Destiny's Promise by Janeau L'voe (Science Fiction/Fantasy Anthology)

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Sue Waldeck for The Road to Romance
This anthology by Janeau L'Voe features 4 of her own stories.

It's the year 2393, and geo-thermal investigator Sylver Dreeming is heading for Venus in her transport. She's not happy about her meeting with the arrogant Hank Hargrave to discuss the global adjustment of Pluto. As a neurophyte, her touch could kill and others touching her was intolerable. Hargrave never respected her requests that he not touch her.

But there are things Sylver doesn't know about her abilities as a neurophyte, things that once she learns of them, they'll change her whole life.

The Imminent Future pulled me in immediately, skillfully introducing the reader to another time and place. With careful use of terminology and description, I felt at home with Sylver right away.

I never did bond with Hargrave though. We don't find out why Sylver dislikes Hargrave until the end, and then it happens so suddenly we don't have the chance to come to like him. The beginning of the story went to such detail, then the last part was rushed, making Sylver's sudden understanding seem unimportant. This story would have been a perfect candidate for a much longer tale given the authors skill with presenting futuristic environments.

This second story was wonderful! Jivelle dreams of submitting to danger, to evil. It goes against her nature she's a strong woman used to trusting her intuition. But evil is after her mother... or is it after her? Her dreams are confusing until she encounters a shape-shifter face to face. Her expectations guide her actions, but the outcome is quite unexpected to all.

This story was very mystic, and again, I'd have loved to see it as a longer story. But as I read the shorts, I'm seeing a pattern ' the author is able to bring her characters to life very quickly.

Max's secret is one that has forced him to a life of aloneness and regret. Despite some progress in his lab, he still hasn't been able to stop the changes that come over him on a full moon. He's kept his secret for years, but this time he's not alone when he changes. Jilliah has seen him transform, yet she hasn't run away. Why?

Maxwell's Mistake is a tender story of understanding and love. Again the authors' talent with description has allowed a very short story to be a powerful one, with Max being a fully dimensional character. Very enjoyable.

Selene is so desperately lonely that midnight doesn't scare her. It should, because for the last few nights the strangers' deep voice had called to her from the mist in her Grandmother's house. And tonight she's going to succumb,
because just the sound of the strangers' voice filled her with love. But she's never met him before ... has she? The legend her grandmother tells her should make her run but she trusts her heart... She could be making a very deadly mistake.

This final story in the anthology will please vampire lovers. In this tale of immortal love, trust is foremost for two tortured souls. Another satisfying short story from an author who has obviously mastered characterization.
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