Something about this short story made me think about the Innkeeper Chronicles. In the best way possible of course, since I loved that series. And I loved this short story. After all, a house that straddles two worlds and works to keep the peace, keep people safe… it’s definitely the kind of story that I get drawn into.
This is the second collection I’ve read by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. And it’s just as good, if not better than the first. Actually, it was probably better. Because I really wasn’t in the mood for the Holiday Season this year. Normally I read all sorts of nice holiday stories. I didn’t want those. But an anthology about werewolves and Christmas? That was perfect for my mood. Especially when some of the stories involve eating Rudolph and Santa.
At the beginning of this story, I thought it would be quite a sweet, easy little read. It begins talking about the fact that you never forget your first. Which, of course, we don’t. What I didn’t quite realise was that the narrator really wasn’t talking about the first I was imagining. Or at least, that was not all that he was talking about. It turned out to be quite a tragic tale, and one that almost had me in tears.
How Do You Feel? was a completely unexpected short story – it was quite dark, with a twisted and unexpected strain of humour throughout it. The completely unforeseeable love story that rounded it out just polished it off to make me want to read the rest of the Nightside series. The use of a main character whose name is Dead Boy should have given me a hint to what kind of story I was in for though.
This was a slightly dark and definitely morally questioning collection of short stories. In each tale there was no good or bad guy, but rather someone who was working at surviving with the cards that they have been dealt. The name hints beautifully at this though, Hex Appeal, both appealing and potentially damaging – like all of the leads in these nine very diverse stories.