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Working Stiffs

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An M/M vampire romance charity anthology.

Not all vampires are idly rich. Some of them have day jobs. Er, night jobs.

In a world struggling to come to grips with the existence of vampires, where reactions range from excitement to fear to determined disbelief, these vampires are just trying to make ends meet. Some of them do mundane work - like waiting tables or driving a cab. Others have more prestigious careers in medicine and crime prevention. But what all their jobs have in common is people. Unpredictable, interesting, frustrating, hostile, helpless, tasty people.

Whether they’re pouring drinks, answering phones, hacking into a computer system, or serving up the perfect food/wine pairing, these working stiffs are too busy to fall in love. Or are they?

This International Workers Day, celebrate by sinking your teeth into thirteen awesome stories about vampires at work. Because even the undead have to earn a living. Proceeds benefit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Titles included in the collection:
How to Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood
Long Haul by Tanya Chris
Overexposed by K. Evan Coles
Dial-a-Vamp by Roberta Blablanski
Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento
Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay
Call My Number by Megs Pritchard
Bad Blood by Lyra Evans
Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene
Quality Assured by Edie Montreux
Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough
Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen
Bad Decision by H.L Day

487 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 1, 2020

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About the author

Roberta Blablanski

4 books62 followers
Roberta Blablanski hails from The Big Easy: New Orleans, Louisiana. She draws inspiration from her colorful hometown and her former life as a college radio DJ. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days searching for the world’s best Bloody Mary and avoiding people she went to high school with. Her normal habitat is curled up in bed with a good book and a cup of coffee.

Roberta developed a love of books at an early age, spending her summers at the library. Years later, after watching the American version of the television show Queer as Folk, she began searching for books featuring queer characters finding love. Most recently, she began writing queer love stories of her own, drawing from her own personal experiences and creating characters and story lines as vibrant as her ever-changing hair color.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews
Profile Image for Tinnean.
Author 73 books433 followers
May 20, 2020
I've pre-ordered this in support of this cause and in response to the actions of the "stable genius" in the white house. Review to follow at some point after its release.

Okay, finished it. Overall, I'd give it a 4. Most of the stories were excellent--a 4-5 star rating, but a couple were obvious cliffhangers or lead-ins to the actual story, and I'd rate them lower, although not simply for that.

All in all, I'm glad I purchased it
Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,165 reviews1 follower
May 1, 2020
All proceeds donated to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

What a joy! Having the opportunity to read this anthology full of vampires! I looooove vampires!
All stories were diverse and all about vampires! READ THEM!

How to Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood

Live-in apartment on third floor available, if requested. Free of charge. Pay was $80,000 a year.
That’s what Justus our dear vampire wants, to live in Nashville and who’d known later on also being close to the author.
Cooper love it that Justus can cook like a real chef, living a decent life it something difficult for Cooper and Justus is doing a great job. Justus has other ideas about his boss.
Doing research Cooper has the strangest ways of working. Strangle and got strangled for research purposes uhuhh. Justus wants another job.
But days fly by and Justus get to know Cooper more and more and he likes it... very much.
Cooper wants to explore more and more with Justus. Justus re-evaluate his opinions. Cooper is quite adorable.

Ahhhh loved this story, Cooper a bit awkward made it awesome.
Funny, fast paced, sweet and caring story

Long Haul by Tanya Chris

Woww that was a story with unexpected content.
Silver is a vibrant homeless guy, abused in a parking lot, and saved by truck driver vampire Vlad. Without a home, he wants to drive with Vlad. He talks a lot and is funny.
Vibrant but ill, he wants Vlad to turn him when the time is there.
Vlad has plans for Silver.
Lovely super short story, it was right all the way. Sparklingly written!

Overexposed by K. Evan Coles

Danny, the local baker, is mugged and also found a dead body.
He’s shaken and without keys, Liam the detective on the case, offers Danny a place to sleep, because there is a killer around looking for Danny.

Oh boy, quite some suspense. Captivating af and intriguing. Wonderful to know there will be a continuation!

Dial-a-Vamp by Roberta Blablanski

Wyatt works as a phone sex operator named Ronaldo. He got a call from a nervous guy Caleb who has the fantasy to been bitten by a vampire. For the first time in ages, Wyatt feels something in his groin. Finally a perspective in his dead life.
When fantasy gets real it seems Caleb has a partner. Read what that could mean :)

That was one sexy story, a lot of it ha! Excellent written, captivating, and fun!

Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento

As a newbie-vampire, chef Johnny Russo refuses to feed on humans. Until he meets Nate Beaumont, the attractive sommelier with the most delicious scent.

Okey when I read the word ‘scent’ I’m all in because that’s my favorite content.
Johnny almost jumped Nate after Nate’s scent hit Johnny’s nose. He can’t touch him now, so looking awkward is better than revealing he’s a vampire, no handshake!
Nate thinks Johnny is looking down his nose to him. Well, he can do that too.
They start bad, snarling, and bitch at each other. I loved it!

Blood, blood... human, synthetic, animal blood, it’s there for the take. But Johnny desires only one.
I’m gonna cry... this was another awesome story of this anthology!!
The recipe here? A pan, three spoons of snark, some blood, some hurt, two cups of comfort, stir the drink and swallow yess!! How can I handle such a delicious story!

Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay

Indoctrinated by his religious surroundings Rollie staked his boyfriend fifteen years ago. He couldn’t get over it and run. Now he meets Alex again.
He needs Alex’s help to find and possibly save his friend.

I liked this story but would have loved it more with a more difficult and troubled reconnection. Overall a nice and easy story.

Call My Number by Megs Pritchard

Oh gosh my heart, what an excellent story!
Every day, at the same time, Ross calls and Maximus takes the call. It’s their little game. Always friendly, always helpful.
Ross wants to hear Max’s voice and dreams of what the vampire will do to him.
Ross ends the call with a clear invitation.

Oh gosh that was one delicious experience. Full of surprises, the best surprises everrr.
I loved this story hard, it was dirty but oh so romantic! For me the best combination!

Bad Blood by Lyra Evans

Alek and Crawford both doctors hate each other. Both work at the ER. Alek guesses Crawford is anti-vampire. Well guess what Alek is anti-Crawford, even his scent is the best. Both oh boy are they both wrong about the other’s feelings.

The rush from the ER was palpable, the tension between both men delicious.
Overall a great story with a nice portion of enemies to lovers!

Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene

Jesse is a vampire cop and Lico is his big burly colleague. Lico doesn’t believe in vampires and Jesse doesn’t want him to know he is. Jesse has the hots for Lico from the first moment and yeah that’s also something he can’t know. Lico always makes fun of Jesse’s pale features.
One night Jesse got hurt by a silver blade, it could kill him when Lico finally understands what Jesse is he takes care of him, in every possible way and has a confession.

Love this story so much. Short, fast-paced, enough developed to know the picture. It’s a sexy, bloody sweet story. Awesomely way of storytelling!
So happy to know they get a continuation.

Quality Assured by Edie Montreux

Derek is a newbie as Medicorp associate and with compliments from clients, Kellan has to evaluate Derek’s calls. Only there’s something strange, he can follow the client’s voice but he can’t hear Derek’s voice. An investigation is needed.

First, there was aversion but later on.... read it! There is much more going on in this story than I could imagine. Love this very!

Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough

After a fire, firefighter Ryan helps a young ice-cold guy Drake to get some warmth, inviting him in his home. They have a great night but the next day Drake is gone.
That’s where the search starts! When he finally finds him.

A fast-paced, instant love tale, nicely written, captivating! Worthy reading! And maybe there will be a continuation!

Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen

Josh lives a great life. Working in the IT world is satisfying! Until he runs into a hacker online.
Vin didn’t expect this, he closed all doors and got out, this is bad. Running into a world with guns and crime.
After they meet they got an arrangement to work together against the company. Everything went well until Josh understands what Vin is. Vin turned into a vamp with the wrong expectations, now he has to live with the results. Josh will never want him, would he?

Between all the data there was a sweet story, I loved the vulnerability and honesty!
Great story with great content!

Bad Decision by H.L Day

If you are looking for a sexy but also exciting story with danger and a fight you have to read this.
Alessandro has to stop the beautiful but stubborn human Liam. He wants to go to Silver Fang to finally feel the sensation of vampires fangs.
Alessandro knows he is in danger and follows him in.
Yeah, danger, tension, angst, and sweetness. It’s all waiting for the reader's eyes. Awesome!
The combination of everything above makes this a fast-paced very entertaining story.
Profile Image for Rachel Emily.
3,999 reviews265 followers
May 13, 2020
ETA: Taking a break from this one to move on to something different for a while. I might come back to this when I just want a short story to read. I read about half of the stories, and overall I did enjoy them. If you like vampire stories, this one is for a great cause - sales are going to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, so definitely pick this one up!

