Dates From Hell

Dates From Hell

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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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060854096
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/28/2006
Series: A Hollows Novella Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 494,605
Product dimensions: 6.76(w) x 4.06(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

Kim Harrison is best known as the author of the #1 New York Times best selling Hollows series, but she has written more than urban fantasy and has published more than two-dozen books spanning the gamut from young adult, accelerated-science thriller, several anthologies, and has scripted two original graphic novels set in the Hollows universe. She has also published traditional fantasy under the name Dawn Cook. Kim is currently working on a new Hollows book between other, non related, urban fantasy projects.

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

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.

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?" 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."


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.

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Dates from Hell 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 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
RavenswoodPublishing on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! So many good stories they pulled me in immediately. I rarely read anthologies but this one was well worth it! I highly recommend!
LCoale1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book looked promising, and I loved the smell of the book the former owner had left on it (I got it used, and it smelled of cigarettes and fruity perfume). Although it looked like it'd be good, and some of the book was good, I wasn't a fan of how erotic this book got, especially when it had been marked 'young adult.' The first story was me spending more time counting down pages until I was done than enjoying the tale. In fact, I was too confused to even appreciate what wasn't erotic, bloody sex/foreplay (undead vampires, live vampires, banshees?). The other stories were better, and the best was saved for last, but even then the tale was cut off too soon and still managed to have adult scenes. I was disappointed, to say the least.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Undead in the Garden is about vamps (Ivy) and I got bored with it & didn¿t finish. Claire Switch was a little too cutesy in the love relationship. Armstrong¿s Chaotic was awesome, and involved a chaos demon and Karl, the werewolf that isn¿t quite a member of the Pack. Handeland¿s story was ooookay, but the love was a little too overdramatic¿
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This entire book was a waste of time. None of the stories were particularly interesting. No, not even Kim Harrison's.
sunfi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a book of four different stand alone short stories by four popular female paranormal writers. I really had problems getting into the first story by Kim Harrison. It was about vampires and a particular group of characters that might be contained in her books, they just weren't well established here. They seemed to have a tremendous back-story it just wasn't presented in this story. The second story by Lynsay Sands, I couldn't read, I tried but when they talked about strapping down the bunny for test purposes I couldn't continue. Even though, I don't believe that they actually harmed or did anything to the animal, I couldn't get over the mental block. The third story was by Kelly Armstrong, I enjoyed it, I have read all of her other books and this was just as enjoyable as those were, this story was about Hope the chaos demon and Karl the Jewel thief. The final story by Lori Handeland was easy reading and fun, it dealt with demons who were taking over corpses to date. Not a lot of depth and some parts of it I found to be laughable.
thotcriminal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is great because it has Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison both!!!

hagelrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
as with any collection of short stories, espeically from different authors, I loved some, others, not so much. The Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong stories delivered everything i ha ve come to expect from their full books and I loved them.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Paranormal Romance. Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison- living vampire trying to get around her partner. I'm not entirely sure if I like the way sex is used in this story. But, Ivy is a strong female character who is smart and beautiful, and uses that to get ahead in her world.The Claire Switch Project - Lyndsay Sands. A poorly written story with science that doesn't make sense, a stupid girl who only wants to do the head scientist, and a horrible plan that I'm fairly sure I've seen in every Saturday morning cartoon (without the kinkiness). Also, the star the lead character turns into, Brad Cruise, is just wrong. The author could have at least attempted to give the star a new original name. Horrible, terrible, derivative story.Chaotic - Kelly Armstrong. The best one out of this collection. Its well written, with a lead character that is quite resourceful. I really enjoyed this story, and how Hope meets Karl.Dead Man Dating - Lori Handeland. The story is cute, but making the lead lady a rather frumpy book lover is rather clichéd, and after the announcement that Armageddon is coming, Kit only thinks about her lost virginity.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall I really enjoyed this anthology. All of the stories were entertaining. My two favorites were Kim Harrison's story about Ivy and Lori Handeland's "Dead Man Dating". My least favorite story was Kelley Armstrong's "Chaotic".-Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim HarrisonThis story was about Ivy when she was dating Kisten; Mia (the banshee from "White Witch, Black Curse" is involved as well). This story helped explain some of the back story between Ivy and Mia, as well as gave nice incite into Kisten and Ivy's history. It was an engaging story and I enjoyed it; overall (4/5 stars).-The Claire Switch Project by Lynsay SandsThis was a cute story about a girl who gets zapped by a molecular destabilizer and finds she can change shape. I liked how it was written; it was cute and funny. I have found that I like Lynsay Sands writing style, it is usually pretty funny and makes for a fun, quick read. (4/5 stars)-Chaotic by Kelley ArmstrongThis story was about a half demon girl drawn to chaos who finds other paranormals breaking the law. It was an okay story, but my least favorite of the bunch. I didn't like the female lead that much and I thought that the male werewolf lead was also a weak character. The idea of being drawn to chaos was neat, but I just couldn't get into the story. (3/5 stars)-Dead Man Dating by Lori HandelandThis one was a pretty darn good story. It is about a woman who is using an online dating service and accidentally hooks up with a demon. The heroine was a little flighty and weak for my taste, but there was a lot of action and it was an interesting premise. The story could be a nice set up for a series; maybe we will see more of the main characters as they take on demons all over the world in another book.
CheriePie69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The last two stories in this anthology really made this book. Though I like Kim Harrison's writing, her first published short story included here was kind of dry, though Kelley Armstrong's story really rocked. I've included individual reviews for each story below.Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim HarrisonRead 08-Jun ¿ 09-Jun-2006This is Ivy's story, before she meets Rachel and Jenks and starts Vampiric Charms. We learn a lot more about what makes Ivy tick, and how she comes to her decision to live blood-free as a living vampire. I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as the full-length novels because I missed having Rachel and Jenks too, but still, I appreciate this story for what it is... a deeper look into Ivy's life pre-Rachel. :)Rating: 6 starsThe Claire Switch Project by Lynsay SandsRead 06-Feb-2007Ugh, I should've known I wasn't going to like this one right from the first paragraph. The first sentence actually proclaimed, "A bunny," and I thought yay!! But then it turns out two of the main characters, Kyle and Claire, are running doing experiments and testing on the poor little bunny. And oh boy, I've got a wicked rant I can go on about animal testing, but since it's not really relevant to this review, sufficed to say that it's a wicked peeve of mine that hits a deep nerve.From there, we just have more cutesy, stupid characters who think nothing of hiding the truth from their friends and people they care about. Another pet peeve, one I can usually live with, but when a huge premise of the story is based upon such deception and lying, it angers me even more!I wonder why I kept on reading then... well, it was a short story and I was determined to finish it. And I did laugh at one or two parts. Had I not already read a full-length novel by this author, Single White Vampire, which I fairly enjoyed, I'd probably think twice about reading anything from this author if I were to base it only on this short story. I give it a few points not for the story, but because the author herself is a halfway decent writer, and that at least does come across here.Rating: 4 starsChaotic by Kelley ArmstrongRead 18-Feb ¿ 19-Feb-2007Hope is a tabloid reporter and "supposed agent" for the Interracial Council. As a Half-Demon, she's got skills that enable her detect chaotic events, past or present. While attending a museum gala, she meets up with charming werewolf and jewel thief, Karl Marsten, whom we've met in previous novels. And chaos rules!!This was an excellent story! Kelley really knows how to write a short story and make it as action-packed and exciting as her full-length