Tristan holds great guilt inside of him for the death of his younger brother. He feels unworthy of a woman such as Sophie and as such refuses to fall in love. Until Sophie, though, this was a pretty easy thing to do. In a matter of minutes, Tristan is ensnared by this beguiling woman and can’t seem to keep his hands, and his tattoo needle, off of her.
Each character in Eden Bradley’s THE ART OF DESIRE, has issues concerning love and acceptance. Guilt plays a big part in their lives where there are two constants – their desire for tattoos and their desire for each other. Tristan and Sophie’s love is timeless and no matter how much they fight the emotion each feels for the other, the end result is two halves becoming whole.
Hex is a member of a paranormal society that investigates ghost sightings and strives to capture those images on film. He enjoys his work and while he can’t tell anyone what he does, his cover as a professional photographer makes him more than enough to live on. Having received a call from super model Brenna St. James and subsequently ignored it, Hex is surprised to find himself outside her home in the middle of the night. When he hears her scream, he must find out what is wrong.
What good is a cover model that can’t be photographed? Her career in shambles, flat broke, and desperately in need of a job, Brenna St. James telephoned and left a message for Hex, a famous photographer, but he never returned her call. Brenna has not been in a focused picture in months because she is being haunted and undermined by a ghost in her home. Screaming her frustration, her savior arrives in the form of Hex, the man she urgently needs in order to jump start her career.
SHADOW PLAY by Sydney Croft explores the supernatural world of ghosts and the phenomena of house haunting. Hex and Brenna each are affected by ghosts and unexplained occurrences and while Hex accepts his paranormal abilities and even makes a career out of them, Brenna does not. Made fun of and forced to bear witness to her mother’s idiosyncrasies as a child, Brenna just wants the entity gone so that she can move on with her life and become once again the model she is famous for being.
Catie Lanford has a huge problem on her hands. She was the sole beneficiary of her uncle’s ramshackle bar and wants nothing more than to get it profitable again and sell it. Hiring a cooler, a professional ‘butt kicker’, to come in and slap the bar into shape, Catie doesn’t count on his abilities to seduce her. As an artist, Catie has a plan. She wants to finish art school before moving forward with her career. While she loves and desires the time she and her hired man spend together, she knows that in the end, they are not meant for each other. Or are they?
Bat Kelly has seen his share of bars and barroom brawls. An ex soldier turned cooler, he requires money up front and complete control. Seeing Catie in the middle of a bar fight the first night on the job makes his plans change. When she spills the beans and confesses to her deception for hiring him, Bat knows he should pick up stakes and head out. But he can’t. It seems that Miss Catie Lanford has gotten under his skin though he knows she has plans and a life waiting on her. He refuses to stand in her way and even goes so far as to make her dream a reality. What happens when Catie leaves? Will Bat let her go?
NIGHT VISION by Stephanie Tyler is risqué and steamy. Bat and Catie both know that falling in love is not in either of their plans and while they fight their feelings every step of the way, the one thing they agree upon is the most important. They desire each other to the point of obsession and until it is time for Catie to return to school, they are going to grasp every moment together as if it is their last.
When three authors come together to write an anthology, I always worry about whether or not I am going to like one story more than another. In HOT NIGHTS, DARK DESIRES I should have known better. Each novella in this fabulously written anthology is worthy of the 5 Blue Ribbons I gave the entire novel. Eden Bradley’s well written first segment, THE ART OF DESIRE, is deliciously frank in its sex appeal and I found myself squirming in my seat more than once at the sweltering love scenes and beautiful emotions of the characters. SHADOW PLAY by Sydney Croft grabbed my attention first off with the hero’s name. Ironic to say the least, Hex is the perfect name, at least in my book for a hero that can photograph ghosts. The fact that he seems to ‘hex’ his heroine didn’t slip by me as well. Hex and Brenna come together in a burst of steam hot enough to melt wax and I loved watching their lives become perfectly entwined. NIGHT VISION by Stephanie Tyler knocked my socks off with Bat Kelly and his naughtiness. Full of life and not afraid to reach for what he wants even though he knows he’ll have to let her go, Bat made my heart pound. Together these two strong characters forged their way into my heart and I loved every minute.
HOT NIGHTS, DARK DESIRES is a delight and one that I will read more than once. Each novella contained in this anthology is well written and certifiably hotter than a firecracker. Grab the ice, turn on the air conditioner, and sit back and enjoy this tremendous anthology!