cover image Highland Hunger

Highland Hunger

Hannah Howell, Jackie Ivie, and Michele Sinclair. Kensington, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7582-6152-6

Vampire lords rule the Highlands again in this third installment of Howell's anthology series (after 2005's Highland Vampire and 2009's Highland Beast). Prolific Howell anchors with "Dark Embrace": while Sir Raibeart MacNachton is on a mission to find the "Lost Ones" of his vampire clan, he impulsively snatches Una Dunn from danger. Their romance is a solid yarn confidently told, unlike Ivie's weak "A Knight Beyond Black." At Tira Coombs's birthday ball, sexy duke Iain MacAvee reveals that she's been promised to him since birth. Inconsistent characterization and stylistic ineptitudes make this dilemma less than compelling. Sinclair rounds out the set with "The Guardian," a Zorro-like tale of lamed Highland warrior Moirae Deincourt and her rival and lover, Greek immortal Dorian. The complicated setting is improbable, but Moirae's courage and resolve are convincing. (Sept.)