Wild on Books - Book Reviews



The Magical Christmas Cat

Lora Leigh, Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, Linda Winstead Jones





























Berkley Sensation

Release Date:
October 7, 2008

Paranormal Romance
Shape Shifter


Bookmark Rating:

Reviewed by
Jennifer Ray

Review Posted:
September 2008


Berkley Sensation really knows how to light up the Christmas season, with an anthology guaranteed to be on many a Christmas list this year!  With four hot novellas by Lora Leigh, Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, and Linda Winstead Jones, THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS CAT will thrill lovers of paranormal romance.

Each of the stories shares a common theme – they are all paranormal stories that center around a feline.  Although three of them are part of series by those authors, each works well as a standalone story that will give new fans a tantalizing taste of those authors’ work.

With four short stories that are big on romance, THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS CAT is truly a gift for lovers of romantic fiction!


It is not unusual for a Changeling to recognize his mate the moment he sees her.  When Zach meets his nephew’s pretty teacher, Annie, he can’t deny his reaction to her.  Everything about her entices the man in him as well as the leopard.

But Annie is more than a little skittish, determined that any relationship will be short-term only.  Zach must restrain himself in order to seduce her not only into his bed, but into his life forever.

I have loved every story in Nalini Singh’s PSY/CHANGELING series so far, but I do believe that Zach and Annie’s story is my new favorite!  Everything about this tale totally worked for me. 

Zach was true to his feline nature, with a personality that is a little bit sly, a lot playful, and a way about him that effortlessly wins the heart of both Annie and the reader.  He faces every obstacle facing them with patient cunning, ultimately winning his heart’s desire.

Annie is just a doll.  Although she has a slight physical disability, she never lets it get the best of her, and always keeps a positive outlook.  This quality, along with her natural empathy for others, makes her a wonderful teacher, but it also makes it easy to see why Zach is drawn to her.

STROKE OF ENTICEMENT is a wonderfully fun romance that will please fans of Nalini Singh’s PSY/CHANGELING series and entice new fans to want more. 

~CHRISTMAS BREE by Erin McCarthy~

Bree doesn’t know quite what to think when her sister predicts that the man of her dreams will come knocking on her front door very soon.  Despite her belief in the paranormal, it all just seems a little too unreal, especially the part where he’ll be wearing a pink shirt and sport a yuppie look, in stark contrast to her own more Goth style.

Then her cat turns up that bit of magical mistletoe she and her sisters put a love spell on a year ago…  No wonder she’s been having erotic dreams lately!

So when Ian turns up on her doorstep looking every inch the lawyer he is, she can’t quite turn him away…  Their unlikely attraction seems to be pre-ordained at first, but does Ian really want her or is he simply seducing her on behalf of his mysterious client?

If you read AN ENCHANTED SEASON, then you’ve already met the Murphy sisters in Erin McCarthy’s novella CHARLOTTE’S WEB.  Ms. McCarthy continues matchmaking these women in her offering to THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS CATCHRISTMAS BREE follows the brief courtship between Ian and Bree, two polar opposites.

Or at least, that is the way they appear on the outside…  As they get to know each other, this unlikely pair finds they have more in common than they might ever have expected.  As their feelings for each other grow, both Ian and Bree reevaluate what is important to them, and what they want to do with their futures.

In the end, we have a beautiful love story that demonstrates that it is who we are on the inside that really counts and if you look past what is on the surface, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find underneath. 

~SWEET DREAMS by Linda Winstead Jones~ 

When Ruby receives the mysterious cat sculpture as a present from a secret admirer, she is a little unnerved.  And that is before the weird things start happening – strange feline sounds in her home, the cat seemingly moving on its own, and those frighteningly real dreams…

When her sexy but preoccupied neighbor shows a sudden interest in her and the cat, she doesn’t know quite what to think.  Is Zane truly trying to help her or is he behind the growing threat she feels is near? 

I’ve not read anything by Linda Winstead Jones until SWEET DREAMS, but I liked the story a lot.  Her characters are likable, the plot was very good, and the story flowed well.

Ian was a great hero, with the sense of nobility romance readers expect from a romantic lead.  Ruby was adorable, with a knack for loosening the oh-so-disciplined Ian up, tempting him with more than her baked goods…

My only disappointment with SWEET DREAMS is the heat level.  Surrounded by three stories that had plenty of steam, I fully expected at least one really good love scene in this one, but it just didn’t happen.  While the romance was definitely there, and we enjoy one nice scene with a little foreplay, the lack of a more sensual bedroom scene made it seem a little out of place in this anthology.

Still, the story was very entertaining, and I will certainly be reading more of Ms. Jones’ work in the future.

~CHRISTMAS HEAT by Lora Leigh~ 

When Haley McQuire is a witness to a plot against the Breed community, she finds herself in unexpected danger.  Noble Chavin immediately appoints himself as her personal bodyguard, a situation that she doesn’t mind in the least.  She has had eyes for the handsome Jaguar Breed for some time, and being near him is certainly no hardship.

Noble has been more than patient, biding his time for the last year in order to give his sweet little librarian time to get used to him, to choose to be with him on her own before the Mating Heat takes control of both their libidos.  When an attempt on her life is made, all bets are off.  Noble will do whatever it takes to keep his mate safe, and to finally make her his.

But treachery lurks within the Breed Compound, and in order to protect Haley, they must ferret out the traitor in their midst.

Lora Leigh does it again!  Her addictive BREEDS saga grows ever more popular with each release in this series, and CHRISTMAS HEAT is sure to win a whole new set of fans for her.  This novella includes characters we’ve met and liked in other stories, but works well as a standalone for those who haven’t yet read the previous tales.

Like her story in HOT SPELL, THE BREED NEXT DOOR, this new short story reminds readers of just everything that the BREEDS have missed in their hard lives.  In this case, we see the Christmas experience through Noble’s eyes as he learns what the season really means from Haley.

Noble is the epitome of the Breed hero – a man who loves with every fiber of his being, is savagely protective, and undeniably sexy.  I have to admit I find Noble just as irresistible as Haley does.

Haley is a breath of fresh air in Noble’s world.  She brings a normalcy and wonder to his life that he never knew existed.  She is constantly thinking of others, wanting simply to make people happy and comfortable. 

CHRISTMAS HEAT is a perfect combination of sweet love and lusty romance.  I’ve already read it twice, and know I’ll be reading this one again and again through the years.


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