Wild & Steamy
Meljean Brook, Jill Myles & Carolyn Crane
Published: Aug. 2, 2011
Purchase at: Amazon
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
“Blushing Bounder” by Meljean Brook (3 stars)
Meljean Brook’s story is set in her Iron Seas world, before the events of The Iron Duke. We get to learn how Constable Newton ended up in London and learn about his wife. He and the missus are Bounders — what the London folk call those who skipped to the New World when the Horde invaded only to return after the fact with the audacity to look down their noses at Londoners. Temperance and the Constable aren’t those Bounders, they just don’t know better. She’s constantly afraid of the bugs — tiny machines — that keep Londoners healthy. And the machines graphed on to their flesh (fancy prostheses), make her incredibly uncomfortable.
The crux of this story is Temperance’s belief that her husband tricked her into marrying him and is an all around bastard. (He’s not.) Both have a big sense of propriety and — to the shock of everyone — have only ever kissed. Once. The writing is, of course, on point, but it takes “Blushing Bounder” quite some time to build up. I kept waiting for the love or the action, and it took longer to get there than I’d hoped. I liked getting the insight into the Constable, though, and fans of the Iron Seas will like glimpses of other characters.
“Vixen” by Jill Myles (4 stars)
If you’re read much of Jill Myles’ books, you know the woman can bring the heat. Really, her story “Vixen” is the key to the Steamy in Wild & Steamy. If you thought the sex scenes in her Succubus Diaries books lifted your eyebrows, you are in for a treat. This story focuses a kitsune (a.k.a. were-fox) named Miko. She’s long fought her were-fox nature, which causes her sex drive to kick up every time a potential mate is around. It ruins relationships, because she needs more than one person. And she does not want to be like her mother, flitting from one man to the next. So, she moved out into the middle of nowhere. She avoids people and is able to run through the woods in her fox form. That is until the locals decide to start fox hunting. Miko’s mom sends two total hotties to her house as bodyguards.
Miko keeps the boys in line and teases the hell out of them by way of a cruel game of strip poker. Menage action is involved. “Vixen” is fun and very sexy. Romance readers will delight in it.
“Kitten-Tiger and The Monk” by Carolyn Crane (4 stars)
Carolyn Crane gives us serious insight into The Monk, one of the most dangerous and elusive members of the Disillusionists, in her story “Kitten-Tiger and The Monk.” Known for his ability to push his utter despair, loneliness and hopelessness into others, The Monk’s identity and location have always been kept secret. Sophia is riddled with guilt. She’s a memory revisionist, and she’s abused the skill. In politics she’s managed to create eye-witnesses to events that never happened, change history. And she did it to the one person she loved most, Robert. He’d been so talented, and she’d made him think no one wanted him. Stole away opportunities, because her goals took prescendence. And that choice haunts her. So, she seeks out The Monk. She wants to be rebooted. She wants him to fill her with despair so she can start over. And the one person who can lead her to him turns out to be Robert. And he’s on to her.
Expect an impressive amount of emotional upheaval for a shorter tale. Of the three stories, Crane’s “Kitten-Tiger and The Monk” has the most depth and had me clenching at my chest at the riveting ending. Maybe I just like heroes and heroines who hate themselves, then find redemption. Not sure, but those who like the darker love stories (and fans of the Disillusionist books) will enjoy reading Crane’s novella.
Sexual content: It is called Wild & Steamy… sex scenes, references to sex and a three-way.