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Review: First Blood (anthology)

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First Blood (anthology)
Paranormal Romance, Anthology, Vampires
Mass Market Paperback (BERKLEY, 336 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0425224007
Four all-new stories of forbidden passion and dark desire.
You never forget your first blood...Susan Sizemore returns to the universe of her Laws of the Blood novels with a sizzling story of the relationship between a vampire enforcer and a werewolf.
Erin McCarthy’s Sasha Checkikov flees the bright lights and dangerous slayers of Vegas for New Orleans, where she is saved by a vampire haunted by his past—and hungry for passion.
Set in the Vampire Babylon world, Chris Marie Green’s story puts the bond between twin female vampires to the test when one of them falls for her prey.
Meljean Brook’s vampire Annie Gallagher needs help to save a young human girl, but she doesn’t expect the help to come from the FBI agent she loved—and had to give up— when she was transformed.

Author Site:

Bloody Boring (2 stars)

Before I go any further let me just say that I purchased this anthology because it featured four authors I had not yet read but had an interest in sampling before commiting to buying their series books. I know many other readers purchase anthologies for that same reason and because of that I have given this one a pretty low rating. Why? Because every one of these stories fell into a series that the author already writes without offering enough info about said series to be helpful to someone in my never-read-it-before situation.

Fans of these series will probably love these stories as all were well written and though I've not read these authors outside of other anthologies I feel confident saying these are decent examples of what one can expect in their work.

[CAVE CANEM] by Susan Sizemore is set in the world of her Laws of the Blood series. When a hellhound pup is stolen a vampire and a werewolf partner up to get it back -- I'll admit... after a couple of chapters I had to skim a lot of this one because I didn't understand who the characters were and what was going on half the time. It was intriguing but impossible to enjoy without knowing more about this world/series. 3/5 stars

[RUSSIAN ROULETTE] by Erin McCarthy is a Vegas Vampires tale... set in New Orleans. Sasha Chechikov has had a really unpleasant life made worse by being a newly turned vampire. When she is rescued by Alistair Kirk she's ready to keep on running but her safety depends on his protection. -- I might have liked this one if I had liked the characters even a little bit. They felt one dimensional and that really took away from the story since they spent most of the story dancing around their attraction to one another. 2/5 stars

[DOUBLE THE BITE] by Chris Marie Green is stated to take place in the scope of her Vampire Babylon series. When Ben hits NYC in search of the truth about his brother's mysterious death he tangles with a pair of beautiful twins who seem to know information he needs. Ginny and Geneva might look alike but they give a whole new meaning to the concept of good twin and evil twin. -- I did like the general idea of this story but it was really weak and didn't play out in a fashion that was particularly entertaining. 2/5 stars

[THICKER THAN BLOOD] by Meljean Brook doesn't actually state that it ties into her Guardians series but I'm pretty sure it does loosely as Guardians make a cameo. Annie is a vampire in search of a missing young girl she has sworn to protect but when her need for blood leads her back to the man she deserted six years ago things get more complicated before they get better. -- I liked this one best of the four because it didn't feel as series oriented as the others. I didn't really care for the characters much but the story moved along decently enough I didn't hate it. 3/5 stars

Overall this one just doesn't work for a reader looking to get to know a new author as I was trying to do. The stories all have good potential to entertain but unfortunately seem to all require some knowledge of the series they tie into. Fortunately I'm still interested in these authors based on the quality of writing so I hope that fans of these series will find the stories to be a treat.

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