Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dates from Hell by various authors

This is a collection of four short novellas by well-known paranormal romance authors Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland.

Ivy, a living vampire is the main character in the first story, Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison. Ivy works for Inderland Security in Cincinnati. The Inderlanders are those who aren't quite human--the vampires, the werewolves, the banshees, and other creatures of the night. As a living vampire, Ivy has as much of a need for blood as the undead vampires. She struggles with this need as she investigates a murder, meets banshees and tries to resist giving her blood to the seductive Art, her undead vampire partner.

If you pick this novel up, skip over this first story. Ivy's struggle with bloodlust and her heritage is unconvincing. The whole premise of her struggle is not compelling, and the story was uninteresting, in my opinion.

The second story, The Claire Switch Project by Lynsay Sands is a story you don't want to miss! Claire, an assistant in a science lab, is zapped by a destabilizer in the course of her job, before the process has been approved for human testing. Her supervisor and long-time friend Kyle takes her home in order to observe her for any negative side affects. Claire and Kyle's twin sister Jill soon discover that Claire has the ability to shapechange and look like anyone. Hilarity ensues when Claire agrees to go to their high school reunion as both Kyle's and Jill's date!

Hope has a legacy from her father in Kelley Armstrong's Chaotic--she's half-demon! She thinks that she's put her nose for chaos to good use until she attends a museum event and encounters Karl Marsten, a werewolf jewel thief. Hope soon learns that she's been duped by a sorcerer and she and Karl run for their lives. Armstrong's heroine is fun and intriguing, and the story unfolds in a satisfying way.

Kit is a mild-mannered literary agent living in New York City, until she has an unfortunate date with a dead man in Dead Man Dating by Lori Handeland. Fortunately, she's rescued by Chavez, a tattooed, pierced man who looks like he would be more at home in a biker bar than as the rogue demon hunter he reveals himself to be. Kit thinks that she is safe, but soon finds out that the incubus inhabiting her date's body is going to keep coming after her. Chavez protects her and the two embark on a journey to discover what exactly it is that the incubus is after and how to defeat it. The lackluster characters make this is another story that could be skipped in this particular anthology.

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