A great anthology for an even greater cause. Love me some vampires and this is a great group of authors!

How to Keep an Author - 4.5 stars - I love this author and this was quirky, fun, and delightful. The vampire is a writer.

Long Haul - don’t think I’ve read about a vampire trucker before! 4 stars

Overexposed - Felt like the first part of what should be a longer story! Nice cop/murder drama story.

Dial a Vamp - a vampire is a phone sex worker. I gotta admit, this story went in directions I did NOT see coming!

Off the Menu - a vampire is a chef (which is a bit funny considering that he can't taste anything to pair with the wine selections)

Fangs for the Memories - Rollie is reunited with the vampire boyfriend he thought he had staked years ago. I thought the setup was interesting but something about the reconnection or feelings didn't entirely work for me.

Call my Number - OK, so I kinda loved this one. Ross keeps calling Max at work and they flirt like crazy, only we will realize that these two know each other better than you'd think.

Bad Blood

Graveyard Cops

Quality Assured

Fire and ice Skin Cold

Life Hacks

Bad Decision
Profile Image for Caz.
2,641 reviews999 followers
May 22, 2020
I've given this a B at AAR.

Review to follow at AAR.Working Stiffs : An m/m vampire charity romance anthology is a collection of thirteen short stories and novellas, and proceeds from sales will go to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.  I generally find anthologies to be a mixed bag and that’s true of Working Stiffs; given there are thirteen stories, I’m going to limit myself to talking in detail about the ones I liked best (or we’d be here all day!)

All the stories are based around a similar premise.  As the synopsis says:
In a world struggling to come to grips with the existence of vampires, where reactions range from excitement to fear to determined disbelief, these vampires are just trying to make ends meet. Some of them do mundane work—like waiting tables or driving a cab… Because even the undead have to earn a living.

The world-building – in terms of what these vampires can and can’t do and how they live (or not!) – is fairly consistent across the board, and the vampire characters range from being centuries old to the recently turned, and work in jobs from chef to cabbie, telemarketer to trauma specialist.

My favourite story is Lyra Evans’ Bad Blood, which features two ER doctors who have been at each other’s throats (figuratively!) since they met.  Dr. Alek Matsouka is dedicated, driven and highly skilled, but when he started his training, he never intended to end up in Emergency medicine. That all changed when he was turned just two months before he qualified, and being an ER doc is now the only way he can practice, seeing as any other branch of medicine would need him to work in the daytime.  He and the other resident, James Crawford, can’t stand each other; Crawford resents Alek for always interfering with his cases and telling him he’s wrong; Alek resents Crawford for having the choices no longer available to him and takes out his frustration by being snippy and condescending.  The ER setting is very well done (a warning here – there’s a scene involving a miscarriage that is quite detailed), and there’s another in which Alek is confronted by some serious bigotry that is, quite rightly, uncomfortable to read.  The two leads are fleshed out fairly well for a short story and their simmering chemistry is evident right from the first, which of course leads to an ending of their feud and a definite HFN.

Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay is a second chance romance between a vamp and the ex who staked him fifteen years earlier!  You’d think a stake through the heart might be a tough one to forgive, but the couple in this story manage to get past it.  Back when he was young, stupid and easily influenced, Rollie Brown was brainwashed into believing that vampires were an abomination, and that he should kill his lover.  So seeing him alive – or rather, undead – and well, and working as a bartender comes as something as a shock.  Not surprisingly, Aja isn’t all that pleased to see Rollie, but when he explains that he’s looking for an ex he thinks might have got mixed up in something nasty at a vampire bar, Aja agrees to help.  The author creates a believable connection between Rollie and Aja, the storyline is suspenseful and there’s plenty of humour, too.  My one niggle is that the set-up – Rollie’s reasons for the whole stake-through-the-heart thing  – were pretty unconvincing.

