Dates from Hell

Dates from Hell

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by Kim Harrison, Lori Handeland, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
The cheapskate. The loud talker. The egomaniac. We've all had dates we'd rather forget, but nothing compares to those found in Dates from Hell, an explosive anthology featuring stories from four of the biggest names in supernatural fantasy: Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, and Lori Handeland.

Harrison, the author of the bestselling Rachel Morgan saga (Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; et al.) offers up a new story from the Hollows, a prequel of sorts that focuses on Morgan's vampiric friend, Ivy Tamwood, before the two met. In "Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil," Tamwood -- working as a homicide detective for Inderland Security -- must deal with an oversexed and undead boss who will do anything to taste her blood. In Armstrong's "Chaotic" (which takes place within her Otherworld universe), undercover operative and half demon Hope Adams is experiencing true hell, stuck with a boorish blind date at a museum charity gala. But when she catches a thief, who happens to be a werewolf, red-handed, the evening's festivities become unforgettable -- for all the wrong reasons.

Sexy, sharp-witted, and at times downright spooky, this quartet of novellas should appeal not only to the four authors' legions of dedicated fans but also to those who enjoy generous amounts of romance and eroticism mixed with their dark fantasy. Readers with a taste for genre-transcendent authors who blur the lines between fantasy, romance, and mystery -- like Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and Madelyn Alt -- will find Dates from Hell absolutely heavenly. Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
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. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060854096
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/28/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
426,023
Product dimensions:
6.76(w) x 4.06(h) x 1.14(d)

Read an Excerpt

Dates From Hell


By Kim Harrison

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Kim Harrison
All right reserved.

ISBN: 006085409X

Chapter One

Phone cradled between her shoulder and ear, Ivy Tamwood scooped another chunk of chili up with her fries, leaning over the patterned wax paper so it wouldn't drip onto her desk. Kisten was bitching about something or other, and she wasn't listening, knowing he could go on for half her lunch break before winding down. The guy was nice to wake up to in the afternoon, and a delight to play with before the sun came up, but he talked too much.

Which is why I put up with him, she mused, running her tongue across the inside of her teeth before swallowing. Her world had gone too quickly from alive to silent on that flight back home from California. My God, was it seven years now? It had been unusual to foster a high-blood living vampire child into a sympathetic camarilla, taking her from home and family for her last two years of high school, but Piscary, the master vampire her family looked to, had become too intense in his interest in her before she developed the mental tools to deal with it, and her parents had intervened at some cost, probably saving her sanity.

I could keep Freud in Havana cigars all by my lonesome, Ivy thought, taking another bite of carbs and protein. Twenty-three ought to be far enough away from that scaredsixteen-year-old on the sun-drenched tarmac to forget, but even now, after multiple blood and bed partners, a six-year degree in social sciences, and landing an excellent job where she could use her degree, she found her confidence was still tied to the very things that screwed her up.

She missed Skimmer and her reminder that life was more than waiting for it to end so she could get started living. And while Kisten was nothing like her high school roommate, he had filled the gap nicely these last few years.

Smiling wickedly, Ivy gazed through the plate-glass wall that looked out on the floor of open offices. Weight shifting, she crossed her legs at her knees and leaned farther across her desk, imagining just what gap she'd like Kisten to fill next.

"Damn vampire pheromones," she breathed, and pulled herself straight, not liking where her thoughts took her when she spent too much time in the lower levels of the Inderland Security tower. Working the homicide division of the I.S. got her a real office instead of a desk in the middle of the floor with the peons, but there were too many vamps -- both living and undead -- down here for the air circulation to handle.

Kisten's tirade about prank phone calls ended abruptly. "What do vamp pheromones have to do with humans attacking my pizza delivery crew?" he asked in a lousy British accent. It was his newest preoccupation, and one she hoped he'd tire of soon.

Rolling her chair closer to her desk, Ivy took a swig of her imported bottled water, eyes askance on the boss's closed door across the large room. "Nothing. You want me to pick up anything on the way home? I might be able to wing out of here early. Art's in the office, which means someone died and I have to go to work. Bet you first bite he's going to want to cut my lunch short" -- she took another sip -- "and I'm going to take it off the end of my day."

"No," Kisten said. "Danny is doing the shopping today."

One of the perks of living atop a restaurant, she thought, as Kisten started in on a shopping list she didn't care about. Pulling her plate of fries off her desk, she set them on her lap, being careful to not spill anything on her leather pants. The boss's door opened, catching her eye when Art came out, shaking hands with Mrs. Pendleton. He'd been in there a full half hour. There was a stapled pack of paper in his hands, and Ivy's pulse quickened. She'd been sitting on her ass going over Art's unsolved homicides for too long. The man had no business being in homicide. Dead did not equal smart.

