Tag Archives: Vampires

Bloody Sunrise by Neil Gaiman

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Bloody Sunrise
Author: Neil Gaiman
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Poetry, Vampires
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Poem
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: something else that I can blame on

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Synopsis

A great poem about the pitfalls and sunrises of vampirehood.

Thoughts

At the beginning, this poem felt a little bit humorous. A little bit quirky and seriously cute. And then it started to take a darker turn. Darker and darker and darker with each line. Which, honestly, is kind of what I think a good vampire poem should be about.

Even though this story took a bit of a darker turn, I definitely had the song Girls Just Want to Have Fun playing through my head. Although this version was Vamps Just Want to Have Fun. I never said that my brain was a normal or safe place to be…

The bloody sunrise ruins the magic of the dark. And this poem just shows how much it can ruin if you really think about it…

<- Gap YearFlying ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Marine Biology by Gail Carriger

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance 2 book cover

Title: Marine Biology
Author: Gail Carriger
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: The woman gave him that look.

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Synopsis

Alec isn’t quite what you would think a werewolf should be. He’s skinny, nerdy and gay. But he’s got more than one secret in his closet. And a fishman is about to help him bring them all to light.

Thoughts

I really didn’t expect… any of this story. Like. Any of this. The title just… gives you nothing to work on and I’ve never read anything by Carriger before, so I was all pleasantly surprised at reading this. I loved the fact that I was surprised time after time in this story. And just constantly found enjoyment in the whole tale.

The idea of a gay, closet alpha werewolf… it was funny. And a lot of descriptives really. It had me giggling right throughout this story and grinning like somewhat of a fool. Then, the guy that he falls for… a wonderful mix of characters.

Alec has got to be one of my favourite short story characters that I’ve been introduced to in a while. I kind of wish that he had more of a longer storyline… I wasn’t quite ready to leave him behind. But then, when am I ever?

<- The Demon’s SecretZola’s Pride ->

Image source: Amazon

Angel’s Wolf by Nalini Singh

Overview
Angels' Flight

Title: Angel’s Wolf
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #3.5
In: Angel’s Flight (Nalini Singh) & Angels of Darkness (Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook & Sharon Shinn)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Angels, Paranormal romance, Strong women, Vampires
Dates read: 16th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Thanks, but it won’t be needed.”

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Synopsis

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

Thoughts

The vampire that was tortured in Archangel’s Kiss had a pretty hard run of things. And he is briefly mentioned in Archangel’s Consort. So I love that there is a novella that is just about him finding a happily ever after. It helps to tie up a few loose ends and brings a whole new angels court to the forefront.

Both Noel’s assignment and Nimra’s court and terrifying-ness are mentioned in Archangel’s Consort and it completely intrigued me and pulled me in. What a fantastic way for me to finish out the Angels’ Flight collection (it may not be the final novella in the book, but it was the final one that I read).

Noel and Nimra gave me that warming of the cockleshell heart feeling. Something about their ability to love one another warmed me up and made me smile. The fact that it’s alongside the race to find out who is trying to kill Nimra… well, that just made me happier and happier.

I may not be a cat person, but there is a total love of cats and pets in this story. They are incredibly important, and the love of pets is something I can completely understand. This whole story made me want to pick up my puppy and give them a huge hug.

<- Archangel’s ConsortArchangel’s Blade ->

Image source: Goodreads

Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Overview
Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3) by Nalini Singh

Title: Archangel’s Consort
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance, Strong women, Vampires
Dates read: 14th – 16th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It was locked.

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Synopsis

Nalini Singh steps back into the shadows of her “heartbreakingly original” world where angels rule, vampires serve, and the innocent can pay the greatest price of all…

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school – the assault one of sheer, vicious madness – and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed.

Thoughts

I was wondering how terrifying Raphael’s mother was going to be. I mean, she’s mentioned constantly and she’s definitely somewhat terrifying. But, a bit less than I was expecting. Having said that, I’m pretty sure she’s going to become more and more terrifying as this series unfolds… there is just so much potential there. I can’t wait to see how Elena confronts and deals with her!

This Guild Hunter novel really explores the past beautifully. Both Raphael and Elena have a lot of past issues that they have to deal with. And these seriously begin to come to light in this story. Everyone has a past, and everyone has to battle with that in their current relationships – but Elena and Raphael have a particularly bad set of issues that they have to deal with. As do the Seven. So now I want to know more about the past and the tribulations of Raphael’s Seven.

The first two books in this series are the beginning of Elena ad Raphael’s relationship. Particularly Elena finding her place in Raphael’s life and holding her own against his seriously dominant personality. But, in this novel she is really beginning to find her feet and sense of self. Her drive to be able to stand on her own two feet and fight her own battles is beautifully impressive. And impossible to forget and put down. It’s just… gorgeous and glorious. Most definitely the kind of woman character that I love – finding out who you are and where you fit in a decidedly dangerous society.

