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Hotter Than Hell Mass Market Paperback – Jun 24 2008
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“With this incredibly talented lineup, readers are in for a wild and varied ride! The 12 stories run the gamut from supernaturally sexy to sad and disturbing, with no shortage of intriguingcharacters and creative plots.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, Ever After, and The Undead Pool, plus the short story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider and graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.
Martin H. Greenberg is an anthologist who lives with his wife and young daughter in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he is a college professor. He has several grown children. Over the years he has collected stories for more than 100 books including Things That Go Bump in the Night, Spaceships and Spells, Dragons and Dreams, and Werewolves, all for HarperCollins
Top Customer Reviews
Music Hath Charms by Tanya Huff is about a music producer trying to sign two sirens to her company. The twist is that these sirens are men.
Minotaur in Stone by Marjorie M. Liu is about a woman who lives in a library and when she dreams she is called into the labrynth with the minotaur. She is the only one that can free this misunderstood creature from his prison.
Demon Lover by Cheyenne McCray is about an Incubus who falls in love with a woman but must choose to take her soul or be banished to the Realm of the Dead for eternity.
Equinox by L.A. Banks is about the goddess Artemis returning to save the forests that are being destroyed by oil and timber giants but ends up breaking her vow with a man she couldn't resist.
Ride a Dark Horse by Susan Krinard. Think of a popular country song . . . Save a horse, ride a cowboy. A woman goes to a ranch to have a break and there meets a wild horse and a strange man.
To Die For by Keri Arthur is a story about a werewolf and a wolf shifter teamed together to solve the mystery of disappearing boys in a small town. The only thing that gets in their way is their own lust.
Curse of the Dragon's Tears by Heidi Betts is an excellent story about a Scottish man who was cursed by a gypsy. One hundred years later a descendent of the gypsy returns to Scotland to find the man that her ancestor cursed, and when she finds him passion ensues.
Brother's Keeper by Lilith Saintcrow is only part of a story. It is about a sex witch who hates what she is and finds her brother murdered.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
My favorites of the bunch were Liu's, Arthur's and McCray's. Liu's two lonely souls coming together had such a sweetness to it, and I am a fan of Arthur's shifters -- this one reminded me of her Imajinn releases which you should check out if you like this one. But the real surprise for me was McCray's tale, I liked the story and liked that she avoided the cruder language she employs in her Magic series. The strangest entry was Saintcrow's, which seemed like it was randomly carved out of a larger story. And Harrison's was the one I liked the least, I read these out of order and the twist to the story left a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste coming on the heels of one of the sweeter romances in the book.
To wet your appetite, here's just a hint for each story.
** Marjorie Liu - "Minotaur in Stone" (PNR)- With a touch of myth, the Minotaur trapped in the Labyrinth and a woman imprisoned by her own isolation grasp their one chance for escape.(5 stars)
** Keri Arthur - "To Die For" (PNR)- A Wolf shifter psychic investigator finds it hard to avoid the animal attraction to her werewolf partner as they hunt for two kidnapped boys.(4.5 stars)
** Cheyenne McCray "Demon Lover" (PNR) - An Incubus' must choose whether his last assignment will earn him heaven or hell.(5 stars)
** Susan Krinard "Ride a Dark Horse" (PNR) - As a woman seeks solitude and emotional healing on a remote ranch, she encounters a dark sensual stranger and the majestic magical horse of her childhood dreams.(4 stars)
** Heidi Betts - "Curse of the Dragon's Tears"- (PNR) A woman searches out the man who has suffered her ancestor's curse and finds the unusual lover who has haunted her dreams for years.(4 stars)
** Tanya Huff "Music Hath Charms" (UF) -A musical duo who weave sensual magic with their music, are sought by two music execs - one who would use that power for a darker purpose.(4 stars)
** Linda Winstead Jones "Moonlight Becomes you" (PNR) - A woman is convinced that her new neighbor is a vamp. Is the attraction that she feels real or has she just fallen under his "spell"? (4 stars)
** Susan Sizemore and Denise Little "(Like a) Virgin of Spring" (PNR) - A group of time travelers may just have to make history to keep from changing the past.(4 stars)
** Lilith Saintcrow - "My Brother's Keeper" (UF) - An odd little slice of life, set in Saintcrow's Saint City World (Dante Valentine, Watchers) featuring a sexwitch and Nictvahren (vampire) with a bit of hate sex thrown in. (3.5 stars) -- it turns out this is the prequel to a serial novel available for subscription on Saintcrow's website.
