Hexed - Ilona Andrews, Allyson James, Yasmine Galenorn, Jeanne C. Stein

Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
Rating: 5

Love love loved this short story by Andrews. Magic Dreams is set in the Kate Daniel's world, but centered on the side characters Dali and Jim. Dali is a really quirky character. She's a vegetarian white tiger shifter who can't stand the taste of blood. When Dali comes home one night she discovers Jim, jaguar shifter and chief of the Pack's security, asleep on her bedroom floor. Everything about Jim screams "mate" to her, but he seems to only notice her when she's done something wrong. So, finding him napping in her bedroom means something is wrong. Soon Dali finds herself racing to figure out what is plaguing Jim before it's too late.

I've re-read this story several times since I bought this book. For being only about 70 pages long this is a pretty detailed story. Several shifters have turned up missing and everything about their disappearance screams magic is the cause. Since Dali is the only shifter who's well-versed in magic, Jim seeks out her help. Dali was a refreshing narrator primarily because she doesn't rely on her physical fighting skills. Instead, she's forced to use her intelligence and magic abilities, which is a nice contrast to Kate. My only complaint is that this wasn't a full length novel, but I'm excited to see if the rumors about Jim and Dali getting their own book are true. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Ice Shards by Yasmine Galenorn
Rating: 2

Ice Shards wasn't my cup of tea. I ended-up skimming a lot of it. I don't even remember much about the plot except that Iris was accused of murdering her ex-lover and was stripped of her powers. A few centuries later she goes on a quest to confront him, so that she can marry her new lover. The world here was really vague. It had a couple of interesting elements, but I just couldn't bring myself to get attached to any of the characters. I probably won't be picking up any of Galenorn's novels in the future.

Double Hexed by Allyson James
Rating: 3

Double Hexed is part of James' Stormwalker series. Never read any of those books, so this was a bit of an introduction. James' has a nice writing style, but the plot here was a little dull. It reminded me of the creative writing exercise where you trap a bunch of characters in a room and see how they react to each other. In this story, James' traps her main characters in a hotel and puts them at each others throats. The heroine, Janet, struggles to figure out a way to break the curse detaining them amidst all the tension. The story was entertaining enough that I'll probably eventually pick up the first Stormwalker book.

Blood Debt by Jeanne C. Stein
Rating: 2

Another one that didn't really capture my attention. Anna is a vampire/bounty hunter who was hired by some witches to kill someone. That kill has come back to bite her on the ass though. Anna accidentally broke sanctuary and is now facing trial for the crime. The trial was interesting, but the development of a relationship here seemed really rushed. Also, I couldn't really get a feel for any of the characters in the story. However, Stein's writing style was nice and the world seemed interesting. I might pick up the first book in the Anna Strong series eventually.