Belong To The Night
Belong To The Night by Shelly Laurenston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Belong to the night is an anthology containing stories by Shelly Laurenston, Cynthia Eden and Sherrill Quinn.

The first story and the reason that I bought the book is The Wolf, The Witch and Her Lack of Wardrobe, the second in the Long Island Coven series. The first can be found in the Sun, Sand, Sex anthology that I reviewed last month.

Time has passed and it is now six months further on and Jamie’s coven has settled quite nicely in town and in addition to running the hotel has enmeshed themselves into local community. All except for Jamie herself. Jamie isn’t interested in settling but wants to pursue power even to the extent of trying to become a champion to a Celtic goddess.

Tully Smith on the other hand, mayor of the town is absolutely settled and is perfectly happy with where he is and where he is going. So much so that he walks everywhere and to Jamie’s consternation, doesn’t even own a TV.

And as mayor, he is asked to keep a close eye on Jamie given that she’s already poisoned the lake (which she cleaned up) and set fire to the woods (which she put out). Not such a hardship given that he’s already doing something of the sort anyway.

But not everything’s so easy. You don’t annoy a sex god without consequences and this is combined with the fact that trouble arrives in town in the unwelcome form of Buck Smith and his sons.

This is so much better than My Kind of Town was primarily I think because all the major players are known and this allows for pure story without the need for introductions. The dynamic between the coven members is explored more fully and the interaction between Jamie and her cousin Mac is hilarious, especially the scene where there are serving a meal at the hotel.

Jamie and Tully are both excellent characters being perfect counterpoints to each other but then, apart from the bad people that we’re not supposed to like, all the characters are likeable.

All in all, a typical high standard release from Shelly Laurenston containing everything that’s expected; witty dialogue, action pieces and of course, some hot loving.

Finally, whilst there do seem to be hints of another relationship that could blossom, this is currently the last book in The Long Island Coven and I don’t know if more a forthcoming.

The second story is In the Dark by Cynthia Eden. The last Cynthia Eden story I read was Wicked Ways in the When He was Bad anthology and again, this is a much better story.

The premise a simple one in that Sadie is on the trail of a killer when she spots her former partner and lover, Liam, cosying up to a redhead in a bar. Which is surprising considering she attended his funeral after he and his team were killed when attempting to take down a vampire.

And that happened before she could tell him of her own secret that she is a leopard shifter who has been raised to kill vampires with prejudice. So when she confronts Liam at the bar and finds out that he didn’t die but was turned into a shifter’s prey, things are a bit awkward.

Whereas Wicked Ways had a full human as the heroine and had to be introduced into the world of Others where shifters, vampires and demons exist, both Sadie and Liam belong to that world so there was no hand holding the reader and explaining the world.

Given what Sadie was raised to believe I did like how she overcame her beliefs and let her heart win out with Liam although it wasn’t an easy process. Liam however, first came across as an arrogant ass especially when he took her blood without asking after she attempted to drive a stake through his heart. However, the relationship quickly turns more positive during the hunt for a killer who is another shifter.

The ending is very bittersweet and the HEA for Sadie and Liam shows how much her feelings have changed given the sacrifice she made.

The final story is City of the Dead by Sherrill Quinn and refers to a cemetery in St. Louis. Dori is back in town searching for her brother, Art and tries to enlist the help of Jack, a detective. Unfortunately, the last time she was in town six months ago, things got to a certain point between them before she left without saying goodbye to him.

Dori’s issue with pursing a relationship with a man she desperately wants is that whilst she’s a witch, he’s a normal human and she’s afraid that he’ll reject her when he finds out her heritage.

This is the shortest story of the three but without a doubt the hottest. The relationship is very much the primary focus her with Dori’s search for her brother just the glue that ties the sequences together. The only thing I found annoying was the use of the Cajun dialect but I get overdosed with that when I read an Anita Blake novel. But given that they are both set in the same city, it is to be expected, I suppose.

The sex scenes are scorching, much hotter than Cynthia Eden’s and dare I say it, better than some of Shelly Laurenston’s.

Whilst I bought this purely for Shelly Laurenston’s story, Belong to the Night is a very good anthology containing three quality stories.

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