I also enjoyed Overexposed by K. Evan Coles and Mel Gough’s Fire and Ice Cold Skin, although both felt as though they were introductions to longer stories.  In Overexposed, a crime scene photographer with the NYPD becomes involved with the only witness to a murder, a human he’s felt drawn to since the moment he first saw him, and in Fire and Ice and Cold Skin a firefighter is moved to look after the young man whose home has just burned to the ground and who has nowhere else to go.  Even though the leads are together by the end of this one, it doesn’t feel quite like an HFN and there’s definitely more to be said. Both authors indicate that there may be more to come, and I’d certainly be up for reading that ‘more’ if they end up writing it!

H.L. Day’s Bad Decision is set in London and features a vampire cab driver who gets a lot more than he bargained for when he picks up a fare who wants to go to a vampire bar to act out his sexual fantasy of being bitten during sex.  The relationship evolves quickly, but the author creates a real atmosphere of peril in this story, showing the vampires as much more menacing than those in most of the other stories.

The biggest issue I have with romances in novella and short story form in general is that they almost ways feel rushed; and given that today, even the shortest of romances is expected to contain a sex scene, the plot, character and relationship development suffer as they’re squeezed into fewer pages to leave room for the shagging.  The stories I enjoyed most in Working Stiffs are probably the longest ones, and they have a bit more depth to the plot and characterisation than the others. While the sex scenes in every story happen fast, there is at least a build-up and a sense of connection between the characters.

My least favourite tales? Roberta Blablanski’s Dial-a-Vamp , about a vampire phone sex operator whose latest caller wants to act out his vampire sex fantasies, is basically all sex and little plot. That’s fine – the threesome is pretty hot – but I’d have liked a bit more substance to it.  And Call My Numberby Megs Pritchard has a great premise; two guys who talk on the phone everyday agree to meet up, but things aren’t quite what they seem.  I really liked the idea there, but it was let down by the execution and uninspired writing.  Edie Montreux’s Quality Assured – about a vampire who works at a call-centre and seems basically to be some sort of superhero – is simply weird(!), and again is tripped up by poor execution.

Working Stiffs is available in Kindle Unlimited or costs $3.99 to buy (I would imagine more money will go to the charity if the book is purchased outright), and given there are half-a-dozen decent stories in there, I’d say it’s worth the price if you’re looking for some quick, sexy reads and a collection you can dip in and out of.  My favourites were by authors I haven’t read before, so I’m definitely going to check out more of their work.
Profile Image for Trio.
2,925 reviews171 followers
May 11, 2020
Reviewed this one with my friends at KEBB, the entire review can be found here

For my part I reviewed How To Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood
Rating: 4 Hearts

In How to Keep an Author (Alive), AJ Sherwood's playful and lighthearted nature really shines through. This is my first experience with Sherwood’s writing, and I see I’ve been missing out!

When Justus is sent to his new job, he’s immediately drawn to his boss. Scatterbrained and completely oblivious, author JD Cooper is a hot mess and Justus can’t wait to add some order to his life.

A charming story with interesting characters and a very original plot, How to Keep an Author (Alive) is fresh and very funny.

The other stories I've read so far in this anthology have been wonderful, and I'm not going to stop till I read them all!
Profile Image for Jay.
381 reviews60 followers
May 11, 2020
Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene

Twenty-one since 1900, police officer Jesse Hendricks works the graveyard shift out of necessity in Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene. He and his patrol partner Angelico “Lico” DiMarco, secretly harbor a mutual crush they conceal with witty banter and self-loathing – Jesse hates being a vampire.

Lico is forever teasing Jesse about his immortality, but he doesn’t believe vampires exist, so Jesse is well aware there isn’t a future for them. Their pairing is endearing even as Lico annoys Jesse with a protective nature as the “senior” officer.

On a routine call, things change and Lico’s beliefs instantly adapt. Now, it is a race to save the love of his life.

Graveyard Cops is a quick read with entertaining banter and smoldering desire while providing a complete story in a short amount of time.
Profile Image for Kazza.
1,431 reviews145 followers
May 14, 2020
This is an anthology for a really good cause, kudos to the authors for that, so I pre-ordered a copy. I probably won't rate it overall as it's too hard. Perhaps I'll write a few lines on each story when I've got the time.

I actually enjoy and admire the art of short storytelling. So I have mixed feelings about this anthology overall. While some of these were good little stories in their own right, some were nothing more than a sampler. And like most anthologies I've read over the years, some of the stories were hit or miss.