One of my favourite things about Singh as an author is that her stories aren’t sappy. They’re all romances and they most definitely make your toes curl. But they aren’t sappy. Even the times when there is that love at first sight zing, they still aren’t sappy. And, ultimately, they are about truly accepting one another. And finding a way to work together to achieve your happily ever after.

I honestly could not put this novel down. It was fantastic and wonderful and everything that I love in a paranormal story. Now I can’t wait to dig through my TBR pile (it’s ginormous) and read Archangel’s Blade.

<- Archangel’s KissAngel’s Wolf ->

Image source: Goodreads

Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman

Overview
Image result for by blood we live book cover

Title: Snow, Glass, Apples
Author: Neil Gaiman
In: By Blood We Live (John Joseph Adams) & Smoke and Mirrors (Neil Gaiman)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Horror, Retellings, Vampires
Dates read: 31st March 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He rode with a small retinue: large enough to defend him, small enough that another monarch – myself, for instance – would not view him as a potential threat.

Synopsis

This is the true story of Snow White… one that will leave you feeling seriously uncomfortable.

Thoughts

I’ve read quite a few theories that state that Snow White is a vampire. Which seriously makes a deep, dark, twisted kind of sense. Apparently Gaiman feels the same. And this completely supported the theory in the creepiest most disgusting of ways possible. I’m glad that before I started reading this, there was actually a bit of a warning… it definitely helped prepare me for the ick factor that this awesome short story had.

Not only does this short story deal with vampires, and snow white. There is also necrophilia and all sorts of hints of bad things that I don’t necessarily want to think about. Again, seriously glad that there was a disclaimer at the beginning. But it didn’t stop me from being unable to put the story down and stop thinking about it.

This retelling is dark, twisted and truly glorious. I have not been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it. Which is probably one of the many reasons why I loved it so much. That, and, you know, I just tend to love everything I’ve read by Neil Gaiman.

<- By Blood We LiveThe Master of Rampling Gate ->

Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Gap Year by Christopher Barzak

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Gap Year
Author: Christopher Barzak
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 30th March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes Retta just wanted more more.

Synopsis

There’s a vampire at the school assembly. And something about him makes Retta want to break the chains of her life and live… more. Maybe she should just join the vampires on her own Gap Year.

Thoughts

This was a wonderfully different premise for a vampire story – vampires that consume feelings instead of blood. I’ve kind of thought something similar in the past, but actually reading a story about it… well, I seriously enjoyed this.

I thought that Gap Year was a brilliant Coming of Age story. One that highlights the need to grow into your own skin and find your own future and reality – it’s also a great beginning of a Gap Year. I didn’t take one myself, but I know a lot of people who did, and I thought that this was the best beginning for one ever.

The aspect of this story that I loved the most, unique vampires, etc. aside – was the fact that Retta is able to leave behind a toxic situation. There can be that moment with childhood friends when you kind of have to break free because it’s just not quite healthy for you anymore. And Retta most certainly does this. But in the most calm and respectful manner possible.

<- All SmilesBloody Sunrise ->

Image source: HarperCollins

All Smiles by Steve Berman

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: All Smiles
Author: Steve Berman
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Vampires
Dates read: 28th February 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: A New York State license plate.

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Synopsis

He’s mixed up in something he knows nothing about… but there may be a happily ever after, if he can just find the strength and courage.

Thoughts

I’m not entirely sure what even happened in this story if I’m being honest. Which definitely means that this wasn’t high on my list of stories that I want to reread.

Then again, the ending of this story was kind of brilliant. A good, fun twist at the end. First of all, I thought that the MC was going to be vampire-food. Then he, well… wasn’t.

Overall, a fun and easy story to read. And not a total loss. But one that I wouldn’t necessarily want to read again.

<- Things to Know About Being DeadGap Year ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Things to Know About Being Dead by Genevieve Valentine

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Things to Know about Being Dead
Author: Genevieve Valentine
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasyVampires
Dates read: 7th February 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I tried to speak, but my throat was too dry; I lay quietly as she smoothed her fingers over my shoulders, my neck, the backs of my arms.

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Synopsis

It’s not so fun being dead. But there are certain things that you should know…

Thoughts

There is something about Genevieve Valentine’s short stories that always make me smile. And this was no exception. Starting with a death, and then including anecdotes, lists and all sorts of other fun nonsense. I just smiled all the way throughout this short story. The fact that it is the opening story in a collection of vampire stories… well, that made it all that much better!

