MaryJanice Davidson et al.
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Buy *Mysteria* by MaryJanice Davidson et al. online

MaryJanice Davidson et al.
Berkley Sensation
352 pages
July 2006
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Susan Grant, best known for her futuristic 2176 series, kicks off this anthology with "Mortal In Mysteria," which features the demon responsible for founding the town of Mysteria. As the Demon High Lord of Self-Doubt and Second Thoughts, Damon committed a grave error in allowing the settlers of Mysteria to believe that they would be able to successfully settle a new town. When Satan finds out what Damon has done (some decades later), he banishes Damon from Hell, cursing him to spend eternity in the town he helped establish.

Catapulted from Hell, Damon finds himself in Harmony Faithfull's garden. As the local reverend, who has yet to make her mark on the town of Mysteria, Harmony is certain that bringing a naked man into her house - and her heart - will make the townspeople sit up and take notice.

MaryJanice Davidson's “Alone Wolf” is set in the same world as her Wyndham Werewolves series and takes place one year after the events in Derik's Bane. Cole Jones is a werewolf who grew up surrounded by humans. He knows he is different, but he's not sure how exactly to deal with it. Tired of using his size and stature to influence and intimidate bad people, Cole decides to relocate to Mysteria and purchases the first house he sees.

Charlene Houtenan, realtor extraordinaire, has been trying to sell the house Cole just bought for the past ten years. The fact that it's haunted probably has something to do with the lack of interest in the house. The fact that Cole seems not to be spooked by the house is reason enough for Charlene to be interested in him - she's always liked the different ones. But Charlene also has a hidden agenda when it comes to Cole. How will Cole react when he discovers the reason behind Charlene's quick interest in him?

“The Witches of Mysteria” by Gena Showalter features sisters Glory, Genevieve, and Godiva Tawdry. Genevieve is tired of the object of her affection - Hunter Knight - going out of his way to avoid her, when she's certain that he's just as attracted to her and she is to him. Genevieve enlists her sister Glory's help, in the form of Love Potion #13, to force Hunter to stop running away and take notice of her. Only her plan seems to work too well, and her silent plea to "let tonight be interesting" results in Genevieve getting way more than she bargained for.

The last selection in Mysteria is penned by P.C. Cast, author of the paranormal Goddess series. In “Candy Cox and the Big Bad (Were)Wolf,” Candy Cox, a middle-aged high school teacher, is approached by one of her former students, now all grown up. Justin Woods has been in love with Candy since he was in her class ten years ago. When he finds her on a jogging path incapacitated by a leg cramp, he decides that this is the opening he has been waiting for and asks her out on a date. Candy is hesitant, believing that Justin couldn't possibly be interested in a woman old enough to be his mother. Luckily, she agrees to meet him for a date and finds out just how interested Justin really is in her.

This quad of stories, while all set in the town of Mysteria, are each very different. The brevity of the Davidson piece works well given her trademark humor and dialogue style, while the Grant story reads more like single title offering. All four novellas are filled with fun, quirky characters who seem to highlight exactly what makes Mysteria such a crazy place to live. Additionally, the romance is well-done and varied in each story.

One note of caution to readers who picked this up because it was marketed as a loosely connected sequel to Bewitched, Bothered and Bevampyred, the multi-authored anthology to benefit victims of the tsunami in 2004: three of the four stories featured here were included in Bewitched, Bothered and Bevampyred. The stories have been expanded but are still pretty similar to the ones included in the previous anthology.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Jilian Vallade, 2006

Also by MaryJanice Davidson:

Also by Susan Grant:

Also by P.C. Cast:

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