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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on June 29, 2004
I bought this book because of Laurell K. Hamilton and MaryJanice Davidson, but amazingly enough, I liked all four stories.
Laurell K. was interesting as always. There are tantalizing hints of things to come: what _is_ wrong with Tammy's father anyway? And I'm looking forward to seeing less of the ardeur type stuff, and more action adventure. However, I will buy anything that she writes.
What can I say about MaryJanice Davidson? I just started reading this author with her "Undead and Unwed" book, and now I've gone back to try to get everything she's written. This story is as hilarious as her others; among other things, the librarian is priceless.
I also liked Rebecca York's new entry in her werewolf series. The interweaving of the story with the tarot cards was interesting and unusual, and I hope she writes more in this series.
However, the real surprise (and pleasure) was Eileen Wilks' story. I didn't guess who Michael was, and I wanted to know more about her world and these characters. I checked to see what other things she's written, and wasn't surpised to find that she'd written another intriguing story in the anthology "Lover Beware"; I wanted to know more about _that_ world too, (which may be the same world). Here's hoping she writes a full-length paranormal sometime soon.
As I said, I really liked this anthology, and I gave it 5 stars, not because _every_ story in here was necessarily a 5 star story, but because I fell that all of them rated 4 or 5 stars, and that is very unusual in an anthology.
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on July 6, 2004
I tore through this in about five hours and man, am I tired.
The only author I was familiar with was LKH, and I figured out that the "story" was nothing more than the tease that one always gets in her latest paperback before the hardcover comes out (like the funeral scene from Cerulean Sins that was included at the end of Nacissis In Chains). I really want to read the book, and though wild horses could not have kept me from reading the snippet, I didn't find it satisfying. It was, as other have said, a bit confusing and definitely...well...a tease.
The second story, Dead Girls Don't Dance, I lurved. I may check out the author's other novel, Undead and Unwed, although I am worried about Betsy. She struck me even in the little bit part that she plays at the end of the story as rather annoying. Sinclair, however, seems to have miles of potential, so we'll see. As for the story itself, I adored both Andy (I mean Andrea) and her dopey, yet not entirely without sense, beau.
I was very fond of the third story. I liked the universe in which it existed and I'd like to know more about it. Like the other stories, I suspect that this one has other novels written about it, and I see myself looking up the author in the future. You don't get a lot of books about succubi, so I have to give the author kudos for doing something a tad different. As for the hero -- what he turned out to be was definitely a first for me. I don't think I've ever read about a hero quite like Michael. Ever.
The fourth story was probably my least favorite. I'm not terribly keen on werewolves that aren't of the LKH variety, first off. Secondly, I really don't like the romance/mystery genre. Just not my bag. Lastly, I didn't buy the instant attraction between the two characters. They were more or less strangers, yet they were banging each other right off the bat. Even with Grant thinking of his dead wife most of the time, which I found rather more creepy than anything else.
YMMV, and likely does.
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on July 6, 2004
I eagerly awaited this book because of Eileen Wilks and Mary J. Davidson. I was not disappointed! Eileen Wilks' "Originally Human" was simply great, and kept me guessing until the very end as to what kind of creature the hero really was - talk about inventive. Ms. Wilks has been writing long-winded, boring contemporaries for years. Thank Heavens she finally happened on to her true genre - romantic fantasy. After reading about Lily and Rule in another anthology, I just knew I had to buy Cravings.
M. J. Davidson's "Dead Girls Don't Dance", was great. You have to read it. If for no other reason than the line about the "Incredible Journey". What a hoot. Ms. Davidson's Undead series about Vampire Queen Betsy is just fabulous. Ms. Davidson's sense of humor has had me LOL for hours.
"Burning Moon" by R. York was a good read, but couldn't compare to the other two offerings mentioned above. In the past Ms. York has wrote much better books, leading me to believe that the short story format is not her cup of tea. Trust me, her past novels are very good, and well worth buying.
As for the lead off story, "Beyond the Ardeur", it is quite simply a waste. Now before all the LKH fans get ready to hang me, let me explain that I am a rabid LKH fan also. I LOVE LKH. She and Nora Roberts' "In Death" series are the ONLY books I will buy in hardback and paperback both. However, the expectation from anyone who is not a hardcore LKH fan is that "Beyond the Ardeur" is a new short story. It's not. It is several chapters of the new LKH book, "Incubus Dreams", which will be published in hardback in September. Ms. Hamilton took 3 or 4 chapters of the new book and slammed them together to create this so-called "short story". Personally, I think this is misleading and slightly unethical to represent a story in an anthology as a new short story by an author, but it is really a mismatch of chapters from a new book coming out in the fall. I realize in the publishing business "it's all about the money", but I think Ms. Hamilton has more integrity than this, and I wish she would quit letting herself be used in this manner. Anyway, the "short story" was very confusing, had no flow and only left you hanging. If you were a big fan like myself, you found the four marks that Damien got from Anita to be VERY interesting, and I can't wait to see where the story goes from here. I think the solution is that Ms. Hamilton needs to just write faster. Two books a year are not nearly enough! *grin*
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on July 7, 2004
I am a Hamilton fan, especially of the Anita Blake series. But, like other reviewers, I was disappointed in her selection. Obviously, it's an excerpt from the next book (which I am looking forward to), but doesn't work well as a story. Anyone who hadn't already been introduced to Anita would be clueless and confused. That said, I am looking forward to finding out what this new relationship will mean to Anita and all of the men/vampires/werebeasts in her life.
