She thought her date was out of this world.
Actually, he was not of this world . . .
We've all been on bad dates, nightmare dates, dreadful experiences that turned out to be uniquely memorable in the very worst way. But at least our partners for these detestable evenings were more or less . . . human!
Now Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland -- four of the very best writers currently exploring the dangerous seduction of the supernatural -- offer up dating disasters (and unexpected delights) of a completely different sort: dark, wicked, paranormally sensual assignations with werewolves, demon lovers, and the romantically challenged undead. Sexy, witty, chilling, and altogether remarkable, here is proof positive that some love matches are made someplace other than heaven.
Failing to capitalize on what should be a sure-fire concept, this quartet of paranormal romance novellas falls prey to the usual suspects: lack of cohesion, formulaic characters and flimsy plots. Harrison kicks off the book with a prelude to her Hollows series, an exposition-heavy tale of confusing office/vampire politics, in which a vampiric homicide detective looks for a way to get ahead at the office apart from letting the boss into her jugular. Harrison's over-the-top atmospherics make for a jarring transition to the light touch of the second novella, Sands's farcical story of young researcher-cum-shapeshifter Claire, who attends her high school reunion as two different people: herself, accompanying schoolyard dreamboat Kyle, and hunky Hollywood actor Brad Cruise, a favor to her dateless best friend Jill. Nestled in between Sands's slapstick and Handeland's passable closer about a tough-as-nails demon hunter out to save a virginal literary agent is the collection's one gem: Armstrong's tale of a bold and sassy half-demon peacekeeper who finds herself falling for a werewolf thief. Unlike her compatriots, Armstrong works well with the space constraint, giving her story an open-ended, promising conclusion.