** L.A. Banks "Equinox" (PNR)- A modern warrior is a worthy adversary for the huntress goddess who awakens to extract retribution from those who have despoiled the world. (3.5 stars)
** Carrie Vaughn - "Life is the Teacher" (UF) - A newbie vamp goes on her first hunt. (3 stars)
** Kim Harrison "Dirty Magic"(UF) - A banshee (emotional vampire) uses a wish to love without harm. (3 stars)
The worst of the lot were delivered by popular authors Kerri Arthur, Lilith Saintcrow and Kim Harrison. Arthur's story might have better, given more pages to fully develop. As it is, the whole story, as well the chemistry between the main characters was rushed. Characters who have sex at inopportune times (in this case, they are supposed to be trying to stop a murder) are a pet peeve of mine. Lilith Saintcrow's Brother's Keeper read like an excerpt from the middle of a larger novel; it feels like at some point you may have to buy the real novel to find out how the story eventually ends. Unfortunately, I won't be doing that anytime soon since I didn't particularly care for the characters.
Whether it's a result of cramming a dozen stories into one book, or just poor writing, I'm sorry to say this book left me cold. The better stories (Sizemore and Little, Banks, McCray and Liu) were simply not enough to compensate for the others.
It contains a dozen tales. As all collections, it has to have to have at least one author I'm familiar with. I'll briefly look at each tale.
Tanya Huff : Familiar with her Vampire mysteries, the Blood Series. Blood Price is the first book in that series.
This tale is about two brother musicians with a secret of their success. Weak story line. At times felt a bit more like a porn tale, with a supernatural twist.
Majorie M. Liu: Her tale is a twist on the Minotaur and the maze. Felt like it could have been more fleshed out. Fell short.
Cheyenne McCray: Her tale is about an Incubus and his intended victim, a writer. Not too bad of a tale.
L.A. Banks: An author I love. The first book in her Crimson Moon Series, is Bite the Bullet.
Her tale is about a Greek Goddess defending her forest, and a soldier on a mission to find missing CEO's taken hostage by an environmental terrorist group. Not bad.
Susan Kincaid: An ancient family curse from a witch. The man trying to find redemption and break it. Alright.
Keri Arthur: A werewolf and a shifter investigate the disappearance of teenage boys. This had potential but got lost somewhere along the way. Needed to be a bit more flushed out. Lacked balance of romance and case.
Heidi Betts: A modern twist on Beauty and the Beast. Alright tale.
Lillith Saintcrow: This tale is about a witch who gets her power from sex and a vampire, who "protects" her. Felt like a prologue or start of a full novel. Disappointed.
Susan Sizemore and Denise Little: This tale involves time travelers, The Dark Ages, and a famous legend.
Carrie Vaughn: An author I enjoy. Her werewolf series is Kitty Norville Series. The first book is Kitty and the Midnight Hour.
This tale is a about a young vampire who craves her old life, and breaks the rule of hunting in old haunts. It's pretty good.
Linda Winstead Jones: A mysterious next door neighbor, a vampire obsessed girl. Could he be a vampire? Not a bad tale.
Kim Harrison: Author I love. Rachel Morgan or The Hollows Series. First book is Dead Witch Walking.
This tale is a about a Psychic Vampire and her quest to find love.