The novella is a wonderful meal for a romance-starved mind, and though it doesn't escape having a proverbial fly in the ointment, it is a delicious to read. Unusual and smoothly written, it blends the serious matters and the witty moments with an effortless ease. Just as Marnie comes to realize that any genre can be poignant; the reader will discover several layers of meaning in the story. With LOVE'S TENDER FURY, MaryJanice Davidson proves she can write angst as well as comedy.
Sandra, a massage therapist on the verge of bankruptcy, doesn't realize that you better BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. Her quiet dreams of excitement come true when after giving a massage to a seedy lawyer, she becomes a witness to a murder attempt. The man named Sean wants to kill the lawyer, and she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sean kidnaps her, whisking her off to South America on board of a private plane that belongs to his friend. Listening to their conversations, Sandra realizes three things. Sean has just escaped a prison in the USA. Sean is involved in a dangerous business. And Sean will have to kill her.
Imprisoned in a luxurious villa deep in the jungle, Sandra feels her heart warming towards Sean, who is torn between the need to keep her and the pressure to get rid of a witness. He has his own secrets, among which are the secret CIA operations.
The story of love developing between Sandra and Sean treads a shaky line between forced seduction and Stockholm Syndrome, yet never really crosses it. Sandra starts out as a gentle woman, then she suddenly blossoms into a bastion of self-confidence. Sean is consistent throughout, a strong, flawed man who isn't above admitting his mistakes, at least from time to time.
In THREADS OF FAITH, a modern witch Marisa is a woman with a wounded heart, wishing for someone to take care of her. And someone appears, and his idea of caring both thrills and excites her. A man appears on her doorstep just in time to save her from the cruelty of the local people, and when she discovers he is here to get a love potion, her heart sinks. Yet he is ready to pay the price for the potion, demanded by the Goddess, which is spending a night with Marisa. Before the night ends, both their lives will be changed forever.
The story relies on the tried and true romance plot, an external power pushing two people to have sex only to make them realize they want to repeat it again and again. Yet, the story is sweet and erotic, and there is a sincerity to Marisa and Conlon's feelings that makes it a pleasure to read.
This anthology features three very different stories by three very different authors. Each story is an interesting take on the subject of wishes, and though some of those wishes are forgotten, none of the stories are forgettable. Their romantic heat and diversity make for a very pleasant read.