Meg's Reviews > Night's Edge

Night's Edge by Barbara Hambly
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's review
May 28, 12

bookshelves: women-supernatural, short-stories
Read in May, 2012

I picked up this collection of novellas for the paranormal elements and those were great!

The romance elements were, eh, not my thing. Solidly written, but typical with a sexist edge at points.

Dancers in the Dark has a typical overly protective and at points invasive male lead. This is in character for the male lead, since he is an ancient vampire with some out of date views which are tempered by modern learning, but still present and color his reaction. I think what I had the most problem with was the female lead's reaction to some of his behaviors. I felt her reaction was way too mild when she found out, or at least suspected, that he was following her home every night. Given the character's history, this should be a big no no. She should not let it slide. The fact that he then goes behind her back to find out her past, when several other characters could have given him this information, just drives home the boundaries he's pushing. Worse, he doesn't pay for his transgressions. The female lead is only mildly grumpy, but ultimately finds this flattering or comforting. Comforting! Because it's comforting when men follow you home every night, right? Especially if you have a history of abuse, apparently! In all seriousness, the issue isn't handled abysmally, but it's not handled well either. I'm going to blame genre for this one on genre, but it doesn't excuse what's been done here.

Her Best Enemy has a fun, antagonistic romance, but there are some dubious consent issues in the first time the pair gets together that personally made me uncomfortable. It's over quickly and it's not at all an issue for the characters, so it's pretty minor in the scope of things, but it still made me uncomfortable. Otherwise, this is probably my favorite in the collection. The haunting is fantastic, the wrap is great, and I enjoyed the character banter thoroughly.

Someone Else's Shadow was the least offensive for the romance, minus the whole 'we barely know each other but are definitely madly in love' aspect. Overall, the romance just didn't interest me at all. Excellent work on the haunted building, the atmosphere was well built and the handling of the ghosts was interesting. In my opinion, weakest of the three.

Looking at the publisher for this collection, I'm not the intended audience. Still, if the romance doesn't bother you, these are decent paranormal reads.

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