Katie MacAlister, Vicki Lewis Thompson, and Connie Brockway, Signet Eclipse, $7.
This playful collection ties together three romantic novelettes with the concept of a shelter named Cupid Cats, though the stories are unrelated and the featured shelters have nothing in common except the name. In MacAlister's "Unleashed," a heavy-handed, unexciting mythology of modern telepathic vampire shape-shifters and a ridiculous villain provide the setting for a romance between a werejaguar and a wildlife officer. Brockway's "Cat Scratch Fever" is a charming, gentle love story between a brainy, socially awkward shelter owner and a widower not sure he's ready to love again. Thompson's "A Cat's Game" is a classic, fun romance featuring a condom-toting, charismatic, magical cat from a New Age shelter who brings high school sweethearts back together. Fans of cats and romance will find this collection an enjoyable distraction. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/24/2010