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.
The first 83 pages, a story by LKH, is a waste of your time if you're already an Anita Fan, as it's just the beginning of the novel Incubus Dreams.
Dead Girls Don't Dance is a typical Mary Janice Davidson offering...not as good as the story of Dr. Sophie in the Bite Anthology (which actually had a bit of charm) featuring many of the same authors. Its just a mindless little bit of brain candy, and frankly, it sounds just like all her other stories. Vampires and their humans who act goofy/ditzy while Queen Betsy bitches endlessly about how inconvenient and annoying her immortality is and how much she loves shoes. Snore.
Originally Human, by Eileen Wilks, was actually the only standout in this volume, and it made me want to go out and find other things by this author. A blessedly original look at the supernatural, this time our heroine is a succubus and our hero...well, she finds him wounded and naked on the beach, a refugee from another dimension...and I won't ruin it for you, but let's just say he's NOT your typical werewolf/demon/vamp or similar.
If you are a fan of Eileen Wilks World of the Lupi series, these characters are tangential... existing in the same universe and making an appearance, very briefly, but their origins are never explained.
Rebecca York's story, Burning moon, was just ok. A bit predictable, and just not very original. Werewolf, check. Psychic, check. Murderous psycho keeping them on their toes, and apart, check. Vengeance, check.
My favorite story in this anthology was "Dead Girls Don't Dance" by MaryJanice Davidson. It made me laugh, a rare event when reading a vampire book. Now I have to read more by her!
My second favorite story "Burning Moon" by Rebecca York. It's a romance between a blind, psychic woman and a wolf shapeshifter though they don't start that way.
"Blood Upon My Lips" by Laurell K. Hamilton was taken from one of her books that I read. I remember not liking that scene since it was so drawn out and just seemed to be stuck into the book for the sex which culminates at the end of the scene and isn't shown in this story. But, don't worry, you didn't miss anything. I like a lot of Hamilton's work but she can get too wordy.
"Originally Human" by Eileen Wilks is a story about the relationship between a succubus and a strange man she finds hurt on the beach. I found it hard to relate to the characters and the plot moved slow. Yet, in its own way, it's an interesting, unusual story.
If only for my two favorite stories, I'm glad I ordered this book.
I liked all the stories in this anthology,with the exception of Eileen Wilks, Originally Human. Laurell K. Hamilton always delivers a great Anita Blake story, and Mary Janice Davidson can be counted on to add her special touch of humor with a story featuring a dash of Betsy.(Her story takes place somewhere between Undead and Unwed and Undead and Unemployed) Worth the read for these two stories,alone, in my opinion.
Laurel Hamilton's offering was rather disappointing -- it was an excerpt from one of her novels, so nothing new.
The other stories were wonderful! Davidson's Dead Girls Don't Dance is laugh-out-loud funny. I've never read anything by Eileen Wilks I didn't like and Rebecca York's story was also excellent. I'll have to look for other works by these authors.
I got this for the Hamilton story, but found it was only a portion pulled from one of the Anita Blake books and advertised as "a new Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter tale." It's the story of how (STOP READING - SPOILER FOLLOWS!) Anita, Nathaniel, and Damian form a triumvirate. The Mary Janice Davidson short story was cute - told the story of how Andrea Mercer and Daniel Harris met. I enjoyed the stories by Wilks and York enough to want to read more by those authors.
One need only glance at this anthology's lineup of authors to know that it's bound to be loaded with kinky, creative sex. And indeed, that's exactly what Hamilton delivers in "Beyond the Ardeur," which uses the setting of a wedding to bring back virtually the entire cast of characters from her popular series about necromancer Anita Blake. While Hamilton's fans will enjoy revisiting these night creatures, some may be disappointed to find that this tale is all sex and no slaying; the only mystery is which paranormal hunk(s) will satisfy Anita's ardeur. Far more suspenseful is York's "Burning Moon," which follows a blind tarot reader and a werewolf as they steam up the sheets and try to trap a serial killer. Equally compelling but more inventive is Wilks's "Originally Human"; neither the succubus heroine (whose age varies between 19 and 300, with stops at 50 and 35) nor the reader uncovers her amnesiac mystery man's identity till the final pages. Davidson, meanwhile, delivers nonstop, witty repartee and a surprise denouement in "Dead Girls Don't Dance," a delightful romance between a vampiress and her old college classmate. By turns sensual, suspenseful and amusing, this anthology will satisfy almost any craving. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
I collect any book that has an Anita Blake story in it by Hamilton. A Wonderful writer. This compulation has other good stories in it too so I'm currently reading more Wilks, and have read all of Davidson's offerings.
In the heat of the night, anything goes. Boundaries are crossed and secret yearnings take shape. Creatures stalk the shadows, surrendering to their wildest needs - and satisfying hungers that take their victims beyond fear to the dark edge of desire.
Four novellas focus on feminine desire. Hamilton, the reigning queen of vampiric romance, offers a new Anita Blake tale, "Beyond the Ardeur." Anita is attending a friend's wedding when Nathaniel, her pomme de sang (i.e., the outlet for her intense desire, or "ardeur"), makes known in no uncertain terms that he wants to take the relationship to the next level. Anita's subsequent actions take her to a place she has hitherto carefully avoided. In MaryJanice Davidson's "Dead Girls Don't Dance," vampire Andrea Mercer is literally dug up by an old crush, Daniel Harris, and during a trip to Minnesota to see the vampire queen, her desire for him reignites. Succubus Molly Brown discovers a gorgeous, naked man in the woods and decides to help him recover his memory in Eileen Wilks' "Originally Human," and in "Burning Moon," Rebecca York brings a werewolf seeking vengeance for his mate's death to a psychic's door.
This book was good but I did not like the last story because it was such a rushed plot - There is no way that chick fell for the wolf guy in less than 48 hours - Especially since they barely spoke - But anyway the other three were very good.
Creatures stalk the shadows,surrendering to their wildest needs and satisfying hungers that take their victims beyond fear to the dark edge of desire.Four of your favorite authors present their favorite characters in all-new tales of bloodlust,of appetitews that must be sated again and again,and of the passion that feeds them---
Four tales of lust, love and things that go BUMP in the night!! A good read, although the story by Laurel K. Hamilton leaves you wanting more, it leaves the story at a very, well...I'll just let you see for yourself!!
Top-notch collection of short novellette erotic fantastics by Laurell K. Hamilton with BLOOD UPON MY LIPS, Mary Janice Davidson with DEAD GIRLS DON'T DANCE, Eileen Wilks with ORIGINALLY HUMAN, and Rebecca York with BURNING MOON.
I liked the story by Davidson best, followed by Eileen Wilks. The York story seemed forced, and I do not like Hamilton. Anita Blake just doesn't do it for me, with the sex scenes minus any real interest from any of the partners, and lack of plot.