Friday, October 12, 2007

Four Otherworldly Tales of Paranormal Tryst

We’ve all been on bad dates, nightmare dates, dreadful experiences that turned out to be uniquely memorable in the very worst way. But at least our partners for these detestable evenings were more or less... human!

Now Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland – four of the very best writers currently exploring the dangerous seduction of the supernatural – offer up dating disasters (and unexpected delights) of the completely different sort; dark, wicked, paranormally sensual assignations with werewolves, demon lovers, and the romantically challenged undead. Sexy, witty, chilling, and altogether remarkable, here is proof positive that some love matches are made someplace other than heaven.

Kim Harrison takes us to the Hollows, where living vampire/homicide cop Ivy Tamwood, investigating a string of very nasty murders, finds herself caught between two very different men, who put every dating principle she holds dear to the ultimate test.

I loved Kim Harrison’s short story Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil! I’m kind of in the middle of the original Rachel Morgan series but I haven’t read one of the books in awhile (August 2006 to be exact). This story has definitely inspired me to go back and read the rest of the series! I love how very different Harrison’s whole world is in her books. Usually it’s "vampires exist and live peaceably among humans" but in her stories it’s "a virus wiped out the majority of the human race and only non-humans (vampires, undead vampires, witches, shapeshifters, etc.) were untouched.

This story has to do with before Ivy met her partner Rachel and what she did. I thought it was kind of cool to get more insight into her as a person because she’s only a secondary character in the series. Important, yes, but still second fiddle. Being able to see into the snarly-mess that is her mind was kind of cool as well. I did find the story a little confusing at first because it’s been awhile since I’ve been acquainted with the Hollow world but for the most part you can read the story without knowing anything about the series.

Lynsay Sands gives the power to shape-shift to a most resourceful woman, who uses it to her wickedly sexy advantage at her high school reunion.

I’ve never read anything by Lynsay Sands before but if the rest of her books are as delightful as The Claire Switch Project then I’ll be picking them up soon! I thought that the shape-shifting thing was really cool because I’ve honestly never heard of anything like it in any other book, and trust me, I read a lot of paranormal. I think this would have made an interesting series and I’m looking forward to reading the Holidays are Hell anthology which features Jill Lockheart (Claire’s best friend).

I actually almost skipped this story because I do NOT support animal testing in any way and the first couple of pages has the main character, who is a scientist that (with her co-workers) experiments on rabbits and other animals with their destabilizer because they’re trying to manipulate cells. I’m so glad I stuck with it! Once Claire gets zapped you kind of forget about them harming the animals anyway, probably because two whole chapters of the story take place in a public restroom!

Kelley Armstrong enters the Otherworld to help a beautiful half-demon tabloid reporter escape a disastrous blind date by giving her a hot lead... that leads her to an even hotter werewolf jewel thief.

Kelley Armstrong is actually one of my favorite authors and her story Chaotic is the reason why I picked up Dates from Hell in the first place! It’s the only story available by her that I hadn’t yet read, and that’s including her online fiction too. I love her Women of the Otherworld series so much and I’m anxiously awaiting the next one.

The main character in this short story is Hope, a half-demon (very common in the Otherworld series) who thrives on chaos and she is actually new to the series but the "werewolf jewel thief" isn’t. His name is Karl Marsten and he was introduced in the very first book in the series Bitten. I like him although he isn’t really a "good guy" but he also isn’t a bad guy either so in my book that makes him very interesting. I’m hoping that when Armstrong does a Men of the Otherworld series (I’ve read that she does plan on it), he’ll get his own book.

Lori Handeland gives the term "dating hell" a whole new meaning, when a Manhattan literary agent out on her first date in months, is forced to choose between a sexy devil and the rogue demon hunter who’s out to destroy him.

Lori Handeland wrote the last short story in this anthology called Dead Man Dating. She’s another author that I’ve never heard of before either. I wasn’t too impressed with the story at first and was beginning to think it would be the only one in the whole book that I wouldn’t like but then it slowly started getting better. Then just when I believed that Chavez, Kit, and their mission could become a really great series, the last chapter rolled around and it was just awful! I hope Handeland has more books like this available but without the cheesy ending.

"You really think the end is near?" he asked. "They’ve been predicting that for centuries."
"Sooner or later, they’ve gotta be right."

~ I really recommend reading this anthology and other books by these fabulous ladies. I'm sure I'll be reading and posting about the books by the other authors in the near future as well.

Related Reviews for Kelley Armstrong
Darkest Powers Series
1. The Summoning (2008)
2. The Awakening (2009)
3. The Reckoning (2010)
4. The Gathering (2011)

Nadia Stafford Series
1. Exit Strategy (2007)
2. Made to Broken (2009)


Related Reviews for Kim Harrison
Rachel Morgan Series
1. Dead Witch Walking (2004)
2. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (2005)
aka Where Demons Dare
7. White Witch, Black Curse (2009)
8. Black Magic Sanction (2010)

Reminder: As always, the pictures are also links to various things (interviews, information, etc.)


  1. Hi...sorry it's been a while between visits...I always like to see what interests you.

    As for me, I just can't get into these supernatural/paranormal books or TV shows for that matter...I thought I would like "Moonlight" but his drinking blood every five minutes was a HUGE turn off for me!

    Hope you are doing well!

  2. I've known about this anthology even before I started the Hollows series, but I never read the Ivy story. I've heard mixed reviews and I love the series so much I didn't want to ruin it. I may have to get this book as the Claire Switch project also sounds good.

    Thanks for the heads up.



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