Plot Summary: This collection of short stories pays homage to sexy vampires, savage vampires, and even lonely, melancholy vampires. There is a full range of tempting scenarios to feast upon, from airport encounters to sacrificial fantasies; from 1920's flapper girls to squalid Craigslist sexscapades; from dominance to submission, it's all here.
I had a few doubts before I started The Sweetest Kiss, but it quickly put my fears to rest. My first worry was that I would find it boring to read nothing but vampire stories back-to-back, but the variety and breadth of the vampires here made it a treat. My second fear was that the quality of the stories would be lacking, but this is a spicy collection full of heat and hunger. I think the cover threw my expectations, because it doesn't do anything for me, but this is one of those cases where I can totally ignore the outside now that I know what's on the inside.
Every single one of the 19 stories inside is good, but there were a few that were downright amazing. The very first offering by Remittance Girl called "Midnight at Sheremetyevo" was such a complete package that it blew me away, and I loved the older woman, younger man mix. "Fair Play" by G. B. Kensington had one of those pounding, mind-melting sex scenes that scorched the back of my eyeballs, and then it made me smile with a surprise ending. "Fourth World" by Lisabet Sarai featured a ménage à trois between a female vampire and her two male victims that was so hot that it almost convinced me that it was a screw worth dying for.
Ironically, my favorite story of the collection isn't even a typical piece of erotica. It's closer to erotic noir, and it's by Thomas S. Roche (that's right, there's equal opportunity in erotica, unlike romance... dudes can play). The story is called "Wait Until Dark, Montresor," and it was simply brilliant. It's a five-star story, all the way, but I can't divulge any details because the way it unfolds is critical to the experience. Perhaps it's because it's written in the second-person point of view (the narrator is speaking directly to "you" throughout the story) that it sucked me in completely, but it was dirty, and sad, and tender all at the same time. That's quite a hat trick to pull off.
I highly recommend this anthology if you're interested in some shiver-inducing vampire stories. It is a truly high quality collection.