Hotter Than Hell

Hotter Than Hell

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061161292
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/24/2008
Series: A Hollows Novella Series
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 561,462
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.40(d)

About 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.

Martin H. Greenberg is an anthologist who lives with his wife and young daughter in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he is a college professor. He has several grown children. Over the years he has collected stories for more than 100 books including Things That Go Bump in the Night, Spaceships and Spells, Dragons and Dreams, and Werewolves, all for HarperCollins

Read an Excerpt

Hotter Than Hell

Music Hath Charms

Tanya Huff

As Glen maneuvered his car over the rutted field the sign insisted was the parking lot, Ali frowned out the tinted window at a line of teenagers dressed in white and leading enormous brown cows and wondered if her partner had lost his mind. Bands that played the county fair circuit might be a step above garage bands, but it was usually a small step. Bedford Entertainment needed to sign a group that could pull in some numbers, and she didn't think they'd find that here.

"What's up with the kids and the cows?" she wondered as they bounced to a stop next to an impressively rusted pickup.

Glancing past her as he shifted into park, Glen shrugged. "Different leash laws in the country, I guess. Come on, they're on in twenty minutes."

He'd brought her here to see a band named NoMan. Five-man, country-rock, fronted by two brothers, Brandon and Travis Noman. One sang lead, one played...well, in country-rock she supposed it was a fiddle, wasn't it? She wasn't sure about the name but names were easy enough to change. They were backed by guitar, bass, and drums but she had no information on the musicians.

When asked, Glen laughed. "Backup doesn't matter, Ali, it's the brothers you're here to see. You could back those two with?.?.?.??with boy-band leftovers and they'd still kick ass."

"A ringing endorsement."

He laughed again. "You'll see."

The stage had been set up at one end of the midway. It had a back and a roof of sorts and the ubiquitous three guys in black t-shirts screwing around with the sound system, but there was no disguising it was actually a hay wagon or that haybales had been arranged in rows for the audience. This explained Glen's instruction to wear jeans.

"How rustic," she murmured as they settled on a bale at the end of the fourth row.

"Trust me."

She closed her hand around his arm. "Please tell me you didn't sleep with them and you've dragged me out to the middle of nowhere to hear a thanks-for-the-fuck audition."

He laid his hand over hers, large and warm and calming. "I didn't and it isn't. Although I would have. Couldn't get close."

Leaning around him, Ali realized the bales were filling fast with an interesting cross section of humanity. She hadn't known baseball caps came in such a wide variety of colors. A closer look at the packed first three rows...the rows between her and the stage...and she realized no one sitting there could be considered either old or young and they all exuded a certain visceral anticipation as they waited for the show to start.

Evidently, NoMan had groupies. A decent enough showing for a Saturday afternoon gig at a county fair but not the kind of numbers that would have kept Glen away from the prize. Nor, more importantly, the kind of numbers that would make them the saviors Bedford Entertainment needed.

On the other hand, if they were as good as Glen said they were, she could build their numbers to the point where they'd become what she needed. And if they weren't?.?.?.??at least she'd got out of the city for the afternoon. There had to be some truth in what everyone said about fresh air.

"If you'd got to them, would they?" she wondered, determined to distract herself.

Mouth by her ear, he murmured, "I pegged them as enthusiastically nondiscriminating."

Well, she was all for enthusiasm. Settling her weight against Glen's shoulder, she found a certain amusement in noting the envious looks being sent her way. Six foot meant a lot of leg in tight jeans, the heavy white shirt emphasized the breadth of his shoulders, and the rolled-up sleeves exposed muscular forearms. It might have been gym muscle, not work muscle, but he didn't look out of place amid the surrounding country boys. The light dusting of freckles across his nose just added to the wholesome appeal.

"What are you smiling about?"

"The bottle redhead in the front row keeps turning to give you the eye."

He drew his tongue over a full lower lip, watched her squirm and said, "Her boyfriend's not bad."

"And that's why I was smiling."


"And that's why you love me." Ali had a feeling she was attracting some attention herself, felt that prickling between her shoulder blades that said someone was staring. The feeling grew and, although she'd had every intention of ignoring it, she finally turned. No mistaking the familiar figure standing just behind the last row of hay bales.

