I am SO happy that I decided to buy this book. I am always leary of vampire romance because some writers get pretty nasty with the sex, where the relationships usually lack true love and romance. I found two new authors that I really enjoy (Larissa Ione and Jacquelyn Frank) and was not disappointed in Alexandra Ivy's story! She is one of my favorite authors. G.A. Aiken was not my "cup of tea", so to speal, but all in all this book had an awesome combination of talented writers.
This was a great collection of short stories and I am usually a harsh critic of anthologies. Out of the four stories, I only couldn't get into one of them. I usually don't include a synopsis in my reviews but the book cover wasn't exactly accurate so I will.
"Vampire Fight Club" by Larrisa Ione: I've never read Ione before but this story has piqued my interest about the world she created. Vladlena is a shifter nurse who works at a hospital for "others." She can't shift which is basically a death sentence on her head. While working, her brother comes in brutality beaten to the brink of death. Before passing, he leaves a clue to an others club managed by Nathan (a vampire with an ability to walk in daylight). Of course Vladlena applies for the medic job at the club so she can investigate the murder of her brother. Nicely written story although I had some trouble digesting that her friends would have let her go through with her plans with so little help. The chemistry between Nathan and Vladlena was good. The story is a bit predictable but still fun to read.
"Darkness Eternal" by Alexandra Ivy: Another author I have not read. Very quick pace story about a vampire named Uriel who was sent relunctantly to rescue Kata, a gypsy with some cursing power although Ivy makes a distiction between gypsy and witches. Since this was part of a much larger plot I think would have enjoyed it more if I read a few more of her books. Pretty decent read.
"Kane" by Jacquelyn Frank: I had a hard time with her writing style and couldn't get into the story. I didn't end up finishing it.
"Dragon on Top" by G.A. Aiken: This was the story I originally got the book for. If you have never read Aiken, you will be a little shocked that she is in this anthology. This is from her dragon shifters series. Even though there is a loose sense of romance there is a lot of slapstick humor. The other three stories do not contain that element. But I love her stuff. They are silly and full of laughs. Ghleanna the Decimator has been forced out of her brooding to escort Bram the Merciful on a diplomatic mission. Bram has been in love with Ghleanna for years but she never knew he existed (like the cool cheerleader falling for the nerd, except the cheerleader carries an axe and headbutts everyone). Great story and it makes me want to reread all her books again.
Usually I have a very difficult time reading short stories, but could not turn this one down as it was only authors I already liked!! And although I had to remind myself that it was a short story even if I wanted a lengthier version, I was not disappointed. For readers who do not read these authors, the stories may not be as interesting. Knowing the series' characters and where the current hero/heroine belonged in the larger schematic was very helpful. However anyone who has been reading the authors' series, the stories provided the missing pieces/stories of main characters. Enjoy!
The only story I read was "Vampire Fight Club" by Larissa Ione.
Vladlena is a shapeshifter who can't shift, which means she will be dead in a matter of weeks. When Lena's brother is brought to Underground General Hospital and dies, she vows revenge against the creatures that hurt him. Going undercover as a medic in a vampire bar, Lena tries to find information on the fight club where her brother was killed. What she finds is sexy bar manager, Nathan, a vampire who was seeking his own revenge.
This novella is a nice continuation of Larissa Ione's Demonica series. Lena works at UGH and is friends with the staff, many of whom make appearances in this story. It's a quick read and a nice addition to the series. My rating: 4 Stars.
The only story I read in this book is the Dragon on Top.
The more I read on the better I love this series. T