A brief Synopsis....
It takes a real man to satisfy the powers and passions of the HUNTRESS
Christine Warren -- "Devil's Bargain"
Supernatural bounty hunter Lilli Corbin made a pact with the Prince of Hell: She agreed to recover a book of prophecies. When she learns it could trigger the apocalypse, Lilli is forced to make the ultimate choice: save her soul, or the man she loves?
Marjorie M. Liu -- "The Robber Bride"
Welcome to a post-apocalyptic world where women are fed on for their life forces. Now it's up to Maggie, one of the last female survivors, to hunt down and destroy an army of darkness….
Caitlin Kittredge -- "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go"
Ava is a demon slayer who needs help from mage Jack Winter to reach the demon underworld -- a place of dark seduction …and, maybe, one of no return.
Jenna Maclaine -- "Sin Slayer"
London 1889. Jack the Ripper is killing off the city's vampire population, and now it's up to Cin Craven to hunt him down —and save the infected Michael, the love of her undead life.
The first story was written by Christine Warren. I have read one of the Others books by this author and thought it was ok but nothing to jump head first into the rest of the series. This is not part of that series but when starting a short story you never know if you are going to end up reading story 17 out of a series you have never read and have no idea what it's about. Anyway, this was about a demon bounty hunter who found herself having to pay one of the lesser devil's of hell back for a favor by performing 3 tasks for him payable when the mood strikes him. This will be the last of the 3 favors and she can't wait to get out from this contract. By doing this favor she ends up puting the balance of good and evil out of whack and possibly introducing armegeddon. So she hooks up with the hero who is hoping that between the two they can prevent this from happening. Interesting enough storyline what I didn't like was that the sexual chemistry between the h/h was off the charts so in a few short pages they almost did the deed and then actually did do it a little later. I know that this is a common enough occurance that I knew to expect it. What I didn't expect was the feelings of love after only knowing each other for 8 hours. I hate this type of romance story line. Towards the end the love was changed to "feelings" and then with the characters seeing where it led them but it still smacked of Love at First Errection...I mean Sight. 3.5 stars.
Second story was called The Robber Bride by Marjorie M Liu. I loved this one. The entire story was intriguing. Totally not a typical Vampire paranormal it has a dystopian theme to it and the reader is reading along trying to figure out just what are those bad guys. The storyline doesn't neccesarily have an ending. Actually there is an ending for this story just not a HEA one for the characters...more like a stay tuned for the further adventures of Maggie and Mr Crow. One of the most unique and interesting short stories I have ever read. Total 5 stars.
The third was by Caitlin Kittredge and by far my least favorite. I would say I would give it 2 stars tops. I hated the characters. There was no clear cut and dry good guy/bad guy. The good guy was a jerk-off and the good gal was a manipulator. They were better than the bad bad people but it was hard to cheer for a specific side. This story is part of her Black London books and I can't figure out where it takes place within that series. Not that it matters because I will not read them. Jack Winter is an ass. Also, I am an american but read books set all over and have to admit that this is the first time that an author used so much "non-american" slang that I wasn't familiar with that it really destracted me from the story. I could have benefited with a glossary had there been one in the back of the book.
The last story was part of Jenna Maclaine's Cin Craven books. I love Cin. I love Michael. I love Cin and Michael. I have read the first two books in the series and this short story falls between that 2nd book and the 3rd I haven't read yet. A great addition to the series and didn't suffer from lack of pages. The story felt full and complete. I would recommend that if you read this one you have already read the other 2 full books and the other short story found in Stange Brew though. Because they fall in chronological order with decades passing between each story I think this is important. 4.5 stars only because it is part of an ongoing series that I feel should be read in order. Totally recommend them though. Especially if you like the Cat and Bones books by Jeaniene Frost.
As a complete book I would give this one 4 stars. If it hadn't been for the Kittredge story this would have been an excellent anthology.