He winked. He pushed back the curl of thick, dark hair that fell over his forehead and he unmistakably winked one brilliant blue eye when he caught her staring.


She tightened her grip on Glen's arm. "Tom Hartmore's here."

Muscle tensed but Glen didn't turn. "If Tom's here then Mike's interested."

"You think?" she snapped. There was nothing Michael Richter's Vital Music Group liked better than finding a band just on the verge of breaking out and thrusting them out onto the world stage. Vital made stars out of guts and raw talent...Ali had to give them that...and they were so good at it most of the musicians took years to realize they'd signed an iron-clad contract giving away rights to everything up to and including posthumous work. Michael Richter didn't believe in death cutting into his bottom line.

"Tom could be doing some preliminary scouting. Working on rumor. If he had actual word on the band?.?.?."

"Then Mike would be here himself, he wouldn't send Tom." The knot loosened in Ali's stomach. They were still one step ahead.

Hotter Than Hell. Copyright © by Kim Harrison. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Hotter Than Hell 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even if you don't normally like anthologies, there is such a variety of authors and styles in Hotter than Hell that you're sure to find more than a few that you'll like. And since the stories here are truly short stories, instead of the usual four novellas, there are a dozen little tidbits from some of the hottest paranormal romance(PNR) and urban fantasy (UF) authors. Weighing in at 30 to 50 pages each, most of the authors manage to squeeze a fair amount story into these sexy shorts even though the setup is fast and consummation follows quickly to leave room for the resolution.
My favorites of the bunch were Liu's, Arthur's and McCray's. Liu's two lonely souls coming together had such a sweetness to it, and I am a fan of Arthur's shifters; this one reminded me of her Imajinn releases which you should check out if you like this one. But the real surprise for me was McCray's tale, I liked the story and liked that she avoided the cruder language she employs in her Magic series. The strangest entry was Saintcrow's, which seemed like it was randomly carved out of a larger story. And Harrison's was the one I liked the least, I read these out of order and the twist to the story left a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste coming on the heels of one of the sweeter romances in the book. Great read. Check it out.
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
Tanya Huff "Music Hath Charms" A bit confusing and not interesting in the least.

Marjorie Liu "Minotaur in Stone" Slow start and rocky middle. The story is a bit romancey for me. The usage of Greek mythology is the redeeming factor that made this story interesting. The sex was ok, just a bit weird, being that she was having sex with a creature that has the head of a bull and the body of a man.

Cheyenne McCray "Demon Lover" Exquisite story! Extremely sexy. Cheyenne really knows how to get you to connect with the characters. The story is about an incubus who falls in love. I'll stop there so I won't give anything away. The sex was hot and sensual. The scenes have a lot of sexual tension in them. This is the first time I've read anything thing from this author. Her story was so compelling that I will definitely check out her others books.

L.A. Banks "Equinox" Just about as perfect a story as you are going to get. The story has a lot of subtle humor that I loved. I also loved the contrast between old times and modern times. I love how different cultures were used. Definitely something different from the norm.

Susan Krinard "Ride A Dark Horse" Not really sure what to say about this one. It was mediocre at best.

Keri Arthur "To Die For" Extremely intriguing and sexy. Keri sure knows how to tell a story. This story was about two paranormal agents. One a werewolf, the other a were shifter. The assignment they are given thrust them into more than danger. This story had it all; mystery, action, sexual tension and great sex. I have not read any of Keri's books but I definitely plan to pick one up in the near future.

Heidi Betts "Curse of the Dragon Tears" This story was predictable but was still extremely interesting. Laura is on a quest that brings her to Scotland, land of her foremothers. She is on a quest to find the man her great-grandmother cursed 100 years ago. This was a great little story and will not disappoint.

Lilith Saintcrow "Brother's Keeper" This is the first story that I have liked from Lilith since Dante Valentine series. Lilith always has great plots, for some reason her Jill Kismet drags out every moment and emotion. In this story Lilith delivers! I have always wanted Lilith to delve more into the sex-witches from the Dante Valentine series and couldn't be more thrilled with this terrific story. Hopefully we will hear more from Selene & Nokolai in the near future.

Susan Sizemore & Denise Little "Like A Virgin of the Spring" Just couldn't hold my interest.

Carrie Vaughn "Life is the Teacher" Entrancing story. Disappointingly short, I wanted a lot more. Emma's a new vampire that experiences her first real feed.

