Fans of Douglas' Chantu race will be thrilled to find the first four novellas combined into one trade paperback, with more stories to come.
Part one of the story focuses on half-man/half-wolf Stefan Aragat, who has been cursed and doesn't have the power to reverse it. While in full wolfen form on his nightly run, he sees a woman whose spirit is dying and saves her by sharing body heat -- and so much more. The next morning, Alexandria "Xandria" Olanet meets Stefan face-to-face and, shockingly to Stefan, she is not turned off by his wolf-like features. Stories about Xandria, the wizard Anton and another Chantu, Keisha, round out the collection.
Readers should be aware that the Chantu are a sensual and sexual race and that they have polyamorous relationships (male/male, female/female and groups). Perhaps it's the nature of the author's style of writing, but the descriptions are not abhorrent in any way. In fact, there's a subject in part three that will, quite possibly, move many women to tears. And while we have heroines whom we love for their strength, we also have heroes whom we love for their sensitivity. (Jan., 256 pp., $12.95)