Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 512 pages
Release Date: June 24, 2008
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“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.”
This book is a collection of fairly typical paranormal romance stories. The majority of them tend towards heavy romance themes and have very explicit sex scenes. A lot of them were just okay; but there were a couple that I really enjoyed. There weren’t any stories in here I would rate 5 stars though.
Short synopsis of the stories as well as some brief thoughts on each of them can be found below.
Overall an okay short story collection. I would recommend to those looking for some steamy paranormal short stories. This is a great filler book for if you want to have something quick to read off and on. I wouldn’t recommend reading in one sitting because the stories seem very similar and get a bit repetitive if you read them all at once.
Music Hath Charms by Tanya Huff (3/5 stars)
This was about a woman who is trying to sign up a couple of country-rock brothers to her record label. When she sees the brothers in person she realizes that they might not be fully human. It was a decent story with some steamy scenes.
Minotaur in Stone by Majorie M. Lui (3/5 stars)
About a young woman who dreams of a Minotaur and ends up finding out her dreams are real and she needs to help save him. Draws on both the Greek mythology surrounding the Minotaur and the mythology of Tam Lin. This was an okay story. I liked some of the surrounding mysterious info about the heroine; however I just felt like this was a very unfinished story.
Demon Lover by Cheyenne McCray (4/5 stars)
I really enjoyed the characters in this story and how engaging they were. You end up really rooting for them both and wanting them to find happiness; which takes talent in a short story like this. I liked the backdrop of Gods and Goddesses. It gives you an excellent feeling for the paranormal world behind this story, again an excellent feat for a short story.
Equinox by L.A. Banks (4/5 stars)
This was a good story about a special ops agent that gets sent into the woods to apprehend a group of environmental activists. Little does he know he will be facing off with the Goddess Artemis herself. I liked the mythology in here. The main leads are fleshed out nicely and have good chemistry together. The end of the story felt a bit rushed and just too contrived. However, mostly I enjoyed it.
Ride A Dark Horse by Susan Krinard (4/5 stars)
This was a story about a woman who was trying to escape a bad marriage by taking vacation at a horse ranch. There she finds the most unusual type of horse. I enjoyed the setting and the characters. However I felt like the writing style itself was a bit unfinished feeling. I also thought the male lead was a bit too stalkerish and alpha predator; especially in the beginning of the story.
To Die For by Keri Arthur (4/5 stars)
This was a story about a shapeshifter who gets partnered with a werewolf she has the hots for on an investigation. It was very well written; you can tell Arthur writes a lot and has a polished writing style. The theme, characters, and story were all very typical urban fantasy.
Curse of the Dragon’s Tears by Heidi Betts (3/5 stars)
This was a story about a young woman who comes to an abandoned castle to hunt down a man who’s been haunting her dreams. It was okay but not great; the whole thing was a bit too creepy and insta-love for me.
Brother’s Keeper by Lilith Saintcrow (4/5 stars)
This was an interesting story about a sexwitch who gets an emergency call from her brother. I liked the idea of how the sexwitch’s magic works (her powers can be as much of a curse as a help). This definitely wasn’t a romantic story…it was dark and hard and gritty. I enjoyed it. This seems like it’s part of a larger story, so the main character must be from one of Saintcrow’s other series.
(Like A) Virgin of the Spring by Susan Sizemore and Denise Little (4/5 stars)
This story was an interesting blend of magic and time travel, fantasy and science fiction. I thought the world building in here was pretty neat and enjoyed the plot a lot. The romance between the two characters is more comical than steamy; but I enjoyed the light-heartedness of it all.
Life is the Teacher by Carrie Vaughn (3/5 stars)
This story was about a young woman getting used to becoming a vampire. Not really any romance, mostly it was a young woman who is learning to embrace her vampiric lifestyle and power. It was okay but kind of dry and written in an almost a clinical way.
Moonlight Becomes You by Linda Winstead Jones (4/5 stars)
This was a cute story about a woman who is semi-stalking her neighbor because she’s convinced he’s a vampire. It was a cute and fun story and I enjoyed it.
Dirty Magic by Kim Harrison (3/5 stars)
This short story is about Mia, the banshee you meet in the Hollows series. It basically gives a bit more background on her. I didn’t find it all that engaging and didn’t think it added more to Mia as a character. It didn’t really make me feel more sympathetic to her or anything. It was decently written but that was about it.