THE UNQUIET - J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas
ISBN: 978-0515-14998-2
October 2011
Paranormal Romance Anthology

Chaos in Death - J.D. Robb

New York, New York - 2060

Even for a cop who's seen it all, the scene that Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, walk into is beyond imagining.  Three people are brutally murdered, the room looks like a bloodbath, and a chilling message to “take out the trash” is signed by Dr. Chaos.  Incomprehensible as it seems, evidence shows that this is the work of only one person—and a witness description is that of a deformed monster, gleefully dancing down the street after the murders.  The victims were recovering addicts, which points Dallas to the Whitwood Center .  Is this a place for rehabilitation, or are they brewing something more dangerous?

CHAOS IN DEATH has Dallas and her team facing the unexplainable in this most recent novella in the In Death series.  Because of the brevity of the story, not all of Eve's usual team is involved with the case, but we do get a chance to see some favorites.  As this story immediately follows NEW YORK TO DALLAS, I would definitely recommend reading them in order to avoid spoilers, but otherwise, Chaos in Death is an enjoyable, if somewhat atypical addition to the series.

Her Greatest Treasure - Mary Blayney

Birmingham, England -1816

In the months since Alexei Chernov's death, his widow Lydia has learned quite a bit about his shady business dealings.  So, she's not entirely surprised to meet another of his crooked friends, but has no clue as to what the stranger wants when he demands Alexei's greatest treasure.  Lydia is able to escape the confines of the hackney, and inadvertently runs right into a man who helps to fend off her would-be abductor.  Her savior, who introduces himself as Chase, insists on helping her to discover what the thief is after, but Lydia finds him much too tempting to be around.

A woman who's learned the hard way not to be too trusting finds herself depending on a stranger in Her Greatest Treasure .  Lydia is ever-aware of her reputation and a bit wary of men in general, but is charmed by Chase at the same time.  Both are keeping secrets from one another, and will need to open up for a relationship to work.  A bit of mystery and a bit of magic will lead Lydia to Her Greatest Treasure .

Dear One - Patricia Gaffney

Washington D.C. - Present Day

Oliver Worth is not very happy to learn that his elderly grandfather, Charlie, has spent almost eight hundred dollars calling a phone psychic, and he has every intention of putting a stop to it.  Yet, when he talks to “Madame Romanescu”, Oliver is soothed by her voice and finds himself wanting to call again.  At the same time, he meets his grandfather's friend “Krystal”, and is suspicious of the woman and her relationship with his grandfather.  Between the loss of her job and the bank foreclosing on her house, Molly McDougal's life is not going very smoothly right now.  Even her phone psychic business, which was supposed to be a profitable side job, hasn't turned out the way she wants.  While she understands Oliver's concerns about his fixed-income grandfather spending so much money calling her, she enjoys talking to Charley, and won't back out of the face-to-face meeting they'd planned.  But when Oliver shows up unexpectedly, she and Charlie quickly come up with a story to explain her presence.  Now it's very clear that Oliver doesn't like or trust her, but Molly can't help but feel that Oliver is exactly what she's been missing in her life.

Dear One is a story about misunderstandings and mistaken identities that is both funny and poignant.  The attraction between Molly and Oliver is strong in spite of the fact that Oliver doesn't trust Molly, and Molly thinks Oliver is too judgmental.  On his second call to Madame Romanescu, Oliver pretends to be someone else, and it is through these calls that they really get to know one another.  Dear One is a fun and entertaining story.

The Unforgiven - Ruth Ryan Langan

Scottish Highlands - Present Day

Following the death of her husband, all Breanna Kerr has left is a mountain of debt and Ravenswood, her husband's ancestral home.  Bree's hope is to turn the castle into a profitable inn before the creditors start knocking at the door, but her hopes are about to be thwarted in the most unexpected of ways.  Jamie Kerr was the Laird of Ravenswood, but died in the sixteen hundreds and has been haunting the place ever since.  He has no intention of letting some stranger turn his home into an inn.  But Bree may be even more stubborn than Jamie, and he finds himself intrigued by this woman who seems to know his pain.

Both Jamie and Bree have been betrayed by someone they loved in The Unforgiven , and that could be the key to their futures.  Bree is warned by the couple who take care of Ravenswood that there is an angry, vicious monster living in the cottage, but she is determined to stay there.  While Jamie definitely lives up to his reputation, Bree is done letting other people run her life, and stands up to Jamie, which causes him to take a second look.

His Brother's Keeper - Mary Kay McComas

Present Day

Disturbing dreams have messed with Ivy Bonner to the point that she's unable to work, so she decides to spend some time at the cabin of a friend.  Yet the dreams of falling have gotten worse, and now all these dreams are taking place on the cliffs near the cabin.  The only place that quiets her soul is the gazebo on the neighboring property, and the neighbor, Craig Tennet, seems to have the same effect.  As strange things continue to happen, Ivy begins to wonder exactly what—or who—is driving her to the brink of insanity.

Ivy Bonner is not really sure what's been happening to her, but in His Brother's Keeper , a stranger is about to provide her with the answers.  There's an attraction between Ivy and Craig, but she's not about to start a relationship while doubting her sanity, and Craig is holding some things back also.

From the unusual to the downright spooky, THE UNQUIET has a little something for everyone.  The Robb is obviously part of a series, and there's a loose connection between the Blayney story and the novellas she's previously published with the other authors, but the other stories are all stand-alone.  A thrilling anthology, don't miss THE UNQUIET.

Jennifer Bishop