Hell Cop by Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, Ginn Hale

Loose Id

LGBT Sci-fi/Fantasy Anthology

ISBN: 978-1-59632-812-9

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

“Next of Kin” by Astrid Amara

After spending his entire life in a conjure-free commune, Brian Day is astonished by the enchantments and demons to be found in the city of Parmas.  He plans to find his father, who he believes is a member of a powerful family of sorcerers.  Working in the hospital one day, he meets a policeman who is literally on fire. 

Detective Jay Yervant isn’t used to people touching him.  His body burns anyone unfortunate enough to do so, even accidentally.  He’s shocked when Brian touches him and isn’t hurt at all.  When Jay begins to suspect Brian is in danger, can he protect Brian without hurting either of them?

“Next of Kin” is a fantastic story.  It was easy to sympathize with strong, intelligent, lonely Jay.  Cute, naïve Brian was a perfect match for him.  Both the romance and suspense aspects of “Next of Kin” were well done.  Add all that to a satisfying ending and the result is a story I’m sure to be rereading. 

 

“Red Sands” by Nicole Kimberling

University researcher—and half-demon—Michael Gold is returning from a research trip in the demon realm via a portal when a dead body somehow appears with him.  He’s surrounded by hell cops and arrested.  He’s oddly attracted to one of the officers, a Detective Argent—especially after he realizes they’ve met before.  Can Michael and Argent solve the murder case before it’s too late?

“Red Sands” is a hot and interesting story.  With his half-demon heritage and a famous father, Michael is used to people paying attention to him for the wrong reasons.  The power he inherited from his mother, the ability to read minds, if he’s touching the person, is really cool.  Since “Red Sands” focuses on Michael, Argent is less developed, but I liked his strength and sexy self-assuredness.  There are also a few references to Astrid Amara’s story, which is a neat link that carries into the final story in the anthology.

 

“Touching Sparks” by Ginn Hale

Photographer James Sparks has spent the last year spying on illegal demon fighting and venom trafficking for hell cop Moran.  It’s dangerous work, but James believes in it.  His only regret is that Moran doesn’t seem to return his feelings.  Still, he’s determined to bring down the people behind the drugs and bloodsport.  Then his roommate is killed, and he has to run for his life.

Moran still remembers James as a skinny neighbor kid who used to want to talk to him years ago.  He has a hard time reconciling that kid with the determined, attractive man James has become.  Because he’s afraid to hurt his informant, Moran keeps his feelings for James to himself.  When spying for him puts James in danger, Moran rushes into action.  Will Moran and James make it out of their potentially deadly situation?

“Touching Sparks” is a great way to wrap up the anthology.  Ginn Hale’s story is full of action, uncertainty, and emotion.  Smart, resourceful James and tough, damaged Moran make a wonderful pair, even if it takes them a bit to figure it out. 

Hell Cop is a hot, entertaining paranormal anthology.  All three stories are well-written, and I loved the little details that tied them together.  The different powers the hell cops had were fascinating, as was Parmas.  I for one would be thrilled to buy another book about hell cops and their world!  If you’re looking for something with heat, suspense, action, and emotion, Hell Cop is one for the keeper shelf.

     

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