Ok, so this isn’t a scary anthology, but it does contain lots of scary zombies, werewolves and a creepy love scene, so it still fits in with our All Hallows Eve month, right? ;D
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS by Megan Hart
I’ve heard so much about this author and have many of her novels on my kindle, but I just haven’t got around to reading them yet. When I received Hot & Haunted for review, I was really excited to see that there was a short story from Megan Hart. I was interested in seeing if her writing style was my kind of thing, and I can say with certainty it most certainly was. I loved this story. For one it’s about zombies, and two it contains a broken, complex heroine (my favourite kind) and two hot men.
The world-building is really fantastic, and it’s really quite original in the world of zombie/post apocalyptic fiction. It’s this world and the complex main character that just pulled me right in. When it finished (as it’s pretty short) I was craving for more. Luckily I found an ebook serial from the author called The Resurrected that looks as though is set in the same world but with different characters with each story. Can’t wait to read these.
Back to Nothing Else Matters. There are about three sex scenes in this short story, and although that may seem a lot considering it’s length, they are so intricate to the story and to Liya’s character that I didn’t feel it was excessive. It even contained the dreaded “c” word, which I hate with a passion, but I loved this story so much that I just didn’t care it was there. Whether it would have eventually irritated me if the story was actually a full length novel I’m not sure, but I’m definitely going to read her back list to find out. I just have to decide which one to read first: Another short story, of which I have four or Dirty a full length novel… (4.5/5)
PICK ME UP by Lauren Hawkeye
I enjoyed this story to a point. I can’t complain about the writing as it was pretty good. The characters were also well rounded for such a short piece. 95% of the story takes place in a car with a young couple. You think you have them sussed out but as the story unfolds by flashbacks you realise that things are very different indeed.
This story had an almost a traditional feel about it. The kind of creepy stories we used to tell each other when we were kids, minus the sexual content. It’s the creep factor and ending of this short that gave me that feeling and I’d be interested in hearing if others felt the same after they’d read it. All in all an ok read. (3/5)
LITTLE RED’S BIG BAD by Saranna DeWylde
Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish this story. It was slow to start, and then the lust felt by the heroine for the hero happened too quickly and for no real reason other than he had a good body. I know it’s a short story, but things should still be believable. Having read quite a few short stories now, I know it can be done as I’ve read some terrifically paced shorts. However, I think it was when the heroine was so turned on by just the thought of the hero, she had to pull off the road and masturbate using her iPhone vibrating app.
Miranda clenched her thighs more tightly together, desperate for relief. Above all, Miranda was a practical creature, so she surrendered. She pulled over onto a deserted dirt road, and after being quite liberal with the hand sanitizer, got out her iPhone. She slipped it into the neoprene sleeve and activated the iVibe app before tucking it into her panties with the edge of the phone against her…
There’s so much wrong with this for me. I mean, really? She was SO turned on she couldn’t wait until she got home, so she had to use hand cleanser, and an iPhone case? What was the point of hand disinfectant when she’d just tucked an iPhone case down her knickers? O_O
Little Red’s Big Bad started out a bit slow, the insta-lust happened too quick and was unbelievable and the above scene just had my eyes rolling. (DNF)
Hot & Haunted was an ok read. The first story, Nothing Else Matters by Megan Hart, made this anthology for me, by far, and I would recommend it based on this short story alone (especially as it only costs £0.99). However, by not being able to finish Little Red’s Big Bad the overall rating was brought down quite a bit.
BUY YOUR COPY