Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dates from Hell

Dates From Hell is an anthology featuring novellas by Kim Harrison, Lynsey Sands, Kelley Armstrong and Lori Handeland. It is shelved in the Romance section, which may disappoint some buyers, because I would've considered only one of the stories a romance really. This anthology was merely okay--it took me days to finish a couple of the stories. Anyway, my humble opinions. I'm going to do this in that order I liked them (most to least):

Chaotic by Kelley Armstrong--Definitely the best. Moved quickly, and I liked the two main characters: half-demon Hope, and werewolf thief Karl Marsters (who was in Bitten). This felt like a beginning, so I'm hoping that Armstrong makes Hope a protagonist for one of her novels. I'd like to see more of these two and their developing relationship. But what is Kelley Armstrong trying to do to me with these titles? I can't help but think of Britney and Kevin and the theme song to that ridiculous show.

Dead Man Dating by Lori Handeland--Never read her before. This was pretty good, kept my interest. It was a little cheesy. The heroine was a short and dumpy, virgin (sigh) literary agent in her early twenties, but she had a good sense of humor that wasn't annoying, and she didn't do anything asinine. The hero was a sexy Mexican rogue demon hunter, which was the one thing that was killing me. The first time he refers to himself as a rogue demon hunter, the heroine, Kit, follows it up with, "Lost in the Buffyverse, are we?" I was like, heh, obligatory Buffy/Angel reference, funny, whatever. But he keeps referring to himself as a rogue demon hunter, in all seriousness. What, as opposed to the demon hunters in the union? Seriously, is this something I didn't know about? Are regular demon hunters different than rogue demon hunter? It made me wince. This kinda felt like a beginning as well. If Kit and Chavez have any more adventures, I might check them out of the library.

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison--I was surprised by how much I didn't like this. I suppose it's for the same reason it took me three books to start enjoying her series. She is heavy on the exposition, yet I still find her characterization, especially of vampires, kind of murky. I have a feeling that it's all supposed to be unfolding rather slowly, but I just don't get them. Are they evil? How come everything seems to awaken their bloodlust? Maybe it's just me. This story centers on Ivy Tamwood, the vampire who's Rachel Morgan's roommate and partner. She's the most intriguing character in the series, but I didn't like her all that much in this story of her attempt to get promoted without giving her boss sex or blood. I found her whiny, and when another character goes off on her and calls her a coward, I was like, "yes!" Still, if you read Harrison, this is wortwhile for a different point of view than Rachel's. I'm still looking forward to A Fistful of Charms.

The Claire Switch Project by Lynsay Sands--This would've made a good set-up for an ABC Family Sunday Night Movie. I used to watch these religiously during my pregnancies, I have no idea why. Haven't watched one in a year, but I have seen such gems as "See Jane Date" with Charisma Carpenter, and "Pizza My Heart" with Shiri Appleby from Roswell, and the other one with Shiri where she can't decide between her imaginary friend and the slacker dude she meets at school. Anyone out there watch these? So anyway, this is a story about a budding scientist who gets zapped by a ray in the lab she shares with two other scientists, one of whom she's had a crush on for years. Crush boy takes her home with him, as he also happens to be the twin of Claire's best friend. Claire soon realizes that she can shape shift, and her best friend decides to capitalize on this, convincing Claire to become movie star, Brad Cruise, and be her date to their high school reunion. Of course, a few minutes later, Claire's crush (Kyle) makes her dreams come true and asks her to be his date for the reunion. Of course, wacky hijinks ensue as Claire switches back and forth bewteen Brad and herself. I started skimming after awhile, just so I could see how it ends. I've read several of Lynsay Sands' books, before I realized they were not for me. Although she has a decent sense of humor, I find the romance aspect of her writing to be rather band and lame. There's just no tension or anything interesting there.

Wow, I can be wordy. I was planning for this to be a quick post.