Originally, I got this for Kenyon's short novel, "Phantom Lover", which fits into the Dark-Hunter series, technically after Night Embrace. It serves as an introduction to Dream-Hunters, but I found it lacked something. There are no spoilers, and reading it out of order didn't seem to matter too much. Mainly, it's interesting as a sort of early concept-piece. The Dream-Hunter concept is developed further, and with more consistency, in later novels, especially The Dream-Hunter.
I found Amanda Ashley's "Darkfest" drew me in more, with its blend of fantasy and romance, but the ending was a little anticlimactic. It was almost as if it wanted to be much longer, but an axe-wielding editor chopped it to fit the anthology.
Maggie Shayne's entry, "Under Her Spell", was a bit didactic on Wiccan ritual in places, but still provided adequate interest, and there is plenty of action at the climax of the story.
I thought the best entry in this anthology was Ronda Thompson's "A Wulf's Curse", part of the Wulfs of London series (which I am now going to have to read). This was the only story I literally did not want to put down.
All in all, it's interesting for the series tie-ins, but not stellar. Fans of each author will probably want to read it, if for no other reason than to "complete" the series.
Inside Flap Copy
Darkfest by Amanda Ashley
The price of saving her dying mother is Channa's promise to spend a year at the castle of tormented nobleman, Lord Darkfest...to obey him as his servant or, as his secrets are revealed, to become his salvation. And her own.
Phantom Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Haunted by recurring nightmares of terrifying beasts, Erin McDaniels is afraid to sleep-until a hero arrives in her dreams to save her...and makes erotic, incredible love to her. But can she find him again when she is awake?
Under Her Spell by Maggie Shayne
A consultant for a TV series about one gorgeous witch, "white witch" Melissa St. Cloud plans to make the show authentic. But once on the set she is pulled into the arms of a man who opens up a doorway to the darkside and chilling peril.
A Wulf's Curse by Ronda Thompson
Running away from an arranged marriage, Elise steals aboard a wagon in a traveling circus and finds herself in the bed of the Beast Master, Sterling Wulf, who is something other than he seems...and suddenly all Elise desires.
Anthology by Amanda Ashley, Maggie Shayne, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Ronda Thompson. Kenyon's story fits in with the Dream Hunter/Dark Hunter series. Rhonda Thompson's is part of the Wulf's of London series. All good stories.
The Wild Wulfs of London meet the 4 plus one brothers. Armond, Gabriel, Jackson, and Sterling. Then theres Merrick.
Sterlings Story: A Wulfs Curse in Midnight Pleasures
Armonds Story: The Dark One
Jacksons Story: The Untamed One
Merricks Story: The Forgotten One in Love at First Bite
Gabriels Story: The Cursed One (Rondas last book published before her death)
4 stories by popular authors. The book is good, but not great. Ashley's story was reminiscent of the beauty and the bast fairy tale. Kenyon's story was the best of the bunch. Thompson's story was interesting. Shayne's story was about witches, I skimmed it.
I read half of the first story and thought it rambled and was a thouroughly pointless read. I skipped to the beginning of the second story and wasn't drawn in by that story either. I was eager to get it off my shelf.
Handsome and sensual, surrounded by an aura of danger, mystery, and the forbidden, a lover steps from the shadows. But is he mortal? Or is he an ancient god, a sorcerer, or a mythical beast who can possess a woman's heart...and her very soul?
Four of romance's most popular authors have created this spellbinding collection of stores filled with dark passion and desire. Under the cover of darkness, their heroes inhabit worlds haunted by ageless hungers and deadly forces stronger than any seen by day...and vanquished only by the power of love.
Now travel into realms where dazzling wonders roam the night, where magic replaces reason, and where a kiss unleashes a raging fire in the blood. And here, if you dare, discover the seduction that begins at the bewitching hour when a man and woman partake in...Midnight Pleasures.