Review: Down the Rabbit Hole by J.D. Robb, Mary Blayne, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and Ruth Ryan Langan

Posted June 8, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Down the Rabbit Hole by J.D. Robb, Mary Blayne, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and Ruth Ryan Langan
Down the Rabbit Hole

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: In Death #41.5
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Time Travel Romance
Published by Jove
Released on September 29, 2015
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

I saw the theme for this anthology and was enchanted by the idea of five stories with an Alice in Wonderland thematic element.  At the time I picked it up, all the authors were new to me reads which was another big bonus because I love trying new authors.  I finally took the opportunity to pull this one down from the shelf to work on a few of my reading challenges.  Like most anthologies, it was definitely a mixed bag, but there were a couple clear winners.


Down the Rabbit Hole sports five novellas from five different authors.   As such, I usually do a mini review of my thoughts and impressions on each which I will do.

Wonderment in Death by JD Robb
#41.5 In Death
Part of a series, but worked fine standalone.  Homicide detective Eve Dallas is called in when an apparent murder-suicide doesn’t add up to the close friends and family of the victim.  Of course, her suave and sexy Irish husband Roarke and the usual team were involved in the case.  Since, I first picked up this antho, I have enjoyed a few of the early books in this series so I was tickled to be back in Eve’s world that now consists of Mad Hatter, tea party, and a whole lot of smoke and mirrors.

Alice and the Earl in Wonderland by Mary Blayney
Based on the author’s note this one is a sequel to another novella set in the same time travel world where Weston was a minor character and now gets his story.  The other novella had time travelers who knew they were going to time travel while this pair got a twisted chance at romance after getting flung into the future which opens their eyes about their hang-ups on being together before things are righted.  I liked it and would definitely like to read the first book that was Simon and Amy’s story.

iLove by Elaine Fox
Now, this one was a bit of something different for me and reminded me vaguely of a few of the older movies when a person gets sucked into a virtual reality game or computer program type story.  A guy gets dumped by his girlfriend for spending too much time on his phone instead of paying attention to her and ends up inside her phone as an app and can only get out if he finds love.  Its creative and very much in tune with the fairytale vibe If not the Wonderland one.  I liked that part, but the trouble for me was that I didn’t feel he deserve being dumped and I didn’t really care for the heroine. So yeah, the romance and its conflict didn’t work for me that much.

A True Heart by Mary Kay McComas
A standalone magical masquerade adventure to help a woman see and understand she has a problem and what it is before she ends up empty and alone ala A Christmas Carol rather than a trip to Wonderland (at least to me).  I found aspects fun, particularly some of the wryness in Elise’s guides into her life education tour, but Elise herself was a so-so heroine for me.  I am curious to read some more of this author’s work.

Fallen by Ruth Ryan Langan
Well, this standalone offered me up a new author to pursue.  I had a good time with this magical Highlander romantic adventure.  The heroine, Beth, has to figure out who she wants to be.  Her cold, calculating aunt who has been her guardian wants her to talk a man to sign over sale of his lands so a developer can move in, but Beth has an accident and the business trip is no longer cut and dry as she enters a land back in time where people turn into beasts and it all feels like a fairytale. But is it?

So, a nice variety of tales from a murder to a cursed Highlander.  There was something in all of them to enjoy.  This is actually this groups second themed anthology they’ve all done together surrounding a fairytale and the first was Mirror, Mirror.   I understand there was even another one.  I will not hesitate to snag either.


Romance Roundabout #184 FR
Mt. TBR #70
Blogger Shame #5
Series That Never Ends #6


A    Review Beauty's Beast by Amanda Ashley


About J.D. Robb

With a phenomenal career full of bestsellers, Nora Roberts was ready for a new writing challenge. As her agent put it, like Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and caffeine-free Pepsi, a pseudonym offered her the opportunity to reach a new and different group of readers. The first futuristic suspense J. D. Robb book, Naked in Death, was published in paperback in 1995, and readers were immediately drawn to Eve Dallas, a tough cop with a dark past, and her even more mysterious love interest, Roarke.

The series quickly gained attention, great reviews, and devoted readers. Since the debut of Loyalty in Death (the ninth In Death book) on Halloween 1999 on the New York Times bestseller list, every J. D. Robb title has been a New York Times bestseller. While fans had their suspicions, it wasn’t until the twelfth book in the series, Betrayal in Death (2001), that the publisher fully revealed that J. D. Robb was a pseudonym for bestselling powerhouse Nora Roberts. Unmasked, Nora Roberts fans who hadn’t yet picked up one of the Robb books were quickly playing catch-up.

Robb’s peers in the mystery world are fans as well, with accolades for the In Death series from such blockbuster authors as Stephen King, Jonathan Kellerman, Dennis Lehane, Kathy Reichs, Lisa Scottoline, Janet Evanovich, David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, Robert B. Parker, Ridley Pearson, Linda Fairstein, and Andrew Gross.

The In Death books are perpetual bestsellers, and frequently share the bestseller list with other Nora Roberts novels. J. D. Robb publishes two hardcover In Death books per year, with the occasional stand-alone original In Death story featured in an anthology.

Forty books later, there is no end in sight for the ever-popular In Death series.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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AngieElle @ Ba_BAMB
3 years ago

Haha! I saw this and thought ‘oh, this must be old!’ I have an ARC of this on my shelf as well. I should put it beside my bed. It would be a great quick read to go through them one by one before bed.

Great review, Sophia. These stories sound like so much fun, especially the second and last!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yep! You guessed it. This one has been on the shelf a few years now. I put it in the TBR pile vote and it won. that’s a good idea for getting through them. I took a few at a time, too.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Glad to hear you enjoyed most of the short stories. It’s been a while since I’ve read one of the In Death series. I do enjoy Eve and Roarke, but I always thought she was slow to clue into who did it when she’s supposed to be such an excellent detective. Hard when as a reader you can figure it out pretty easy and she’s still in the dark. Lovely review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I did have a good time with this one and trying new to me authors. I’ve just finished my sixth In Death book. Book five was like that for me. I felt the answer was so obvious and got frustrated. 🙂

3 years ago

No wonder I am sensing an Alice in Wonderland vibe just looking at the cover, and I love Alice in Wonderland! I don’t usually like reading anthologies, but I think I’ll reconsider this time. I’m glad you enjoyed most of the stories Sophia Rose 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Yes, it was a fun one and had fairytale overtones in all of them. Though, not all the fairytales were Alice in Wonderland. It was neat trying new to me authors. Thanks, Vanessa!

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

Oh, I didn’t even know about this one. Thanks for the heads up.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Happy to bring it to your attention, Mary. 🙂

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
3 years ago

I have not heard of this Sophia Rose, thank you very much

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

You betcha! I didn’t realize Berkley had put out of a few of these themed anthos, either. This was the one that caught my eye b/c of the title. 🙂

Carole's Random Life
3 years ago

What an interesting collection and a nice mix of stories even if some of them didn’t work as well for you. Great review!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yes, it really was. Each had magic and a fairytale feel, but they all went a different direction with it.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

I really enjoyed the Robb and the Ryan ones, too! And oh I struggled with the ILove one. I was not team heroine. lol I’m glad to see you enjoyed it overall!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Looks like we had similar tastes in this one. I didn’t like that heroine, either and I did love the first and last novellas the best. Definitely an all around good one. 🙂

vvb reads
3 years ago

Fun theme! JD Robb looks like one for me to try.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  vvb reads

Yes! I love that they did an anthology this way. It has all different romance genres and took the theme several different ways. It was fun. 🙂