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6.04.2009

Review: Hotter Than Hell (anthology)

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Hotter Than Hell (anthology) edited by Kim Harrison
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Anthology
Mass Market Paperback (HARPER, 512 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0061161292
Released: June 2008 (Reviewed: July 2008)
Beyond the boundaries of the everyday is an unseen realm where anything you imagine is possible. Your demon lover is waiting for you in the shadows, ready to fulfill your secret wishes and most dangerous fantasies. Here passion has a face and form both titillating and terrifying—and love has teeth and claws. Get ready to give in to your craving for something exquisitely dark . . . and different.
Hotter Than Hell gathers together a baker's dozen of today's boldest and best authors of supernatural fiction and paranormal romance in a breathtaking anthology that blends black magic with red-hot desire. From the tantalizing tale of a conflicted psychic vampire driven by a powerful, savage love to the strange saga of a Greek warrior woman battling to save the world, these are stories outside the limits, as hypnotic as the full moon . . . and hotter than the sun.

Author Site:
www.kimharrison.net


Must Try -- Paranormal Romance Sampler (4 stars)

At just under 500 pages, Hotter Than Hell, collects a dozen short stories from some of the biggest names in paranormal romance and urban fantasy into one nice little beach ready tome. Because there are a dozen that need a review let me do my best here and give you a very short bit on each one (in the order from the book)!

[Music Hath Charms] by Tanya Huff is a quicky about a talent scout for a music studio and her sultry adventures to sign a hunky pair of country-rock musicians who's sound has a magic all its own. I hate to say this was my favorite since it was the first story but I loved Huff's crazy concepts for it. 5/5 stars

[Minotaur in Stone] by Marjorie M. Liu is a darkly fantastical fable about a lonely young woman who is haunted by sensual dreams of a monsterous minotaur made of stone. The concept was great, the present tense narration was awful. Very sexy but not typical Liu. 4/5 stars

[Demon Lover] by Cheyenne McCray is a story about a writer working on a book relating to incubae when she starts having steamy late night visits from one. A little too cutesey and cliche for me to love but well written and a good example of McCray's writing. 4/5 stars

[Equinox] by L.A. Banks is a modern mythology of the goddess Artemis' campaign to protect the forests of the world but a group of elite soldiers gets involved and vows get broken. Another excellent story, Banks at her finest and very sensual as always. 5/5 stars

[Ride A Dark Horse] by Susan Krinard is about a recently divorced woman trying to put her life back together while vacationing in the southwest, there she meets a seductive stranger and a beautiful horse who change her life forever. Never read Krinard before that I know of and I loved this story and her style, another favorite. 5/5 stars

[To Die For] by Keri Arthur is about a wolf shapeshifter and a werewolf investigating the dissappearance of two teens while fighting the urges to investigate one another intimately. This was one of my least favorite stories. Too abrupt, lacking chemistry and it was more focused on the sex than the story. 2/5 stars

[Curse of the Dragon's Tears] by Heidi Betts is the story of a man cursed to wear the scales of a dragon and the young woman who wants to break that curse with her love. I've never heard of Betts and I don't plan to look for her after this sloppy story, too many inaccurate details of the culture of Scotland. 1/5 stars

[Brother's Keeper] by Lilith Saintcrow is about a psychic who's brother is murdered after she receives a frantic call from him and the vampire who protects her. I've not read Saintcrow's Dante Valentine series but I am pretty sure this takes place in the same world. I wasn't impressed and didn't like the characters though the author writes very well. 1/5 stars

[(Like A) Virgin of the Spring] by Susan Sizemore and Denise Little is a time-travel story, a seer trapped in the past and her rescuer tangle with Arthurian legend. A little cheesy and poorly plotted but fresh and fun. 3/5 stars

[Life is the Teacher] by Carrie Vaughn is a tale about a newly made vampire struggling with her new power and how it will affect her love life. Fans of the Kitty Norville series will recognize Alette and the story is a good representation of Vaughn's writing but it falls flat otherwise. 3/5 stars

[Moonlight Becomes You] by Linda Winstead Jones is a cutesey short about a young woman who thinks her neighbor is a vampire and how she tries to prove it but falls in lust/love with him in the process. I've read one of Jones' trilogies and I love her writing, she's got a way of making things light and fun but still solid enough stories and it shows with this one. Very cute and sexy. 4/5 stars

[Dirty Magic] by Kim Harrison is the final story, about a banshee and her quest to feed her baby daughter. I hate to say it but this one totally lost me. I was so confused by the story I can't give a proper description and I felt it was not Harrison's best despite how much I love her Rachel Morgan series. 1/5 stars

So there you have them... the overall concepts and what I liked and disliked about each of them. Overall I think that this is a good book for someone looking to dabble into the realm of paranormals to pick up so they can try these authors and the concepts of vampires, weres, icubi, time-travel and the like. At the very least check it out at the library and try some of the stories for their unusual faire 'cause stories about banshees, minotaurs and men cursed to be horses aren't your typical everyday paranormal fantasy.

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