RogerBW's Blog

Happily Never After, Jeaniene Frost 02 July 2022

2008 urban fantasy novella, side story in the Night Huntress (Cat and Bones) series. Isabella Spaga the restaurateur has caught the eye of a minor-league mobster looking to move up in the world, he insists on marrying her, and her ne'er-do-well brother tells her to go along with it then drops out of contact. But help is on the way.

I don't think I ask an excessive amount of this sort of junk-food urban fantasy. I mean, sure, sexy vampire beats up bad guys, heroine falls in love with him, they boink like rabbits, no problem there. But… I do want a little bit of dramatic tension. Chance, a friend of the vampire Bones who's the lust-object of the main series, lets the mobsters think they've murdered him and disposed of the body, twice, in order to gather information by listening to their bragging to someone they're about to kill, and there's never any sense that he's in danger. (They don't know that there are vampires, never mind what highly specific actions they'd need to take in order to injure him beyond what he can easily regenerate.) The only uncertainty is about where the bad guy is holding Isa's brother.

So on the one hand what actually happens here is decent – Chance turns up and gradually rises in Isa's estimation from stupid macho guy to potential life partner, protecting her from bad guys along the way. That's fine. But the shape of the story would be much better if she got to do something to save herself, if any of Chance's plans didn't go exactly the way he was expecting them to, if there were, well, any surprises. Or indeed if we saw her being good at restauranting, but even that's mentioned only quite briefly.

This was written originally for the Weddings from Hell UF anthology, with three other stories by writers I don't know. I get the impression that the main publishing purpose of these things is to cross-pollinate: the dedicated reader of author A buys it for A's new story, and then gets hooked on the others. (Then a few years later the thing comes out as a stand-alone novella on Kindle.) I have to say that if I'd met this in isolation I probably wouldn't have been hooked.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: Halfway to the Grave | Series: Night Huntress

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1