported me to another time and gave a different twist to the vampire genre.

Never having read anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon (I know, I know she's on the TBR shelf) I was a little surprised by her contribution SHADOW OF THE MOON. I guess I expected to be instantly blown away because Kenyon’s so popular, instead I struggled through a couple of very confusing chapters from a story that I still have no idea what it was all about. Kenyon obviously knows how to write the addictive alpha male but even a sexy shape shifter named Fury wasn’t enough to hold my interest here and I gave up. Sadly this was a bad introduction to Kenyon’s writing and you might have thought for an anthology she would have submitted a story more user friendly (or explained her world a bit more) in the hopes of gaining not excluding new readers. DNF 1 star

I have to admit that I bought this book exclusively for Ward’s STORY OF SON and even though its only 90 pages long it was worth the price of admission alone. This is a fantastic story that I became completely engrossed in within a couple of pages. Encompassing suspense, drama, heartache, romance and OH MY the love scenes are sexy as hell. No wonder there's such a huge following for Michael and Claire. It’s also complete in terms of a world anyone can understand and has a conclusive ending, albeit slightly sweet. Obviously I saw the beginning of the BDB here as it takes place in Ward's same Vampire world. In particular a little story arc that’s very similar to V’s story in Lover Unbound But I won’t tell you why because that’s a major heartbreaking spoiler that I didn‘t see coming either time. Loved it 5 stars
Susan Squires was a new author for me and I really enjoyed her historical in SEIZE THE NIGHT. 1800’s England is captured perfectly here with the story of a man returning home after 15 long years, having made his fortune he hopes to win back his lost love. Scoffing at the rumours that his newly purchased estate may be haunted by a blood drinking ghost until a passionate encounter leaves some very real marks on his neck and a yearning in his soul. I will definitely be searching out more from this author.
4 stars

The last story, Diana Love’s MIDNIGHT KISS GOODBYE was unfortunately another one I couldn’t get into and ultimately just skimmed. A contemporary supernatural romance with a reunited lovers theme and a Hindu god named Ekkbar who keeps possessing the heroes love interest. For whatever reason this just didn’t do it for me.
2 stars