Blood Lust by Zoe Winters

Likari’s rating: 3.99

The three novellas in Zoe Winters’ Blood Lust trilogy — Kept, Claimed, and Mated tell the story of how three couples in her world find true love and hook up. The series is a fast-paced and well-done introduction to the world of the Preternaturals series. (The full-length novel Save My Soul will be the next installment.)

You can’t write about Winters’ work without mentioning that she is an indie publisher — see? — and then remarking on how professional her presentation is — see?  Well, she is.  And it is.

I’ve enjoyed all three novellas. The stories are fresh and complex and full of smart humor.  Sentences like “Anthony has minions?” and “Cole didn’t have time to listen to his beta’s excuses.” Hilarious in context, delivered by an excellent story teller.

Oh, and as to the which did I like best question:  Claimed — but only by a hair’s breadth.

I’m so glad I read these novellas. I heartily recommend them all.

Keeper of the Way by Shirin Dubbin

Buy where Shirin Dubbin gets the best deal.

Mainstream Romance: Urban Fantasy, Interracial/Multicultural
ISBN: 978-1-60435-345-7
Cover Artist: Shirin Nicole
Editor: Emmy Ellis
Word Count: 15,540
Release Date: June 04, 2009

I have three nits to pick with Shirin Dubbin’s funny and charming urban fantasy. One, after seeing Cold Comfort Farm a million and two times, I can never take the word “orbs” seriously. But that’s just me. Two — which has nothing to do with Dubbin — I didn’t like Red Rose Press asking me for my birth date and phone number before I could purchase the book. But that really wasn’t a problem, as I just made some numbers up, ha, and then bought the book through PayPal quite easily.

My third nit is serious: This novella was too short! And I don’t mean it was overpriced. I was satisfied with the value. 15K words is short, but $2.99 is barely the equivalent of a decent latte. And there is no fluff here. The story is dense, packed with action and solid description that kept me in all the scenes. Except when I saw “orbs.”

And that’s the problem as well as the virtue in Keeper of the Way. There are great characters and wonderful ideas in this world, and the story is strong enough to justify a novel’s length. Too many concepts are presented in a sentence — or a sentence fragment — that I would love to see develop over chapters.

I will definitely be looking for more of Shirin Dubbin’s work.