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The Bad Hour by Thomas E. Sniegoski

I have two beautiful, annoying, slightly crazy and incredibly loyal dogs. Which means that any story that features “man’s best friend” is going to make me happy. Especially when the main character is able to communicate with his loyal hound. If only I could have the same slightly ridiculous, incredibly fun conversations with my two furry companions…

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Dear Boss by Nic Martin

I seriously, way too much loved the ending to this tale. There was a gruesome, horrifying sense of poetic justice to the tale and the idea that the true evil walked off into the night all alone. Which, whilst it is something I don’t often appreciate, it was something that worked brilliantly well for this storyline.

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The Duke of Riverside by Ellen Kushner

The wit and dry humour in this story had me chuckling a fair bit. There was something about a strange, lanky scholar who was desperate to be killed roaming the streets and just having absolutely no luck. It got even better when you found out that he was a duke and abhorrent to the rest of his family. The beauty, humour and irony in the story had me cackling more than I should probably admit if I still wanted people to consider me sane (which I don’t, so it’s fine).

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La Reine d’Enfer by Kathe Koja

When I sat down to write this review, I couldn’t quite remember what this short story was even about. There was a vague memory of enjoying the story and thinking it was very good, but I just couldn’t remember what happened in it. So I had to have a quick look at the pages again. And then it all came flooding back to me. And I’m really not sure why I didn’t remember this much clearer from the very beginning. There was a bit of an Oliver Twist feel to this story, with a great sense of darkness and brutality.

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The Kitchen Witch by Annette Blair

I can’t believe how much I loved this story. It was a fantastic journey. So incredibly sweet and beautiful. The cuteness of the storyline was balanced by the humour, fun and wit that was peppered throughout. It made it almost impossible to put down and forget about. And now I have to wait a month until the next story in this incredibly adorable series to arrive…

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The Blood Kiss by Shiloh Walker

This is my second Shiloh Walker tale, and, although I loved the first short story I read, I definitely love her longer novella far, far, far more. There was something that was sweet, seductive and fun about her character and world building. Something that made me just not want to put the story down. So I didn’t. And then I almost missed tea…

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Dates From Hell by Kim Harrison, Lynsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong & Lori Handeland

Normally I love collections like this because you can read one novella, finish it, put it down and walk away. I did manage to do this… but it was quite a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. I had already read something by every one of these authors, and so I knew that what was just around the corner was going to be fantastic. And it was this knowledge that made it nigh on impossible to stop thinking about this storyline.

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Always the Same Story by Elizabeth E. Wein

Growing up, I always wanted to be part of the circus. There was something that just seemed so romantic and worldly about being a part of such a family that I couldn’t help but imagine how fun and adventurous my story would be. As an adult, I kind of realise that it’s probably not that romantic and perfect. And I kind of like the upbringing and life that I’ve had, but this short story still manages to encompass some of that fun and intrigue that drew me in as a young child.

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