Four short stories by four great authors.
Blood Upon My Lips by Laurell K. Hamilton
This is a condensed and slightly modified version of the first 13 chapters (95 pages) from Incubus Dreams
, the 12th book in the Anita Blake series. It leaves out a lot of parts that don't specifically have to do with the Ardeur, making slight modifications to the story to allow it to flow smoothly without the missing pieces. Thus new readers who may have picked up this anthology as their first introduction to Anita Blake may not be all that impressed since most of the Anita books have multiple plot lines going on simultaneously and a lot of the good stuff has been stripped from this story.
It all takes place during a single 24 hour period, focusing on Anita's Ardeur. We also find out a great deal more about both Nathaniel and Damian. I found it okay reading only because I really love the Anita Blake series, however this particular story had nothing of danger or intrigue to it and seemed to drag on tediously in some spots. You're really better off just reading Incubus Dreams
Dead Girls Don't Dance by Mary Janice Davidson
Though I haven't read her other books yet, this short story is supposed to take place between the times of Undead and Unwed
and Undead and Unemployed
. It's a funny, quirky tale of a girl vampire making her way to Minneapolis to pay homage to the new Queen. The writing style is drippy sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humor. Overall, a fairly decent read.
Originally Human by Eileen Wilks
This is the second Eileen Wilks short story I've read, and though I didn't like it as much as the other (Only Human
found in the Lover Beware
compilation), it was still a pretty good read. For those who appreciate romance more than danger and intrigue, unlike me, you might actually prefer this one over the other.
Burning Moon by Rebecca York
A blind psychic and a werewolf, whose paths are thrown together by destiny, and danger. I appreciated this story enough that I've added all the books from York's MOON series to my wish list.