In all of the vampire books and stories that I’ve read, there hasn’t been much of a humorous aside in what it means to get used to being dead. A few have touched upon the adjustments that the characters have to make. And they’ve even sometimes touched upon the negatives, but mostly, it’s a “look at all the things I’ve gained” approach. This didn’t really do it. It didn’t place becoming dead as a negative endeavour either, just one with a steep learning curve.

There seem to be a lot of teenage vampire stories in the literature. It’s a bit of a trope that sometimes irritates me. But, the way that Valentine deals with this in her story was… not irritating. It was funny and light. And almost felt like it was pulling fun at the trope that can be a little bit overdone…

<- TeethAll Smiles ->

Image source: HarperCollins

One Bite with a Stranger by Christine Warren

Overview
One Bite With A Stranger (The Others, #1) by Christine Warren

Title: One Bite with a Stranger
Author: Christine Warren
Series: The Others #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Vampires, WerewolvesWitches
Dates read: 22nd – 23rd January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: He’d killed her.

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Synopsis

In New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren’s seductive world of The Others, passion sizzles and danger is just around the corner…

When Regina’s friends insist on setting her up on a “Fantasy Fix” to help her get over her cheating ex, she dreams up some kinky out-of-this-world encounters that they could never II possibly II bring to life. But the next thing Regina knows, her friends have got her laced into a shiny black corset, tight leather pants, and a sexy pair of stilettos. It’s time for some downtown vampire-fantasy fun…

ONE BITE WITH A STRANGER

The Vampire Ball in Manhattan’s East Village isn’t really Dmitri Vidame’s idea of a good time, but as a member of the Council that governs The Others, he has to keep an eye on all the young vamps who prey on the pretenders. After he feasts his dark eyes on fiery Regina at the bar, he knows that he must have her. But for the first time Dmitri meets a woman who is more than a match for his indomitable will. And he may be the fantasy Regina hoped for… until she – and her feisty friends – discover her sexy new lover’s bloodsucking secret…

Thoughts

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this brilliantly, wonderfully lustful book. I knew that I’d like it. But I didn’t quite realise how much. So much so that I basically didn’t put it down until I had read it cover to cover… there was just something about the story that completely swept me away from the very first, wonderful moment.

The collection of women in this story kind of reminded me of the women in the Knitting in the City series. Reggie and her friends get together, drink wine and talk a lot of wonderful nonsense. The fact that they do the “Fantasy Fix” just made it all that much better. Alright, so I wouldn’t want to do a Fantasy Fix myself. But the idea of having girlfriends who will hook you up with whatever amazing fantasy you want… mmm… that’s kind of delicious.

There is something incredibly, wonderfully titillating about reading the more erotic / lustful books like this. It may not be the kind of thing that I’m into myself, but it’s definitely thoroughly enjoyable reading about it! I always feel a little uncomfortable about the level of bossiness that some of these stories begin with, particularly in the case of Dmitri in his first encounter with Reggie… but then, the story begins to unfold. The characters get a little more flesh on them, and suddenly that discomfort is just… gone. And things feel sweet and a little delicious all over again.

The novella Any Witch Way She Can got me interested in this series. But this novel has most certainly got me hooked on it. I can’t wait until I can find a copy of Big Bad Wolf and sink further into the intriguing, and very toe curling world of The Others

<- More Christine WarrenBig Bad Wolf ->

Image source: Goodreads

Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
The Bite Before Christmas Large Print :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Home for the Holidays
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #6.5, Night Huntress Universe #8.5
In: The Bite Before Christmas (Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: By the time he’d crossed the room to Denise, her eyes were wide and staring into nothing, all without Ian even needing to speak.

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Synopsis

Cat and Bones were looking forward to a normal holiday – at least as “normal” as it gets for vampires and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a mysterious stranger shows up and reveals long-buried secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer – and lives.

Thoughts

I felt seriously, truly and deeply bad for Bones in this novella. After all, finding family after 200 years and then losing them would be incredibly difficult. Around the holidays and when you just don’t expect it… yeah, that would be seriously difficult and heart wrenching.

Cat and Bones may be two of my favourite urban fantasy characters. They are an amazing couple. One that is quirky and fun. And most definitely loyal. The crap that Cat goes through throughout this story to make sure that Bones is safe is extraordinary. I was both incredibly proud of, and kind of scared for Cat throughout this. Although, as with every Night Huntress story I’ve read so far, it did all end with a happy ending.

Every time I read a Night Huntress story; I want to read more. But I always seem to do it when I’m halfway through a whole other pile of books. So, I never quite get around to it. Maybe this time I will get to sink my teeth into another amazing tale before I get too distracted by another story…

<- The GiftThe Bite Before Christmas ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia