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…
DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Megan Hart
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.
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?
The first story by Rachel Caine was quite shocking from the outset as it's set in a time of segregation and prejudice but as usual this top notch author delivers a story both interesting and poignant. Think more Sam Spade and less Harper Lee in terms of style.
Now the second story by Cynthia Eden most definitely had the Maltese Falcon vibe running through it with a detective meeting a very seductive client but she is far from ordinary, because she's a vampire! Loved the hero Mick and the twist at the end.
Megan Hart is a new author to me but her take on selling your soul to the devil and the consequences was an interesting one. The one thing guaranteed is that old Lucifer is very good at playing tricks and taking advantage of the unwary but sometimes even he can make mistakes.
Another new author to me, Suzanne Johnson, has written The Consort and I really liked this story. A strong heroine who is unafraid to take chances and a Fae hero caught up in a brewing war. If you enjoy stories involving "The Hunt" then this romantic adventure will surely get you itching to read more from Ms Johnson.
Hearts Blood is by another new to me author, Jeffe Kennedy, and this time the Fae element seemed a tad underused. A young princess bargains for her life with disastrous consequences. Luckily not everyone is fooled and yes, there's a happy ending but I'm still left reeling. Although as a new take on the fabled Goose Girl story, it was an entertaining idea.
The final story is by Mina Khan and had great pace, an unlikely hero, and enough romance to satisfy me. The heroine, Dahlia, is in a very difficult situation and makes a bargain with a Djinn but there's more than one simple story here and the author has crafted a very well written and engaging tale.
Okay, now of course I have favourites and I'm not sure that paranormal noir correctly describes all these short stories but there is a slightly dark outlook to all of them. It was a lovely way to discover a couple of new authors, although I'm not sure if these stories are typical of their main body of work. Still if you purchase at the introductory price, then it's clearly a bargain!
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.