Unless being smart was in manipulating us into giving the undead our blood. Ivy forced herself to keep eating, thinking the undead targeted their living vampire kin more out of jealousy than maintaining good human relations, as was claimed. Having been born with the vampire virus embedded into her genome, Ivy enjoyed a measure of the undeads' strengths without the drawbacks of light fatality and pain from religious artifacts. Though not in line with Art's abilities, her hearing and strength were beyond a human's, and her sense of smell was tuned to the softer flavors of sweat and pheromones. The undeads' need for blood had been muted from a biological necessity to a bloodlust that imparted a high like no other when sated . . . addictive when mixed with sex.

Her gaze went unbidden to Art, and he smiled from across the wide floor as if knowing her thoughts, his steady advance never shifting and the packet of paper in his hand moving like a banner of intent. Appetite gone, she swiveled her chair to put her back to the room. "Hey, Kist," she said, interrupting his comments about Danny's recent poor choice of mushrooms, "change of plans. By the amount of paperwork, it's one of Art's cleanup runs. I won't be home till sunup."

"Again?"

"Again?" she mocked, fiddling with a colored pen until she realized it telegraphed her mood and set it down with a sharp tap. "God, Kisten. You make it sound like it's every night."

Kisten sighed. "Leave the paperwork for tomorrow, love. I don't know why you bust your ass so hard. You're not moving up until you let Artie the Smarty go down on you."

Continues...


Excerpted from Dates From Hell by Kim Harrison Copyright © 2006 by Kim Harrison. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, Ever After, and The Undead Pool, plus the short story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider and graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at lynsaysands.net.

When librarians finally granted Kelley Armstrong an adult card, she made straight for the epic fantasy and horror shelves. She spent the rest of her childhood and teen years happily roaming fantastical and terrible worlds, and vowed that someday she'd write a story combining swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead. That story began with the New York Times bestselling Sea of Shadows and continues with Empire of Night.

Armstrong's first works for teens were the New York Times bestselling Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising trilogies. She lives in rural Ontario with her husband, three children, and far too many pets.

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Dates from Hell 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kim Harrison's short story was, unfortunately, not nearly as good as her books. The plot was simply not that interesting. And, while the main character starts off with an interesting internal battle, she simply seems to be whining by the end of the story. One thing that frustrates me about this story, is that Ms. Harrison obviously has a very interesting world for her characters, yet has a choppy, incohesive way of getting it across to her readers. Lynday Sands' short story was an interesting, light hearted tale. While the story and characters held no surprises, the concept was a unique take on shapeshifting which kept a predictable story from being bland. Kelly Armstrong's short story was my favorite of all of them. She does an amazing job of creating well-defined characters and situations within a very limited space. Though the ending was situated to continue the characters' story and wasn't a 'true' ending, overall Ms. Armstrong's story made me glad I purchased the book. Lori Handeland's short story was also very well done. Ms. Handeland has a dry wit that I truly enjoy and that doesn't take away from the intrigue/suspense of her stories. Overall, those who are fans of Handeland and Armstrong should be pleased with their contributions. Sands' fans will enjoy her story as well, but probably not as much as her books. Harrison fans may find themselves disappointed, as I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first i thought that the stories would be dull but it got better and better as i read on...i couldn't put it down. the stories are interesting and funny. A must read for those who prefer paranormal romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I loved the Hollows series by Harris, unfortunately, that was the only story that wasn't so great. I guess Racheal really is the backbone of the series. As for the other stories, I couldn't put the book down. I'm definitely going to look over the other authors now.
harstan More than 1 year ago
¿Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil¿ by Kim Harrison. Inderland Security Homicide Division cop and living vampire Ivy seeks a killer who knows her every move even as she evades the moves of her boss Art an undead vampire. The trail twists and turns leaving Ivy wondering who is the rogue serial killer. --- ¿The Claire Switch Project¿ by Lynsay Sands. No longer having patience with the slow progress of the experiments on molecular destabilizing animals, John turns the beam on Claire. Kyle returns to the lab to get Claire away from the beam. Neither know the longer term effect, but Kyle realizes how frightened and in love he is while Claire has loved him since high school. --- ¿Chaotic¿ by Kelley Armstrong. On Otherworld, half-breed demon Hope works for True News tabloid covering stories of the weird. At a party, she observes shapeshifter Karl stealing from a safe and catches him just as expected by an agent of the Interracial Council. Keeping him handcuffed without using her female wiles proves difficult and dangerous not that she is complaining. --- ¿Dead Man Dating¿ by Lori Handeland. After months without a date Kit is with Eric, but is unaware that he died a few hours ago. She soon learns that her date is a demon, albeit a headless one, when hunter Chavez blows Eric¿s head off. Suddenly every soulless and a few 'souled' folks are interested in Kit, perhaps the last virgin in Manhattan only Chavez keeps her safe, but he wants her virginity too. --- These are four terrific romantic fantasies with delightful lead couples. The tales by Ms. Harrison and Ms. Armstrong occur in the locales of their continuing series adding to the pleasure. Harriet Klausner
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