Blog review with a short, short review of some of the stories at-
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Profile Image for Annie Maus.
345 reviews11 followers
May 11, 2020
I reviewed the book with a crew. These are the shorts I undertook:

"Bad Decision" by H.L Day

Have you ever seen a caricature artist capture a person’s essence in a few deft strokes? H.L Day does the literary equivalent in her novella "Bad Decision" released as part of the Working Stiffs anthology. In approximately 57 pages (per my e-reader), H.L crafts full personalities (or vampiralities?), plus a deliciously creepy world of seduction and betrayal.

When cabbie Alessandro picks up gorgeous, rain-drenched passenger, Liam, he’s upset by Liam’s destination – a vampire club where he yearns to receive his first bite. At these disreputable establishments, most humans come for a single thrill, but some succumb to full addiction. Alessandro, however, knows a few gorgeous men are dragged to the basement and never return. From experience, he suspects Liam will be one of them. “There’d been another boy once. Many years ago. I’d sat back and done nothing that night, and he’d died slowly and painfully.” Will Alessandro risk everything to be sure Liam isn’t another?

By contrasting danger with attraction, H.L Day keeps tension taut. “There was certainly a fascination between us—some might even call it a need. One that I wasn’t strong enough to deny even if I wanted to.” And thus, Alessandro barges in where, “Blood edged with pain had a bitterness that you couldn’t manufacture in any other way. Vampires always had their preferences.” Yikes!

For terrific drama, fight sequences, and love scenes H.L Day’s "Bad Decision" is a superbly dark and entertaining page turner.

"Quality Assured" by Edie Montreux

"Quality Assured" brings us socially conscious vampires, because, why didn’t I think of that? Eddie Montreux is brilliant to realize immortals would worry more about climate change than us, who will die before its worst consequences.

Derek is a newly-changed vampire working night shift for a medical response call center, who comes to the attention of Kellen, their Quality Assurance officer. But instead of finding the incompetent temp he expects, Kellen finds Derek is almost a superhero, helping those with medical issues.

Kellen might be attracted, except for two problems. He’s too ill to think of intimacy and besides, vampires killed his sister. Ooops. But Derek proves too caring to shunt aside. Will Kellen take the chance to learn?

"Quality Assured" is told with humor, like how vampires, who live at night might consider days of the week. “Fraturday” – the early morning between Friday and Saturday. And there’s a fascinating exploration of consent… when would a human consent to be turned? For a slew of new ideas on an ancient subject, and characters I’d love to see explored in a full-length novel, don’t miss "Quality Assured."

"Fangs for the Memories" by Sadie Jay

"Fangs for the Memories" is an adorable novelette by Sadie Jay, which touts the value of forgiveness. As a college student from a religious family, Rollie Brown staked his boyfriend, Alex, upon learning Alex was a vampire. And for fifteen years Rollie has hated himself for it, going to therapy and opening a vampire-positive gym as restitution. Rollie didn’t know wooden stakes don’t “kill” vampires. So, when he encounters Alex, as alive as a vampire can be, bartending at the location he’s to meet Oakley, his current date, Rollie quickly bails, and an angry Oakley becomes his “ex.”

Meanwhile, Rollie knows he must apologize to Alex. In so doing he discovers Alex has become a vampire enforcer, policing those who over-feed. And Oakley has become addicted to the bite. Before they can explore any possible relationship, Rollie and Alex must rescue Oakley.

The couple have a cute repartee. For example, when Alex first gives Rollie his number, Rollie returns his number with a heart emoji. Alex’s response – a stake! Their explored – and unexplored heat, wafts off the page. Plus, "Fangs for the Memories" remains sweet and hopeful, while offering small lessons on emotional resilience. Well done!

"Bad Blood" by Lyra Evans

Lyra Evans gives enemies to lovers the perfect degree of snark in "Bad Blood" Alek and James, ER residents, have been “at each other’s throats” since medical school. It galls Alek, who was turned into a vampire during school, that James breezes through work, getting along with everyone and acing his studies. Meanwhile, Alek’s choices have narrowed to night shift (no sunlight), relegating him to the ER.

