Dark Secrets: A Paranormal Noir Anthology by Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden, Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, and Mina Khan

Posted November 14, 2015 by Shari in Reviews / 9 Comments

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Dark Secrets: A Paranormal Noir Anthology by Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden, Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, and Mina Khan
Dark Secrets

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Released on September 29, 2015
Pages: 563
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Read the blurb on this one and I was tantalized by the fact that these are not going to be white-hatted heroes and black-hatted villains, but people with flaws, weaknesses, strengths, and maybe a bit of redemption. Dark, gritty and intense- I’m so in the mood.

It’s an anthology so I’ll take each story separate with some quick thoughts as I go.

Marion, Missing

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In the spirit of the hard-boiled detective stories of the past set in the 50’s, this was one I couldn’t put down. Warren Valentine, the private detective who just lost his partner, reluctantly agrees to continue her case because it is his murdered partner’s ghost who makes the request. Vivid, authentic narrative voice and gritty atmosphere and setting along with a lost love make
this one a most satisfying read.

Femme Fatale

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A Private Investigator and a lady vampire hunt for a killing vampire together. But the lady vamp has secrets, too.
Another solid story that captivated from the get-go. Felt more paranormal than noir, but still worked as a good mystery that kept me unsure to the end.

Dance With the Devil

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Now this is a riveting tale. A woman who must do every devilish task because he owns her soul. Then she falls in love and the cost of keeping Jake may be too high.
It’s not pretty, but it is a compelling story or a cleaned up, romanticized Devil. Engaging to the last surprising scene. Now I want to read the earlier story, Ride With the Devil.

The Consort

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A Hunt Club Novella/World of the Sentinels of New Orleans

A lovely, innocent fae girl ends up in the middle of a power struggle in the fae court and it is only the Captain of the Fae Hunters sent to bring her in that can save her from a cruel fate.
This was my first time experiencing the Sentinels of New Orleans world and it will not be the last. Engaging story! Love the characters especially.

Heart's Blood

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Story of the Twelve Kingdoms

A sorrowful tale of an innocent, young princess forced to switch places with her betraying handmaiden and watch her betrothed, Prince Cavan, accept the deception.

This one was an interesting blend of coarseness and fantasy, gentle love and lust, betrayal and honor. I definitely want to read the other stories in the Twelve Kingdoms series, now.

The Djinn in the Mirror

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A Djinn World story

A Cinderella story of sorts. Dahlia is in the control of her evil step-father, a powerful blood witch, and her only hope is to call out the djinn in the mirror to protect her in exchange for his freedom. Ashmael is bitter and distrustful, but agrees to the deal for the chance to be free and maybe exact some revenge. He soon realizes that Dahlia is an innocent and he has a strange desire to protect her.

I enjoy stories in the author’s djinn world. This one was intense in the dealings in the human world, but left things open-ended toward the situation in the djinn world. I would like to know what comes of that.

All in all, this was a fantastic set of stories. I loved the variety and creativity. The authors had a great sense of tone, setting, plot, and characters. I look forward to pursuing more stories from this group of mostly new to me authors. I would recommend this anthology for those who enjoy darker, grittier paranormal romance.

My thanks to the authors for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #346 PNR
New to Me #170 authors/series
Cliché Klatch #208 ‘Splashed all over the news’

About Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Red Iza
5 years ago

That good ? It’s not often that a whole anthology raises to that level, I’m adding it to my TBR pile 😉

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Red Iza

I know! I was impressed. I’ve always loved noir stories and movies so the theme was right. Some match the them better than others just as some took my fancy more. But yeah, not a bad collection.

5 years ago

A hit for you 🙂

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Blodeuedd

Most definitely!

5 years ago

“people with flaws, weaknesses, strengths, and maybe a bit of redemption” that sounds like the kind of stories I like to read about. I like to read about peoepl with flaws and strenght as it makes them seem more human and realistic. This anthology sounds like a good one with how you enjoyed all of the stories. And that’s nice there was a lot of variety.

Sophia Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Lola

I like my characters to have some weaknesses and flaws to balance the heroic strengths. This was my first blending of paranormal and noir stories, but I liked them all. Had my favorites, but all were at least good.

Christy LoveOfBooks
5 years ago

Whaaaat? I didn’t know about The Consort. Now I need this just for that story.

Sophia Rose
5 years ago

Buahaha! Well alrighty then. It was my first encounter with the series, but it seemed like a few of the characters were regulars so you’d probably love it, Christy!

Christy LoveOfBooks
5 years ago

Whaaaat? I didn’t know about The Consort. Now I need this just for that story.