With Jayne Castle, Julie Beard, Lori Foster, Eileen Wilks
Berkley – Oct 1999
ISBN: 0425171299
Romance / Paranormal / Magical Anthology

Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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This one has a little of everything for romance readers. Although it's considered a great Halloween romance, CHARMED is an entertaining read all year around. Just remember though, it is all make believe.

Jayne Ann Krentz’s BRIDAL JITTERS has an interesting concept.  Virginia and Sam run a paranormal business in the future. He is a ghost hunter; she is a psychic archeologist who uses her gift to release paranormal traps -- an equivalent to present day bombs. They agree to marry for the business, but Virginia is having second thoughts.

BRIDAL JITTERS was an interesting short story.  I am constantly amazed at writers and their visions of the future. Ms. Krentz has some interesting ones and at some points I had to reread to make sure of what she was trying to get across.  But once I understood her concept of the future, I had no problem with it. 

Julie Beard’s story MAN IN THE MIRROR takes to the reader in the opposite direction of CHARMEDS first story.  When Kate accepts a mirror as a gift she has no idea what goes on inside it.  On this typical Halloween night, it’s storming and Kate decides to follow what she sees and finds herself transported back in time to help a dying Knight.

I found Julie Beard’s writing style very pleasant to follow. For a short story I was impressed at how well developed each character was. I found it to be an interesting time-travel experience. 

Lori Foster writes TANGLED DREAMS as a continuance of the four brothers who run a bar in Thomasville, Kentucky. If you recall the oldest one Cole met his true love in the steamy anthology HOT CHOCOLATE. Now it’s Chases turn to find true love but it will take a couple of ghost and a mystery to bring it all together.

Lori Foster is blazing ahead as a contemporary author.  Her writing is skillful; her characters relationships are bold and leave nothing to the imagination. TANGLED DREAMS is a wee bit tame compared to TANGLED SHEETS in HOT CHOCOLATE. 

PANDORA’S BOTTLE by Eileen Wilks is magically. John, a stockbroker thinks he has found true love but fears Dora will not accept him for what he truly is. Once they are at John’s old home, Dora is faced with the true desire hidden in her soul and must make a decision that could cost her fiancée his life.

I found PANDORA’S BOTTLE an interesting, whimsical read.  It had the flare of a romantic fable with a moral. With this story, whether she meant to or not, Eileen Wilks points out the fact that having more than one side to us makes us complete as a person and we should learn to accept it. Good writing Ms. Wilks.

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