First let me say that when three power house authors come together in collaboration you know you are in for a treat. Although this is an anthology of short stories they pack a pretty powerful punch. Each book complimented the next this was an anthology of mystery, angst, and love.
The anthology starts off with Love Under Fire by Iris Bolling
We are introduced to Fire Chief Richard as he is investigating a series of fires in a down rotten area. No one seems to care about the string of fires as the buildings belong to bad guy King who has a series of issues. Shai the Elementary School teacher seems to have some connection to Richard “Ritchie” but she doesn’t let on too much as she is holding onto grief about the death of her family that happened 5 years ago. Not to give too much away but because Shai doesn’t want to face reality doesn’t mean Richard will allow her to cling on to the past. Richard is an Alpha male at his finest nothing will get in his way not even school Principal Ralph Murphy. I love that as a reader we get flashbacks into Richard and Shai past and why they are in the situation they are in now. We get to see a reappearance of some of our favorite characters from Mrs. Bolling’s other series. All the characters are interconnected somehow and what you think you know you don’t. This story is a perfect mix of mystery and redemption. Just when you think you know who is behind the fires and who is on top. Mrs.Bolling throws in a twist that will leave you speechless. Everyone has a past and still waters run very deep. My only complaint is that I wish this story could have been longer. I would love to see a full length novel on what happens to some of the characters I feel as though there is more story to be told.
Next in the anthology we have Nikkea Sharee’ story Hostile
I will admit this is my first time actually reading anything by this author and I was pleasantly surprised. This book starts off with a “situation” that has you on edge. In the first opening pages I was tempted to speed read just so I could figure out who this Eva character is and why is she so hostile for a lack of a better word. You have no idea what’s going on in the beginning only that Richard is a hostage negotiator and a child is involved. This book is non-stop angst and will have the reader asking more questions than getting answers. The story builds up and then WAM it hits you what the situation is and you are left thinking Oh My God!!!! This story had me questioning myself what would you do in a situation like this? How would you react with a gun, tears? I know I am being very vague but I don’t want to give anything away the story is just that good. What Eva encounters at her house is the ultimate violation of trust and Gregory the hostage negotiator is trying to help her but seems to be making the situation worst. It’s a bad situation all around. And Erykah Eva daughter is witnessing all of this. The twist is something out of reality television or something you have heard about off a talk show. Oh but what a twist it is. I was so frustrated with some of the characters and their behavior. But that’s what a good story does right have you talking aloud to the book? I couldn’t help but think as I read this book the trapped in the closet song by R.Kelly is very fitting. I know these are short stories but the way this story ending. I was left yet again wanting more of a story especially on these two characters an epilogue on how the situation ended. All in all this was a very good read.
Last but certainly not least is Loretta Walls story Perfect Respect
This story is more of a military romance and when things are not heating up on the battle field it is definitely heating up in the bedroom between Miri and Jayce. Miri is this tough outspoken I don’t take no foolishness Major. Especially when the unwanted advances of Danny a friend from high school comes her way. Danny comes off as such a player and has a side piece Nellie who starts to cause trouble for Miri in the form of bad mouthing and deceit. Talk about a messy triangle but in the end all wrongs are made right. Thrown into a military operation Miri gets some extra love and care from Jayce. Let me say if you haven’t read any of Mrs. Wall’s stories before you know one thing she can write a love scene. I was left wondering how any surveillance work get does especially with Jayce magical fingers. Because these stories are only 30+ pages in length each authors packs their stories with non-stop action. Mrs. Walls creates a situation between the budding couple that is quickly dispelled what we know is that when it comes to love and war all bets are off. Each of the ladies has done such a good job my only complaint again is that I wanted more.