Authors: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane
Series: Kate Daniels #6.5; SPI Files #0.5
Released: November 25th 2015
Length: 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark...New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms .
Night Shift is an anthology comprised of four stories by two urban fantasy and two paranormal romance authors. I’ve only read the urban fantasy parts since paranormal romance still gives me severe allergies, but the two stories I have read, Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews and Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin are completely worth the price of this book.
Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews: I expect nothing short of perfection from Ilona and Gordon, and rightfully so. Magic Steals focuses on Jim and Dali, during the time Kate and Curran had spent chasing the panacea in Europe. This is not the first Jim and Dali novella so the two are already a couple, but they are weighed down by Dali’s insecurities and Jim’s position with the pack.
There were times when I intensely disliked Jim and some of the choices he’s made along the way, but Magic Steals shows us a whole new side of him. I didn’t think the man had a romantic bone in his body, but he is a completely different person with Dali, someone who actually knows how to relax and have fun. He is also a very smart guy, which is no news to us, and he has to be to attract someone like Dali. For her part, Dali is portrayed like a real badass in this novella, not so much physically, but certainly magically. Her exact role was previously unclear, but as we learn more, our respect for her grows significantly.
In short, this novella is not to be missed by Kate Daniels fans. Kate and Curran are completely absent, but Jim and Dali are worthy replacement. The action and mythological background are extraordinary, as one would expect from this writing pair. The anthology is worth buying for this story alone.
Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin is a prequel of sorts to her SPI Files series. I read The Grendel Affair earlier this year and loved it, which made this story even more entertaining to read. We see Makenna Frazier on her first day working for the SPI as a seer. She and her reluctant partner/bodyguard Ian, along with a team of SPI agents, have to locate a leprechaun prince who doesn’t want to be found and prevent a conflict with the goblins while doing it. Mac is given no time to adjust to her new job. The mission is extremely important and since she’s the only one who can recognize the leprechauns even under glamour, her participation is essential.
Shearin’s worldbuilding relies on very familiar creatures and myths. These days, I like to be exposed to something new and unexplored. In this, all urban fantasy authors should take lessons from Ilona Andrews. But even with dragons and leprechauns, goblins and werewolves, Shearin built a full picture that is wildly entertaining. This series is extremely promising and this story makes it even more so, but I’ll reserve my final judgment for January 2015, when the second book comes out.
Overall, Kate Daniels fans, Nalini Singh fans, you know you won’t be able to resist. I’ll probably read Nalini Singh’s story at some point, even with my allergies to paranormal romance.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.