I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing a short story collection called “Fierce and Fated: A Limited Edition Collection of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy.” Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:
“Join nineteen of the authors from the Fated Mates Boxed Set as they introduce you to the individual worlds found in their stories.
Alpha females, powerful packs, steamy supernaturals that will knock your socks off… Don’t let these fierce and fated stories pass you by!”
As one can guess from the summary, yes, there are quite a few stories in this collection that are not-safe-for-work (NSFW) and contain explicit sex scenes (though some are more NSFW for graphic gore). Interestingly, some of the short stories are not ‘short stories’ but rather act as beginning excerpts of larger stories, such as “Phoenix and Siren” by Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenik for example. However, all of the stories are definitely unique takes on creatures such as demons, incubi and succubi, werewolves (especially werewolves, in my opinion) and other shapeshifters.
“Make Me Howl” and “There’s A Full Moon Out Tonight” by Brantwijin Serrah and Candace Sams respectively were two of my favourite short stories to read in the collection. While “Make Me Howl” was a purely erotic story, as it takes place at a sex club full of werewolves (and, despite how short the story is, makes the worldbuilding in this pretty well-established), “There’s A Full Moon Out Tonight” focused on pure horror through literal human sacrifice to keep the family farm. I also enjoyed reading “Wish” by CJ Beamont and April Canavan, which was about a witch trying to find someone to lose her virginity to in order to officially take over the witch coven…and ends up accidentally summoning an incubus. Hilarity ensues with both the witch who didn’t expect it, as well as the poor incubus who’s trying to do his job and seduce her. Their chemistry works well overall, in this short story, and I actually feel like this one could be expanded on more, perhaps into a novella or full novel-length.
However, there are a few stories that fall short in the collection. For example, “Grand Deviance” by Sarah Zolton Arthur failed to establish decent worldbuilding or give a sense of what the actual plotline was supposed to be about overall. At first it shifted towards an affair-centric plotline, but then gave away to demonic possession before the main character just suddenly died. The writing style of “Christmas Moments” by Valia Lind also failed to capture my interest in the overall plot because of the slow plotline.