"Four fantastic very different paranormal Christmas stories!"
In our first story in this anthology, "Stroke of
Enticement" by Nalini Singh, we have the opportunity to
revisit the world of the Psy and Changelings. Personally, I
love this world. The cat in this story is Zach Quinn, a
member of the DarkRiver pack and forest ranger.
When Annie Kildare was a young child, she was involved in an
accident which left her with a limp. In her hospital bed,
all alone, Annie wrote a letter to Santa, asking for a
friend, someone who will be hers and hers alone and won't
leave her. Now all grown up, Annie is a teacher and her
students consist of both human and Changelings. When one of
her students—a Changeling—gets into trouble for hitting
another, weaker boy, Annie schedules a conference after
school. Instead of the boy's parents, "Uncle Zach" shows up.
One hundred percent well-built, handsome, male cat. Of
course, Annie has no intentions of getting involved with any
man, much less a Changeling. Not after the example of her
Zach takes one look at Annie and knows she is his mate. Will
he be able to convince her of this? Will the two of them
have a chance at a relationship?
The second story, "Christmas Bree" by Erin McCarthy,
takes us to a totally different world. One of witches and
magic. Now facing the first Christmas in her grandmother's
house without her grandmother, witch Bree is with her
sisters reminiscing over the past. She's thinking about the
spell they all cast on some mistletoe for her older
sister—now happily married, by the way. The fact she's been
having some rather X-rated dreams about an attorney she met
briefly the previous year couldn't be responsible for
bringing these thoughts up though. And there's her cat,
Akasha, with said mistletoe in her mouth. When her sister
tells Bree she will be meeting a man with a pink shirt that
wants to sleep with her, Bree doesn't believe it. Not until
said man knocks on the door anyway.
Now that she's finally met the man she's been dreaming about
in the flesh, will Bree let him go? Or will she grab this
chance for happiness?
"Sweet Dreams" by Linda Winstead Jones takes us once
again to a totally different world. One of soul-stealing
demons and prophetic dreams. The cat is this story is a
small jade statue. One Ruby Kincaid receives from a "secret
admirer" during the annual neighborhood Christmas party.
Since she's already received her gift, she has no idea where
this cat came from.
Surprisingly, Professor Zane Benedict knows exactly what the
statue is, but he also has no idea where it came from. Turns
out a demon has been imprisoned in this statue. Zane is a
member of a secret brotherhood determined to destroy the
demon Il Gatto Nero and the fact the statue is now in Ruby's
possession tells him she is next in line to have her soul
stolen. With this victim—the ninth—the demon will once again
walk the earth. Zane has sworn not to let this happen.
Will Zane be able to save both the world and Ruby? Will Ruby
allow Zane to help her?
The final story in our anthology, "Christmas Heat" by
Lora Leigh, takes us into the world of the Breeds. A world
of genetically altered beings, trained, not raised with
love. Our cat, Breed enforcer Noble Chavin knows librarian
Haley McGuire is his mate, but he has resisted claiming her.
He's determined to have her, but it must be her choice. When
Haley overhears something she shouldn't, the first person
she goes to is Noble. After an explosion at the library
where Haley works, taking out two of Haley's friends, Noble
determines to keep Haley safe—regardless of the Breed
Council. Of course, this also gives him the opportunity to
see if Haley will accept the fact she is his mate or not.
Will Noble be able to keep Haley safe from all harm? Will
Haley continue to resist Noble?
The Magical Christmas Cat is a fantastic holiday
anthology. These four authors have written very different
stories, but they all have three things in common—they all
take place around Christmas; they all feature very different
types of cats; and they all feature a love meant to be. I
absolutely adored getting to visit all these different
worlds with all their different types of characters in one
book. As if that isn't enough of a good thing, I loved the
way the women turned out to be a bit more capable than the
men gave them credit for. These four stories will have you
laughing out loud, grabbing something to cool you down, and
letting out a big, heartfelt sigh at the end. This is one
anthology I very highly recommend reading.
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted September 30, 2008