- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; First Edition edition (October 30, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0515143677
- ISBN-13: 978-0515143676
- Product Dimensions: 3 x 0.3 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 102 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dead of Night Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Robb (aka Nora Roberts) is indeed the headliner, but this all-new four-novella anthology definitely doesn't suffer from standout single syndrome—this one's all killer, no filler. In Robb's opener, a courageous female cop with a troubled past clashes with a bloodthirsty, unnaturally powerful mystery man who promises his enthralled victims immortality: charismatic con artist, or much worse? Blayney follows with the story of an enigmatic old coin that transports an American tourist and an oddly aristocratic bartender into a Regency-era adventure. In Langan's, another unsuspecting American time-traveler stumbles into romance with a 15th-century Scottish warlord who believes she's his kidnapped wife. And in McComas's, a bored housewife takes a magic carpet ride to an alternate universe do-over of her marriage. Though they don't always keep a straight face, occasionally tipping from fantasy into farce—for instance, a canny medieval Scottish ruler blithely accepting a 21st-century designer pant suit as regulation female barbarian dress—such lapses are minor; the biggest fault readers will find is that these intriguing characters are taken away so quickly (especially in Blayney's frustratingly rushed resolution). (Nov.)
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“This all-new four-novella anthology definitely doesn't suffer from standout single syndrome—this one's all killer, no filler.”—Publishers Weekly
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I bought it primarily for "Eternity in Death" and was pleased by Eve's trip to the underworld of New York in April 2060 and her confrontation with the vampire protagonist. One hundred and three pages and worth the price.
"Amy and the Earl's Amazing Adventure" (82 pages) have an adventure that involves going back to Regency England with the help of a magic coin. Like Amy, I've read a lot of Regency romances but I doubted that Amy and I had read any of the same ones. The story was okay.
"Timeless" (90 pages) is set in the Scottish Highlands was my third favorite story in the book. It, like lots of the Highland romance novels I've read, also involved time travel though it doesn't try to explain the mechanism that takes the heroine back to meet her soul mate.
"On The Fringe" (97 pages) was my second favorite story. It seems very grounded in everyday mundane life and then takes a turn that was surprising and delightful but left me going "NO! NO! NO! that can't happen" -- but everything comes right in the end, of course, for everyone.
I'm not sure if I'll be on the look out for other stories by Blayney, Langan and McComas or not.
The other authors lack Robb's skill, however, and the second tale, "Amy and the Earl's Amazing Adventure" by Mary Blayney, is a huge departure as student Amy Stevens is given a magical coin by a shadowy stranger, leading her to an adventure into the past with a bartender. He's the younger brother of a present-day earl, but finds himself in the earl's shoes when he and Amy are whisked into the past to solve a mystery. This story lacked cohesiveness, as well as a smooth and believable beginning. What could have been a colorful trip into the past instead fell flat.
Things start looking up again in Ruth Ryan Langan's "Timeless," when busy career girl Laurel Douglas takes a vacation in Scotland and passes through a ripple in time, surfacing as the missing and much loved wife of a Scottish laird. In his arms, and in the company of their son, she discovers deep and abiding true love, before the intrigue she has landed in threatens to take it all away. This is a richly-woven tale with deep feelings and exciting intrigue, well worth the read.
Everything goes south again in Mary Kay McComas' "On the Fringe." Bonnie Sanderson's marriage has gone a little stale, so she and her husband are taking a break. He's moved into an apartment close by and things are friendly, but Bonnie is too stubborn to be the first to reconcile. Then, a magic carpet in her grandmother's attic sends her into an alternate reality where she's in a dangerous hostage situation with a man she quickly comes to love, but because of their desperate situation they have only hours together. When she is returned to her regular life, she realizes there are some important things she doesn't want to let slip away. I can't come up with a better adjective for this one, so I'll settle on boring.
Though only half of this book is really worth reading, it's still worth the price of a paperback. The stories are all fairly short, as well, so even the most tedious one isn't interminable. I always read the Roberts and Robb anthology stories, but don't always bother with the other stories in the books. Judging by this experience, I haven't missed much. It is nice to have a few novellas around when I'm in the mood for a quick, light read, and at least half of these are worth the time it takes.
Mary Blayney's story, AMY AND THE EARL'S AMAZING ADVENTURE, actually didn't make much sense to me, and I didn't finish it.
Ruth Ryan Langan writes a really good Scottish time travel story with TIMELESS. Although I don't really like historicals, I enjoyed this short story.
ON THE FRINGE by Mary Kay McComas is another time travel, about a wife who wonders what life would have been like if she'd made different choices and decisions.
DEAD OF NIGHT is worth the read simply for J.D. Robb's story, but TIMELESS is also a pretty good read.