Out of the Light, Into the Shadows: Have Mercy / Deal or No Deal / Total Control / Undead Man's Hand
Out of the Light Into the Shadows Have Mercy / Deal or No Deal / Total Control / Undead Man's Hand Author:L. L. Foster, Erin McCarthy, Lori Foster The darkest hour is before the dawn... headlines a sinful new anthology where the dark and light sides of desire collide... Embrace the darkness and experience the light in this all-new anthology filled with touching stories of happily ever after alongside smoldering tales of irresistibly dangerous, otherworldly passion. From bewitching emotions... more » and untamed desire to dazzling romance and tantalizing sensuality, these novellas explore the complex facets of the human heart--both the light side and the dark.
HAVE MERCY by Lori Foster
A young woman with a wealthy older brother discovers she is pregnant after hearing her boyfriend state that he never wants to get married or have children.
DEAL OR NO DEAL by Erin McCarthy
Set in the Vegas Vampires world. Kate is one of two of Tsar Nicolas's children turned vampire by a loyal guard after the royal family has been executed. The guard now poses as her uncle and father to her brother Peter. She starts wearing a mystical necklace given to her mother by Rasputin, which brings evil into their lives.
TOTAL CONTROL by L. L. Foster aka Lori Foster.
Brax Jardine (brother of Mercedes in the first story) discovers his secretary, Cameo, is resistant to the "mind control" he can use on most people. He has hopes she will save him from the madness which is usually the end for those in his family with the powers.
UNDEAD MAN'S HAND by Erin McCarthy.
Same people as the second story. A serial killer brings a attractive Vegas detective to the door to question Peter (the other of the Tsar's children, turned vampire when he was 13) who might be a witness to the latest murder. « less
1. Have Mercy by Lori Foster.
2. Deal or No Deal by Erin McCarthy
3. Total Control by L. L. Foster aka Lori Foster
4. Undead Man's Hand by Erin McCarthy
The stories are related, which I was very happy to find out. After reading Foster's story about Mercy I definately wanted to read more about her brother Brax and his admin asst Cameo which is covered by her story Total Control. I'd like to read more about the family - Uncle Amos was introduced in Total Control.
The Erin McCarthy stories are related to her Vegas Vampires series of books. I've read 3 books in this series so I was pleasantly surprised to read about characters I knew.
Hope this helps you decide if you'd like to order this book. The back cover info doesn't give a reader much to go by.
I really enjoyed the Foster stories (steamy!) and the second McCarthy entry was good (vampire guy, human female police officer) but her first offering about the "lost" children of the tsar from the Russian revolution just didn't do it for me. The characters from each pair of stories overlap, which is nice, and the hero in Total Control possesses superpowers, which I always think is a fun touch. A good escapist read.
Lori Fosters stories are about a brother and sister:
"Have Mercy" is about Mercedes, sister to Brax. She falls in love and accidentally becomes pregnant only to find out that Wyatt has no interest in being married or being a father. The story was okay but a bit boring. This is the only story in here with no paranormal elements.
Brax's story is "Total Control." In the male lines of Brax family, they have the power to control others. He finds that Cameo, his assistant of five years, has some resistance to his power. He thinks she is the one who will be able to save him from mental breakdown that usually awaits the males of his family. Of course she has to save him through lots of sex. The beginning is completely convoluted. The writing style is awful, like Foster is trying to decide if she wants this to be a flowery Anne Rice story or not. But later on the story, she abandons the style and writes like she normally does making it much easier to enjoy. There are some scenes that are annoying like the way Brax violated her to prove a point or to protect her. Personally, I don't think there I would want to be in a relationship where ultimately the man has control over me physically. I've read books that have that component (like Feehan's Dark series or Keri Arthurs's Werewolf Creek series) but for some reason those series manages to make it sexy most of the time but Foster wasn't able to that here. In this story, Brax just seems to be a controlling jerk that doesn't respect Cameo's ability to make good choices. It does get better as the story goes and Brax does end up being a decent guy. Cameo is a pretty awesome character. I like that despite she knows she can't win with Brax she still tries to kick his butt when he acts like an idiot. For me, Cameo and the introduction of the serial rapist they have to hunt saved the story for me.
Erin McCarthy's stories are based on her Vegas vampire series:
If you have read some of her Vampire series, the stories aren't as much of a surprise because she alluded to them them in her books. These stories are linked to Maria and Peter who escaped execution in Russia with the help of a vampire guard named Nick. They are the children of Tsar Nicholas. Fast forward about a hundred years and Maria is now a black jack dealer named Kate. Nick is a bodyguard pretending to be Kate's Uncle and Peter's father. Poor Peter is like a hundred years old and stuck in a 13 year old's body.
In "Deal or No Deal" Kate puts on a magical family necklace and it brings evil Rasputin and her estranged/backstabbing fiance back into her life. Like Foster's first story this one is just too short and quick. It is just okay. It wasn't very interesting. What happens to Rasputin is slightly amusing but the story is really kind of flat.
"Undead Man's Hand" focuses on Nick. A serial killer brings Detective Jordan Walters to his door to question his "autistic" son, Peter who might be a witness. This story is a bit better and much like McCarthy's other books. I don't know if I would buy Peter being able to pass for autistic though. It was great to see the old characters from her books again but it's not much of a mystery who the killer is if she have read her other books. I really like Nick and Jordan's characters though and it makes up or it.
Overall, I wasn't really impressed with this anthology. It's worth the read if you are fans of Foster and McCarthy and want to read everything they have written. I wouldn't spend real money on the book though. Get it from a library or here as a swap.