Linda Winstead Jones "Moonlight Becomes You" Charming little story. Claire suspects her next door neighbor of being a vampire. Little does she know he has his own secret suspicions for her as well.

Kim Harrison "Dirty Magic" Mia the banshee returns. A couple things have changed for Mia since we last heard about her in Dates From Hell. Mia is now a mother of a beautiful daughter, has a husband and a lover or so we think. This short story is full of twist. I didn't even see the end coming. Needless to say, I would love to see more of Mia in the near future.

The good stories in this book more than make up for the dull ones.
doggis More than 1 year ago
Great Book. very hot. enjoyed it immensely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a mix of mysticism,spirituality,fantasy and the occult.charactors are vibrant,emotional and the stories are fast paced,overall a perfect mix
EmTeeS More than 1 year ago
I chose this book because I had enjoyed two of Kim Harrison's other short story compilations, Dates From Hell and Holidays Are Hell. Though not as strong as those two books, this one still had a lot to offer. The styles and theme of the stories varied widely, from pure paranomral romance to mystery to environmentalist propaganda (L.A. Bank's Equinox, which I enjoyed despite the heavy-handed message.) Despite what could have been a restrictive theme--each story features at least one steamy sexual encounter where one or both partners is a supernatural being--there is a lot of originality in this collection. The standouts were Tanya Huff's highly entertaining Music Hath Charms, Marjorie M. Liu's haunting Minotaur in Stone, Susan Krinard's Ride A Dark Horse, and especially Harrison's own chilling contribution, Dirty Magic, featuring Mia the banshee from the Hallows world. (Buy this book for the end of that one alone!) The only objection I had to this book was that some of the authors seemed restricted by the shorter format: these are short stories, not novellas, but while some managed to get a full plot in with a few chapters (Krinard and Keri Arthur, especially), others floundered. One of my favorite authors, Lilith Saintcrow, struggled; her story seems like the what it is, the first few chapters of future work, rather than a complete story in itself. Susan Sizemore and Denise Little seemed to have a similar problem, cramming way too much world-building and plot into a short story already overloaded with character development and extraneous sex. Still, if you like urban fantasy or paranormal romance, this is at the very least a great way to find new authors whose worlds you want to explore.
SunnySD on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Twelve short stories involving some form of paranormal activity, sex (it would be stretching things to class what happens in most as "romance"), and seduction. I was actually looking forward to reading this, but was somewhat disappointed. Many of the entries were simply mediocre. It wasn't surprising to discover that a couple were entries in on-going worlds, but it's never pleasant to be left hanging by an open ending.Marjorie M. Liu's "Minotaur in Stone" was good, and Lilith Saintcrow's "Brother's Keeper" stood out. Carrie Vaughan's "Life is the Teacher" was creative. Nothing else struck me as particularly memorable.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Edited by Kim Harrison & the last story is by her. There are about 10 other stories in the book. All are 'Paranormal Erotic Fantasy'. So far I've only read the first story, one by Tanya Huff, is pretty typical of the genre. Well written, imaginative, but has too much sex. I like some sex in a story, but this has a more than I'd like. It overpowers the rest of the story & the world that she created. I must be getting old - never thought I'd think of sex as gratuitous, but that's probably the best one word description I can come up with.I finished the book & the above can sum up all the stories. Not bad, not worth buying new, though.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing 5 months ago
There really is something for everyone in the "Hotter Than Hell" anthology edited by Kim Harrison. This anthology includes stories by Kim Harrison, Tanya Huff, Marjorie M Liu, Cheyenne McCray, L A Banks, Susan Krinard, Keri Arthur, Heidi Betts, Lilith Saintcrow, Susan Sizemore and Denise Little, Carrie Vaughn, and Linda Winstead Jones. What a stellar lineup!These stories are not sweet and tender. They feature the darker side and include love, hate, betrayal, and redemption. If your heroes have horns, occasionally fur, hooves, a dark side, and special powers...pick up this book and enjoy a dark slide into pleasure...
hjjugovic on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I was diappointed in this collection. The vast majority of the stories were horribly adolescent romance stories with little imagination, very explicit sex, and cheesy dialogue. The last three stories were okay, as well as the one by Huff. Overall, I can't recommend this collection.
