Bring Out Your Dead (Katie MacAlister)
It's very likely you may have read this story before, as it was published in the anthology Just One Sip. Interestingly enough that was an anthology about vampires. A very versatile story this is!
Ysabelle is a zombie counselor, or as they prefer to be called a Functionally Deceased counselor. Sebastian, is a Dark One, or a vampire if you prefer. This story ties directly in with her Dark Ones novels.
I liked Ysabelle--she wasn't exactly your run of the mill sort of heroine and was sincere in her efforts to help the functionally deceased. They're a rather bossy lot I have to say. Nothing is ever good enough! I've loved Sebastian (he had minor roles in at least one other novel) for a while yet and it was fun watching his deal with all the zombies and convince Ysabelle he's nothing like her other five husbands. There's also the matter of how their relationship will effect Ysabelle's friend, the fact a demon lord wants Ysabelle as a prized trophy and Sebastian is big on revenge...but hey no one said true love was easy.
Gentleman Prefer Voodoo (Angie Fox)
Anytime a woman has the thought 'I can Summon Mr. Right!' you know things are going to go wonky. Except when Fox makes things go wonky its never quite what you expect and I love her for it. Cause nothing says true love like voodoo right?
Amie has run a successful voodoo shop for the last nine years, ignoring the fact she hasn't had a boyfriend in all that time. Except, as her friendly Kongamato Isoke likes to remind her, her love magic needs for it to be reciprocated and given back to her, or she'll dry up like a husk as her mother did.
Isoke was possibly my favorite part of the story. Kind of a dinosaur like mythological creature (I think), he comes off as a well-meaning relative that's particularly good at guilt complexes to get what he wants. The introduction of Amie's 'ideal man' is also full of rather hilarious one-liners on his part. Dante can't help himself--he's Spanish, so he's got a silver tongue.
What I liked best about this is that the story had plenty of humor as well as romance. Amie is almost obsessively wary of men and Dante had never been the patient sort. Between their verbal sparring and Isoke's 'Just get over it!' attitude, it made for an amusing and entertaining read.
Zombiewood Confidential (Marianne Mancusi)
Automatic props for paying homage to the great Zombie director George Romero. Strike that, Mancusi gets a whole van of props for paying homage to pop culture icons and making hilarious caricatures of themselves.
This was an amusing, sweet romance of never judging a book by its cover...with zombies. More romance titles needs zombies in them--actually just about every genre can dare to have more zombies if they handle it with the wit that Mancusi does.
Mason Marks is a parody of a bunch of different Hollywood stars (especially certain singing high school musical ones...) while Scarlett is your typical sweet-natured down home gal in the big city. As Mason remarks at one point--she's send off to the heyday of Hollywood sweethearts.
Word to the wise: don't trust Zombie movie directors on budget cuts. Just saying.
Every Part of You (Lisa Cach)
This story began really slow and didn't seem to be part of the collection. The focus seemed to be on Angelica and Tom's burgeoning relationship and less on the hoo-ha going on around them.
I do think that Cach had a pretty wicked idea with the implants. Considering the high level of plastic surgery being done today, it isn't surprising that something of that nature would occur to a writer.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to enjoy the story and by the end of it, was completely drained of any good feeling towards it. I think what I was expecting and what the story delivered were on two different wavelengths completely.
FOUR WOMEN ARE ABOUT TO DIG UP THE TRUTH
Tired of boyfriends who drain you dry? Sick of guys who stay out all night howling at the moon? You can do better. Some men want you not only for your body, but your brains. Especially your brains.
It’s true! There are men out there who care—early-rising, down-to-earth, indefatigable men who’ll follow you for miles. They’ll take the time to surprise you, over and over. One sniff of that perfume, and you’ll have to use a shotgun to fight them off. And then, once you get together, all they want is to share a nice meal. And another. And another.
Romeo and Juliet, eat your hearts out.