Dates from Hell (Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, Lori Handeland)

Dates from Hell is a collection of four paranormal romance novellas by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong and Lori Handeland.

It’s an okay collection. I really liked Lynsay Sands’ story, but Kim Harrison’s was a complete fail, at least for somebody who doesn’t know the world she’s built (the novella is part of a series). Kelley Armstrong’s was fine, even though rather weak. Lori Handeland’s stories was infuriating.

Altogether, I was very happy that I did not spend money on this book. (Bookcrossing is wonderful.)

More about each story after the jump.

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil (Kim Harrison)

Ivy is a living vampire and a detective. When she starts to investigate a murder, she gets drawn into a bigger story, while trying to decide whether she should sleep with her boss.

This novella is part of Kim Harrison’s Hollows Series. Unfortunately, I don’t know this series – and I felt it reading the novel. I felt like I was continuously given the wrong information to understand how this world worked (so, there are living and dead vampires, but what exactly is the difference?) and Ivy always had problems with the same issues. The story is about 100 pages long and she mentioned at least 3 times that Ivy had to make up a lie to justify herself etc.

So, this is pretty much a character building exercise, which might be interesting for fans of the series but is frustrating for people who don’t know it.

The Claire Switch Project (Lynsay Sands)

Claire is a scientist who works on a kind of ray/laser that is supposed to make animals be able to camouflage themselves. Unfortunately, Claire gets exposed to the ray herself and ends up being able to shapeshift into any human she wants. And then she has to go to her school reunion.

This story was really funny. I actually laughed out loud on several occasions and even though the plot is slightly… far-fetched, you’re enjoying yourself too much to care. Definitely makes me want to check out more of Lynsay Sands’ stuff.

Chaotic (Kelley Armstrong)

Hope is a half-demon journalist who doubles (triples?) as a spy/bounty hunter. On the evening of a grand museum opening she stumbles upon cat burglar Karl and quickly gets caught up in events far bigger than she anticipated.

This story was very unremarkable. It flows along, and you’re always waiting for something to go click but it never does and then it’s over and it’s fine. There’s no other way to say it.

Dead Man Dating (Lori Handeland)

Kit goes on a blind date who turns out to be a demon-possessed dead man. Bugger. But at least that way, she meets rogue demon hunter Chavez who then continues to protect her from the demon who does not want to leave her alone.

I read this story and my jaw kept on dropping and dropping and dropping… First, there was Chavez saying that he liked women who read – and that was absolutely incredible because no man likes an intelligent woman, which I found incredibly insulting to all men. And then there was the big reveal that [SPOILER] the demon was after Kit because she was a virgin and there are basically no other virgins in New York and anyway, being a virgin is really important [/SPOILER]. And that’s just stupid.

Lori Handeland is definitely off my reading list.

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