I enjoyed York's story, and the blind heroine was an interesting twist. I am wondering what will happen when she runs out of Marshall men for her werewolf tales--can't be too many of them left, as most of them die when undergoing their first change.
Davidson's story was a kick. I giggled all the way through it. Her fresh and humorous take on vampires is a relief from the dark drama in so many stories of the undead. (I enjoy dark drama as much as the next reader, but it's nice to take a break from that sometimes).
I have never read anything by Wilks, and for me her story was the best of the collection. It was unique, with different characters and a surprise reveal at the end. I'll be looking for more of her work--I found it quite fascinating.
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on July 14, 2004
I was very excited to read this book, having eagerly anticipated the next Anita Blake novel. I was disappointed to hear that this would be only an excerpt, rather than a stand-alone story (it would be easy enough to give us a short adventure with our favorite characters without affecting the standing plotlines!), but I bought the book anyway, to tide me over until "Incubus" is released.
Laurell K. Hamilton has never shown much regard for the finished product--her paperbacks contain the same typos that were in the hardcover edition, and there seems to be a series lack of copy editing before the books hit the stores. "Cravings" is just embarrassing--the excerpt is pointless and unrewarding, and the text is rife with errors--a student in a high school English class would be ashamed of such a piece!
The other stories are mediocre, feeling more like padding for the LKH story than anything else, and they have less of an edge than the Anita Blake-style tales.
Overall, I feel like I should send my copy to the publisher with red marks all over it and demand a refund. An author should respect her readers, and a publisher should have dignity enough to present a complete product. This is like the factory-seconds of novels.
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on July 6, 2004
I disagree with some of the other reviews. The stories I liked best were by Rebecca York and Eileen Wilks. From reading Rebecca York, I'd say her specialty is tortured heroes. In this story, she did a fantastic job of writing about a werewolf who had lost his lifemate and was totally focused on killing the man who murdered her. But he met a strong, sexy woman who brought him back to life.

I liked the alternate universe Ms. Wilks created in her story. I hope she is going to do more stories using this alternate reality. Her hero was fantastic, and I loved the secret that was revealed about him. He feared the heroine would reject a man like him, but he was wrong.

This fan of the paranormal liked the tension and the characters in both these stories. Both these stories are more serious in content than the other two. And I want to read more by both these authors. Their stories rate 5 stars.
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on July 2, 2004
Don't waste your money on this one. The only one worth reading is by MaryJanice Davidson. This book is 8 dollars and it is not worth 2.
The anita story is so dumb, I am tired of all the weird boyfriends, not to mention girlfriends. Hamilton writes a good book, but her short stories are not so hot.
Eileen Wilks is one author I have never read before. I did not care at all for the story. With a name like cravings and 3 good authors we should get at least 3 good stories.
But Rebecca york even lets us down. I loved all the moon books. Witching Moon was my favorite. However, when they say a wolf mates for life, I thought he mated for his life. Obviously with this story we learn he mates for her life. I felt she let us down on this one.
DEAD GIRLS DON'T DANCE is funny and gives us a glimpse of her next book. UNDEAD AND UNEMPLOYED. So for my part MaryJanice Davidson is still a good read.
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on July 16, 2004
I bought the book because of Rebecca York. I'd just finished her three moon books and wanted more. The short story here was a nice addition, and I hope there will be more of these werewolf stories.
Originally Human, by Eileen Wilks, was my second favorite. Her characters kept my interest and she had a spark of humor. I'd really like to know more about the sorcerer, Cullen, if she gets back to this realm, and I can see lots of room for expanding on the story of the two characters here - I *want* to know what happens to them next.
Mary Davidson's story was good. I haven't read her before, but ads for her books looked interesting.
I was disappointed in the Hamilton story. In fact, I didn't read it all the way through. It started interestingly enough, but went downhill, seemingly more about sex than story, unfortunately.
Still worth the money for the other three, though.
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on July 4, 2004
I enjoyed all the stories. LK Hamilton's story is just the first few chapters of her new book that will be coming out soon and I can't wait! I for one am very happy that she does this because it gives everyone the chance to find out what will happen next! She wrote more about a few characters that she had not really talked about before gave them more depth I guess. In Rebecca York's short story we get to learn more about her werewolves and I was happy to learn that while her werewolves mate for life, it is possible to overcome loss and love again. I think someone said that she changed the rules...I do not see it that way. I see where a man lost what he loved the most and was given a second chance at life, a second chance to love.
I loved MaryJanice Davidson's story, she is hysterical and I had not really read anything by Ms. Wilks, but I enjoyed the story.
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on July 4, 2004
First off, I bought the book for Laurell K Hamilton's work. Before reading it, I knew it was not indeed a short story, but an sample of her book that is due out in September (Incubus Dreams). I found the sample extremely frustrating, but at the same time it was excellent. Frustrating because I need to know what happens next, and excellent because it managed to develop two characters who have been two-dimensional so far. It's a must read for Anita fans who are as impatient as I am.
Dead Girls Don't Dance was the other story that I also enjoyed, mostly because it is quite similiar to Hamilton's style of writing. However, I found the main characters somewhat boring. The story itself was interesting: the emotional struggles of a young vampire.
This anthology was definitely worth the 8 dollars, but you have to know what to expect before buying it.
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