Heart of Darkness is a collection of three short stories by three paranormal romance writers.
First up is, The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter which takes place in her Lords of the Underworld series. It doesn’t have much to do with the Lords though. In fact, eliminating their sections would have made things flow so much better since their parts did not contribute at all to the actual plot.
The story follows an angel, Lysander, who falls in love with a harpy named Bianka. Lysander feels an attraction to Bianka that he has never felt before. This leads him to believe that she is his temptation to fall. So he kidnaps her with the intention of turning her away from the dark side.
One thing I really disliked, was how the conflict of Lysander being ashamed of Bianka was resolved. It came out of nowhere since we never saw any evidence to support the turning point that Showalter inserted near the end. This made the ending feel rushed and like a cop-out. All in all though, this was probably my favorite story out of the three.
Individual rating: 4/5
Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne is up next and it was by far the worst out of the three. This one bored me to death. It started off like a Stephen King book where a group of men reunite in the small town where something traumatizing happened when they were teens. That traumatizing event is that they accidentally burnt down a building resulting in a girl their age being killed. But now they’ve all been visited by the dead girl who each believes is her ghost out for revenge. If this was a King story the ghost would really be after them and the rest of the story would read like It. However, this is a romance, so really it’s the reincarnation of the girl the boys killed. She’s been having dreams about her past life and comes to the small town for answers. Through doing this, she scares the crap out of the men and accidents occur until the hero of the story chases her down and demands answers. This story just really did not hold my attention at all. The characters were dull and the plot was extremely rushed.
Individual rating: 2
Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard is the last story in the series. It wasn’t bad, but it just felt out of place in this anthology. Lady Tameri believes she’s the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian princess and Leo, an archeologist, is hell bent on saving her from her delusions. Leo’s reasoning for sticking his nose in Tameri’s business is that he had a relative who had similar delusions which lead to a suicide. Believing that he can save Tameri from the same fate, Leo sets out to help her. This was a pretty smooth story. Krinard uses Egyptian mythology fairly well and there’s an interesting antagonist who keeps things from getting dull.
Individual rating: 3/5