randirousseau on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Although I thoroughly enjoy most of these authors (I hadn't read all of them), I can't say these stories resonated with me. Either I couldn't identify with why the characters would have anhything to do with each other, or the story felt like it ended in the middle - these just didn't do it for me. Disappointing, considering some of these authors I collect.
Jacey25 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The good stories are few and far between in this compilation despite the impressive talent list. Kim Harrison was soliciting for sex stories and she mostly got what she asked for but often the sex seems to be the plot or tacked on. A disappointment- save your money to pick up these authors in their own stand alone full novels instead.
MisfitRhi on LibraryThing 5 months ago
At just under 500 pages, Hotter Than Hell, collects a dozen short stories from some of the biggest names in paranormal romance and urban fantasy into one nice little beach ready tome. Because there are a dozen that need a review let me do my best here and give you a very short bit on each one (in the order from the book)! Music Hath Charms by Tanya Huff is a quicky about a talent scout for a music studio and her sultry adventures to sign a hunky pair of country-rock musicians who's sound has a magic all its own. I hate to say this was my favorite since it was the first story but I loved Huff's crazy concepts for it. 5/5 stars Minotaur in Stone by Marjorie M. Liu is a darkly fantastical fable about a lonely young woman who is haunted by sensual dreams of a monsterous minotaur made of stone. The concept was great, the present tense narration was awful. Very sexy but not typical Liu. 4/5 stars Demon Lover by Cheyenne McCray is a story about a writer working on a book relating to incubae when she starts having steamy late night visits from one. A little too cutesey and cliche for me to love but well written and a good example of McCray's writing. 4/5 stars Equinox by L.A. Banks is a modern mythology of the goddess Artemis' campaign to protect the forests of the world but a group of elite soldiers gets involved and vows get broken. Another excellent story, Banks at her finest and very sensual as always. 5/5 stars Ride A Dark Horse by Susan Krinard is about a recently divorced woman trying to put her life back together while vacationing in the southwest, there she meets a seductive stranger and a beautiful horse who change her life forever. Never read Krinard before that I know of and I loved this story and her style, another favorite. 5/5 stars To Die For by Keri Arthur is about a wolf shapeshifter and a werewolf investigating the dissappearance of two teens while fighting the urges to investigate one another intimately. This was one of my least favorite stories. Too abrupt, lacking chemistry and it was more focused on the sex than the story. 2/5 stars Curse of the Dragon's Tears by Heidi Betts is the story of a man cursed to wear the scales of a dragon and the young woman who wants to break that curse with her love. I've never heard of Betts and I don't plan to look for her after this sloppy story, too many inaccurate details of the culture of Scotland. 1/5 stars Brother's Keeper by Lilith Saintcrow is about a psychic who's brother is murdered after she receives a frantic call from him and the vampire who protects her. I've not read Saintcrow's Dante Valentine series but I am pretty sure this takes place in the same world. I wasn't impressed and didn't like the characters though the author writes very well. 1/5 stars (Like A) Virgin of the Spring by Susan Sizemore and Denise Little is a time-travel story, a seer trapped in the past and her rescuer tangle with Arthurian legend. A little cheesy and poorly plotted but fresh and fun. 3/5 stars Life is the Teacher by Carrie Vaughn is a tale about a newly made vampire struggling with her new power and how it will affect her love life. Fans of the Kitty Norville series will recognize Alette and the story is a good representation of Vaughn's writing but it falls flat otherwise. 3/5 stars Moonlight Becomes You by Linda Winstead Jones is a cutesey short about a young woman who thinks her neighbor is a vampire and how she tries to prove it but falls in lust/love with him in the process. I've read one of Jones' trilogies and I love her writing, she's got a way of making things light and fun but still solid enough stories and it shows with this one. Very cute and sexy. 4/5 stars Dirty Magic by Kim Harrison is the final story, about a banshee and her quest to feed her baby daughter. I hate to say it but this one totally lost me. I was so confused by the story I can't give a proper description and I felt it was not Harrison's best despite how much I love her Rachel Morgan series. 1/5 stars So th
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harrison's book was the best, the others were a pleasant surprise.
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rollerball More than 1 year ago
Fifty Shades of Gray with Demons, Vamps, Werewolves and such.
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