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Review: Marked (anthology)

Marked (anthology) by Kit Rocha, Lauren Dane, Vivian Arend
Anthology, Dystopian, Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Futuristic
Ebook $2.99 (414 pages, SELFPUBLISHED)
Three stories of passion, possession, and ink.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Dane takes you into a brand new world in ALL THAT REMAINS. Summer Killian falls fast and hard when Charlie arrives in Paradise Village. But the heat turns all the way up when she learns Charlie is also with Hatch -- the man she loved four years before. While she's not sure she's cut out for a triad, neither man is going to give her up. (Metamorphosis Series, #1)
Take a ROCKY RIDE with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Vivian Arend as she leads you back to the Six Pack Ranch. Anna Coleman might be the law around Rocky Mountain House, but bad boy Mitch Thompson knows that under the stiff RCMP uniform is a woman with a passion for speed and pleasure that matches his own, and he's not giving up until she's his. (Thompson & Sons, #1 -- a Coleman Cowboys spin-off series)
Kit Rocha returns to Sector Four in BEYOND TEMPTATION. A promise to a dying friend backfires when Noah Lennox finds that the girl he was supposed to rescue is all grown up -- and wearing O'Kane ink. He wants to protect her from the secrets of their past, but she wants him. And an O'Kane woman always gets what she wants. (Beyond #3.5, set between Beyond Pain and Beyond Jealousy)

The trouble with anthologies... (2 stars)

It's been a long while since I sat down to read an anthology and unfortunately this one reminded me why I'm not a big fan of them. Of the three authors I've only regularly read Kit Rocha but had previously read a holiday themed short Vivian Arend had been in with Rocha's pseudonym, Moira Rogers. I figured I was going to be just fine since I'd been curious about Arend's further work and have heard Dane's is super sexy. Well, here's the rundown...

BEYOND TEMPTATION by Kit Rocha, finally tells us just where exactly Emma came from and what her relationship is with Noah. I'd been curious to see the lady as the O'Kane after the previous three stories but unfortunately I really disliked both Emma and Noah. That rarely happens to me! It also felt very removed from the O'Kane world for some reason—the short format might have had something to do with it. I was left feeling pretty blasé about the entire story. Not one I would recommend as an introduction to the Beyond series. (3 stars)

ROCKY RIDE by Vivian Arend, felt really silly from the get-go. I got the impression immediately that the only way I was going to like Mitch or Anna was if I'd read the series this is supposed to be a spin-off of. Too much was left unexplained and I quickly found myself skimming to get through all the mentions of characters that you'd obviously have met if you were a regular reader of Arend's books. (1 star)

ALL THAT REMAINS by Lauren Dane, opens a new series and has a pretty cool set-up for a post-apocalyptic type world. I was definitely digging the world building but found myself quickly lost in the ridiculous melodrama of the menage between Hatch, Charlie, and Summer. I tried to like them, I really did. if you don't mind characters with zero chemistry getting their sexy times on you might enjoy it, but I found the lack of chemistry and wangst just grated my nerves. I might check out more from Dane because I think her world building was great but I was so glad to be rid of these characters when this story ended. (2 stars)

As sometimes happens with anthologies, I think this one is best read by readers who already like and are familiar with the work of all three authors. I think it's a MUST to have read Arend and Rocha's series these fall into to really appreciate them in particular. I hate myself for not liking this collection because I really wanted to. Instead, I'll just recommend coming to this one after you're a well established reader of these authors as a group.

Other Reviews:

Notes: ARC received via author.

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