Title: Things that Go Bump in the Night
Author: BA Tortuga
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 340 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Anthology
At a Glance: Overall, these were good stories, some better than others, and something nice to read when you didn’t have a lot of time for a full-length book.
Reviewed By: Kel
Blurb: This collection of paranormal erotica will give you goose bumps, make you shiver, and keep you up at night… though maybe not with fear.
In these tales are Alpha werewolves, a literal cat burglar, a cougar-shifter with self-esteem issues, a blind vampire, a wounded angel, a psychic, and more… and they like to play with their prey. From humorous to dark, these stories show there’s a perfect lover out there for everyone, no matter who—or what—they are. With their mates by their sides, they’re heating up the world unseen by most… and making lots of things go bump in the night.
This is a collection of stand-alone short stories that are in the paranormal genre. There’s a nice choice of stories here, so you can find one that you like, though there are more shifter stories than any others.
Guapo, Home Fires, Ring My Bell and The Mind’s Eye are my favorites of the group and the ones I’d love to see expanded on or be made into a series. Guapo involves Dieter, a bored, blind vampire and his intended prey, Mago. I love the idea of a blind vampire and how he must compensate but is still more capable than a human. Mago is sweet and kind and brings happiness into Dieter’s life. I really wanted to see them make it and have a Happily Ever After (HEA).
Home Fires nearly broke my heart. Houston left his mate to search for something he thought he was missing. While he was gone, he was kidnapped, tortured and experimented on, barely escaping back to Jackson. Since the romance is already established between the two men, the quickness of them falling back in love is believable. Jackson shows what a kind person he is, helping Houston heal but also showing him that love is still possible. Houston gives Jackson the love he’s been missing while his mate was gone.
Ring My Bell is my most favorite because it has a snarky, foul-mouthed angel, Gaz, who is banished to Earth where he meets Collin. Collin finds him naked and hurt in the middle of the road and helps him heal. The two hit it off and while it starts as sex, it blooms into something more. I’d love to see more of Gaz and the world, maybe even other angels coming to Earth. The romance between the two is good and believable and made me want more.
The Mind’s Eye concerns Jake, who is forced to find Keye to kill him or be killed himself. Jake had an accident and now can read the thoughts of humans and animals, and it has slowly started to make him crazy. Keye is a hired killer and even though he doesn’t believe Jake at first, he eventually does. He’s a strong character and works really well with Jake’s character. I would love to see more of the two of them, of Jake’s past and how he’s managed to survive with his ability. The romance with these two seems almost too fast but in a way, it also fits.
Instinctive Harmony, Pinyon and Cats in a China Shop are all sweet stories with strong characters but work best as short stories. Instinctive Harmony seemed like it was hard to pin down the time period it takes place in, though that could just be me too. I didn’t mind that I couldn’t decide when it takes place; it adds to the mystery. You feel bad for Connor since he’d been held captive for a very long time, forced to fight and nearly starved. When Adrian helps him, you can tell that Adrian is a very kind and caring person, just the person Connor needs in his life.
Pinyon involves Stirling, a Forest Ranger, who finds a starving wolf shifter at his door that turns out to be someone he didn’t think could shift, Tanner. The romance between the two is slow as Stirling tries to help Tanner understand what’s happening to him and how to control when he shifts. They work well together and both characters are fleshed out enough that you care what happens to them.
Cats in a China Shop has Brock finding his mate, Clay, whom he thought he’d lost fifteen years ago. He’s shocked to see Clay hiding his true self because of what happened to him and his family, with his and Brock’s pack when he was younger. You can tell Brock really cares for Clay, wanting him to be comfortable with himself and not hide away anymore. He’s exactly what Clay needs to grow into a stronger person while Clay gives Brock the love he’d been missing for so long.
The weakest story of the bunch, in my opinion, was Bad for Business. While not necessarily a bad story, it seemed like the story was focused more on sex than plot. I did like that Julian, a cat shifter, was a thief and that Thayne, another cat shifter, was the cop chasing him. The romance was almost instantaneous, and I couldn’t quite figure out why they were together, other than the sex. Julian and Thayne had potential to be great characters, but they seemed a little one-dimensional and lacking. Maybe the author could give this one another go, do some tweaking, it might end up being a stronger story with more enjoyable characters.
Overall, these were good stories, some better than others, and something nice to read when you didn’t have a lot of time for a full-length book. I would love to see some of them turned into either a full book, or even a series, but I enjoyed most of them either way.
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