novels. In this novella, we're introduced to a new character, Hope, a half-demon journalist, whom I'm hoping will appear again in future books or novellas. Since Karl Marsten seems to be romantically interested in her, this may be a good possibility.Rating: 9 starsDead Man Dating by Lori HandelandRead 23-Feb-2007Kit has been saving herself for marriage and true love, so what could be better than a dating agency named, remarkably, Little did she realize that her "date" would actually be a demon from hell, and that her "knight in shining armor" would appear to save her mortal soul?Kit is startled when the rogue demon hunter Chavez manages to extinguish her date in the alley right before her very eyes. But it turns out he's not really dead¿or is already dead, I should say¿and the demon, part incubus and part Rakshasas, continues to stalk her and attempt to seduce her. For only her virginity can save him. And finding a virgin in this day and age is so rare!With the help of Chavez, they're able to exploit the demon's weakness and bring about his destruction. But as they're told by Satan himself, the end of the world is near, and these new demons that he's made and unleased on the world are here to bring about A
w1cked on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A compilation of apparently "popular" authors, this book seems like a let down... because the first story is atrociously bad. Actually, let me rephrase that, it is not atrociously bad... It just drags on forever, which doesn't seem to be possible because it's supposed to be a short story. However, apparently whoever put together this book put the stories from worse to best. The last story makes up for the lag of the first.
lewispike on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A mix of stories from different authors. All dealing with the unusual - Ivy before she meets Rachel from KH, a "weird science" story from LS, a half-demon and a werewolf and a sorceror from KA and demon hunting from LH.Fun, but like a lot of short stories, a bit unsatisfying in my opinion. They get started, then they get over... The two from authors I know I'd happily have read whole novels. Lori Handeland's is rather more clearly a short story, but fun, will look for more of her stuff. Lynsay Sands's story seems to be out of character for what she's famous for writing, but still worked well enough I'll buy one if I see it.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A mixed bunch of stories. The first is a story of Ivy Tamwood before she meets with Rachel. The vampire politics didn't make my day and I really wanted to slap several of the characters until they left silly behind. Ivy is trying to solve a murder while also trying to stop her boss from using her for blood and sex. Honestly vampires would have died out a long time ago if some of what was going on here was typical of the species. Oooh the angst. BAH. 3/5 just about.Lynsay Sands had an interesting idea and then went pretty much nowhere with hers. An experiment that starts on animals ends up giving a woman the power to shapeshift. She decides to help a friend get revenge at a reunion. Another 3/5 and I was now starting to despair of the stories.Then Kelley Armstrong came to the rescue with the story of a half-demon tabloid reporter working undercover for the good guys, on a date with yet another one of her mother's prizewinning blind dates bumps into a werewolf jewel thief. This was a fun read, complete in itself yet leaving hints that there could be more. I'd like to meet the two main characters again in a story. 4/5Lori Handeland's Dead Man Dating was another quite good story, lagging a bit occasionally and suffering badly with the Armstrong but well against the other two. Hers is a Manhattan Literary agent is rescued on her date by a demon hunter, to find that the demon may have disappeared but he isn't dead. And he does want her. A fun, light read. 3.5/5Nothing I'd really add to my collection but the Kelley Armstrong was worth the price of admission.
Tudorrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
People say football is a game of two halves - and this is certainly a book of 4 quarters!I have to say the only story I enjoyed in this book was the one by Kelley Armstrong. I found the other 3 too predictable and didn't enjoy them one bit.Thank God for Kelley Armstrong then! Her story, "Chaotic", isn't just the best of a bad bunch, it is truly a great story - and adds another layer to some characters we have already met, as well as whetting our appentite with some fascinating new ones.This is a book you would be better borrowing than buying in my opinion as "Chaotic" is the ONLY saving grace
deety on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best story in the collection was Armstrong's, it was set in the same world as her Women of the Otherworld series, but used only a minor character from those books.I'm a big fan of Harrison, but her story felt awkward. It's backstory from her series, but I felt that it muddled the character of Ivy and made her less interesting. Ivy was better for me as more of a mystery, and I could have done without the Ivy/Kisten relationship detail. In the books, they have almost a sibling relationship, so I didn't enjoy reading about them making out.I didn't like the other two stories at all. One was a cheesy shapeshifting story (by Sands) that was heavy on the romance but pathetic on the paranormal. The Handeland story was about a demon hunter and a woman he tries to protect. It wasn't awful, but doesn't make me interested in reading more by her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read an Love the author who wrote these shorts, stories.
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BookVixen More than 1 year ago
I loved Kelley Armstrong's story, "Chaotic", about Karl and Hope's first meeting. I wasn't familiar with the other authors, and found them to be pretty good stories that gave me a taste of their writing styles.
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