Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

(Otherworld Stories, #2)

Have you ever wondered how lone wolf Clayton Danvers finally got bitten by the last thing he ever expected: love? Or how the hot-blooded bad-girl witch Eve Levine managed to ensnare the cold, ruthless corporate sorcerer Kristof Nast in one of the Otherworld's most unlikely pairings? Would you like to be a fly on the wall at the wedding of Lucas Cortez and Paige Winterbourne as their eminently practical plans are upended by their well-meaning friends? Or tag along with Lucas and Paige as they investigate a gruesome crime that looks to be the work of a rogue vampire?

Now devotees of the Otherworld can share these special moments with some of their favorite characters - as well as discovering deeper insights into the lives of some of the lesser-known players. But even readers new to the Otherworld universe will find much to love in these seven tales of friendship, adventure, and enduring romance. For when the superhuman men and women of the Otherworld set their minds to a task, they do so with fierce passion and an undivided sense of purpose that make them, in the end, very much human.

I'm completely gaga over The Women of the Otherworld series. It's hard to put these down - not only am I going through the novels in order (thirteen full length), but also the several novellas and anthology collections. This is the first anthology I've taken on for the series, and if they continue to be as good as this one, I'll end up enjoying these almost as much as the full-length novels. This is one of the highest recommended because it has Elena and Clay's novella where they first meet and bond.

The anthology opens mediocre before blooming into greatness. Rebirth is Aaron's short story - how he died, how he rose, how he meets Cassandra. It was just okay. I never cared about either character in the series either really. Short and to the point.

Bewitched is telling the backstory of how Eve met Kristof and how they ended up working together and eventually falling for each other. It was okay, but since I'm not attached to either of the characters just yet, I wasn't as glued into the story. The ending felt slightly abrupt. I'm curious how he found out about the pregnancy and did she go into hiding? Only more reading will tell. It would work out reading this one before or after Eve's full length novel, Haunted.

Birthright is a short stint showing Logan coming to Stonehaven. While I usually love Clay, he was a little too trigger happy for my tastes in this one. It's brief and shows a quick intro to the character and how he came there.

Beginnings is the heart of this anthology. Pretty much any fan of the series will want to see Clay and Elena meeting and falling for each other. The novella takes up most of the book at over 100 pages. It's told through alternating POVs for Elena and Clay. Shows his offstandish personality with people which comes across adorable. His intensity in the relationship with Elena = heart-putter. I love the slow and realistic way their bond develops. It's not instant lightning strike but it's awesome. The scene with Jeremy explains much more than I understood before on the reasoning. Excellent novella fans should hunt down.

Expectations is a brief journey of Lucas stealing a grimoire. It doesn't add anything to the cannons of the story, like Logan's short, but it's worth reading.

Ghosts is beautifully strong. Told through Jeremy's POV with flashbacks to Elena changed and begging to break from the cage, to Clay's weakness and also begging from the cage. It shows how lonely Jeremy is without him and how he fears the emptiness of the house. Haunting in theme and gorgeous writing, one of the best of the anthology.

Wedding Bell Hell is the top one outside Elena and Clay's meet that I wanted to read. It was funny as anticipated but I wish it were longer and could go into a bit more detail. Love that couple and the father's meddling. Recommended.

The Case of El Chupacabra was lengthy and enjoyable. We get into Paige and Luca's life while they explore and solve, but also other characters like Sean and a personal dilemma, Savannah showing off to her two grandfathers, Benecio's scheming, and a life changer for Lucas.

Tales of the Otherworld carries stories central to the characters: Elena and Clay meeting, Paige and Lucas tying the knot, Kris and Eve first falling for each other. It tells the backstory for a few minor characters like Aaron and Logan. Finally, it throws in some behind the scenes stuff that fleshes out some regulars like Jeremy. Highly recommended for fans of the series.

Free Online Fiction from the Author's Website (Including of this series) 
Demonology 101 from author's website 

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