“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
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.