I was on vacation recently and strolling through the fantasy section of a book store looking for a beach read. I happened across Bite, one in a series of anthologies of short stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charleen Harris, Mary Janice Davidson, and Angela Knight.
The first story in this book is “The Girl Who Was Infatuated with Death” by Laurell K. Hamilton. It is noted that this short story is set in a time between Hamilton’s books Blue Moon and Obsidian Butterfly. I enjoyed this nostalgic trip backwards in Anita’s relationship with Jean-Claude, when the tension was still thick and the passion still new. The romance lies in the background of this short piece, both thrilling and aggravating Anita as she works to solve the mystery at hand. It is a must-read for any hardcore Hamilton fan, and for anyone who enjoys the vampire genre.
The next story, “One Word Answers” by Charleen Harris, was disappointing. Harris is a new author for me to read, and while the story was entertaining, it paled in quality to the other authors in this anthology. As I read it, it appeared to me it was pulled out of a longer piece omitting important information that would have made the story more interesting to the reader.
The anthology continues with “Biting in Plain Sight” by Mary Janice Davidson, another new author for me and one I will seek out in the future. The book chronicles the story of a woman veterinarian, who happens to be a vampire, in a small community. In a refreshing twist, she is a valued and protected member of the small town and is accompanied by a local man, who is head over heals infatuated with the woman, as she takes important information about a serial murder to the vampires in charge. The story has plenty of romance along with action is a very enjoyable read.
The thrills continue with “Galahad” by Angela Knight. This story is a superb combination of historical romance and fantasy. She effortlessly blends characters from Camelot, such as the Knights of the Round Table, with the Morgana, Merlin and other wizards from that dominion, and writes a sizzling romance as a backdrop to a tense and climatic mystery.
The anthology rounds out with “Blood Lust” by Vickie Taylor. Taylor provides yet another fresh approach to the vampire/fantasy genre. She creates her own vampire realm with her own set of rules, and provides a very interesting premise to carry the hero and heroine through her story. Daniel begins the story as a mortal. His altercation with a vampire puts him on the track for revenge and the twists and turns that take you to the resolution keep the pages turning.
All in all Bite is a terrific read that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys fun filled, page turning fantasy.