However, with more acute senses, Alek can see and smell illness which James’ human senses overlook. And he takes great glee in correcting James’ misdiagnosis. “‘Oh Jamie,’” Alek said, knowing James hated the nickname. “‘If you could diagnose your patients correctly the first time, I wouldn’t have to check all your work.’”

Beware the know-it-all. There are depths his certainty must miss. And what follows is a delightfully humane takedown, where everyone wins! I loved how Lyra Evans documents the “you spot it, you got it” phenomena without making either Alex or James less admirable in their professions, goals or human weaknesses.

A lot is accomplished in a "Bad Blood", including an implicit comparison of bigotry against vampires with discrimination of gays. Unfortunately, this still exists, even within the medical field, which is disproportionately staffed by the LGBTQ community. Lovely phraseology smooths the painful truths. “Alek flattened his emotions, pressing them down to a line along the soles of his feet.” I chuckled and was saddened by this creative novella.

Profile Image for Love Bytes Reviews.
2,529 reviews36 followers
May 4, 2020
Reviewed by Kimberley

Let me start this review off by saying that I will NOT offer reviews for each individual story because doing so will make this review far too long and honestly, with this anthology consisting of 13 stories with almost 500 pages of wonderfully written novellas featuring ordinary working class beautiful vampires, it would be virtually impossible to offer opinions on each one without retelling the stories. And really? All of them are really well written. The characters, dialogues and storylines are engaging. These stories were always out there ready to be told. I’m surprised that stories featuring working class vampires aren’t explored/written more. Stories of super rich vampires, while lovely, are done all the time. Super rich and immortal aren’t necessarily everyone’s favorite fantasy and it’s good to see that these authors came together to mix it up a little.

These are thirteen of the sweetest novellas I’ve read in quite some time. What tickles me the most is that these vampires got their jobs via the same employment agency called—VAMP(Vampire Agency for Mortal Professions). And for the life of me, I cannot explain why that made me giggle every single time I read it. These stories have a vampire who’s a housekeeper/personal assistant—he basically manages an author, you have a vamp who’s a phone sex worker, a truck driver, a crime scene analyst, a cop…the whole gamut of essential workers. And in a way, this is what these stories are—an acknowledgement and salute to the essential workers who are basically keeping this country running during this pandemic. Which segues nicely into my next point: the proceeds from this books goes towards the Covid-19 Response Fund.

The characters are so very engaging. They’re funny, smart, sexy and witty. What I particularly liked about these novellas is that these vamps are from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and the authors did a a pretty good job of telling their stories without being insulting. Long Haul even has an HIV positive MC that was heartbreaking, sweet and strange all at once. How to Keep and Author(Alive) was sweet and funny. While all of these stories were well written, those two were by far my favorite of the thirteen.

I will point out that these novellas don’t have HEA HFN(Happy for Now) endings so if you like your stories to have nice and tidy endings, you will be just a tad disappointed. All of these stories are solid with well fleshed our characters so the quality is not in any way less because the endings aren’t completely HEA. They all end on a pretty high note so while they have the HFN endings, many of them appear to be the beginning of the journey for these wonderful men.

Each of these stories told all had a common human element to them. It was great to read about these vampires experiencing the emotional and financial ups and downs, ins and outs, the mundane, the exciting and hilariously human aspects of life. And that is what makes these stories glorious.

This book was provided for free in exchange for a fair and honest review for Love Bytes. Go there to check out other reviews, author interviews, and all those awesome giveaways. Click below.
Profile Image for Smut Librarian.
1,039 reviews37 followers
May 11, 2020
Dial a Vamp by Roberta Blablanski is a hot, fast-paced read with lots of gasp-worthy moments for such a short story.

Caleb has a fantasy, so he calls the sex line to try to role-play being bitten by a vampire during sex. Little does he know that “Ronaldo” is the perfect sex-line worker for this fantasy!

Wyatt is in a rut. A big one. Nothing has stirred this vampire’s libido for 40 years, until Caleb calls him during his job as a sex-call worker. And when he discovers the very human Caleb is in a relationship, and they both want to meet him in real life to explore further, Wyatt’s not sure he can go back to the rut he just climbed out of…

Dial A Vamp has enough surprises and boldness to pique interest and reel you in. I really enjoyed the blatant sexual nature of this story (even by M/M/M standards) and Roberta Blablanski uses some very clever writing to bring enough detail to this short read to leave you satisfied and fulfilled.

In Mel Gough’s Fire and Ice Cold Skinfirefighter Ryan has a big heart and when he sees a ‘kid’ who just lost his house to a fire, he has to help. He feels drawn to Drake and offers him a place to stay – not sure why he trusts him.

However, Drake has a few secrets and his world is very different from Ryan’s. When Ryan begins to suspect something, he does some investigating and discovers a truth that should scare him, but not enough to pull away from the intriguing man… or vampire.

A quick but engaging read with a dash of mystery and suspense Fire and Ice Cold Skin is well written and easily absorbed in a single sitting.
Profile Image for Faye K.
2,441 reviews30 followers
May 15, 2020
4.5 Stars... A great bundle of mixed vampire anthologies in this book from the authors. The majority I hadn't read authors before marked are with an * .
There are some writers who I'll be following from this anthology in the future.
👌* How To Keep and Author- A.J Sherwood- Justus gets a new job with JD Cooper. An okay story, time jumps included (not a fan off sorry)
♥️* Long Haul - Tanya Chris- Vlad helps Silver out of a horrible spot and keeps his boy. A great short story.
♥️🔥 Overexposed K. Evan Coles - A murder mystery for Noah and his job to protect Danny. A great mystery included with these guys, danger and sexy scenes. HFN
🔥♥️*Dial-a-Vamp - Roberta Blablanski - Hot phone conversations with Wyatt and Caleb. A hot mmm story.
🔥🔥Of the menu - RJ Sorrento- Lots of fire between Johnny and Nate, and a few laughs at these guys.
👍*Fangs for Memory - Sadie Jay - Aja and Rollie reminiscing over times past.
🔥🔥Call my number - Megs Pritchard - Maximus and Ross play cat and mouse on the phones.
🔥*Bad Blood - Lyra Evans - Doctor & Doctor don't see eye to eye. Trigger included.
♥️🔥*Graveyard Cops - Crystal Greene - Life and death for Jessie and Lico on the force.
♥️🔥*Quality Assured - Edie Montreax- Kellan and Derek' story and curiosities. lots of fire between them.
♥️*Fire and ice cold skin- Mel Gough- Ryan and Drake's house innovation. HFN ending.
👍*Life's Hacks - Elliott Griffen - Josh and Vin meet in opposites attract.
♥️🔥* Bad Day - HL Day - Taking a cab ride with Alessandro and Liam and Liam gets his wish.
Profile Image for Monika .
2,025 reviews30 followers
March 26, 2022

Overall the stories in this anthology were entertaining, some more than others but worth the read.

How to Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood (review posted separately) --- 3.5 Stars
Long Haul by Tanya Chris --- 3 Stars
Overexposed by K. Evan Coles (review posted separately) --- 5 Stars
Dial-a-Vamp by Roberta Blablanski --- 3 Stars
Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento --- 3 Stars
Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay --- 3.5 Stars
Call My Number by Megs Pritchard (review posted separately) --- 4 Stars
Bad Blood by Lyra Evans --- 4 Stars
Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene (review posted separately) --- 4 Stars
Quality Assured by Edie Montreux --- 3.5 Stars
Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough --- 2 Stars (this one was a bit confusing and ended with "to be continued" which is beyond frustrating LOL
Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen --- 3.5 Stars
Bad Decision by H.L Day --- 4 Stars


-- Vampire/Human pairing -- work place romances -- some really sweet shorts -- some needed more -- a few felt more like excerpts rather than a true short story -- a good mix of shorts -- a Charity Anthology
Profile Image for Grace.
2,572 reviews111 followers
May 4, 2020
Average of 1.53 stars so I'm rounded up. Barely.

Got this anthology to read/support an author I really enjoy. While I was here, I figured I'd read the rest, since I'd not heard of any of the other authors. Safe to say, I won't be checking out any of their other works. A word of advice to writers participating in short story anthologies: learn how to actually write a short story and don't just assume it's like an easier/quicker regular novel. Y'all are showing your asses and, frankly, actually alienating potential readers. I really need to just give up on MM anthologies because 9/10 they are a massive disappointment.

How to Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood - 2 stars
Readable, but barely. The MC's voice read like a modern 20-year-old, not a 250 year-old vampire. Concept read like crack but without the self-awareness. I appreciate trying for POC rep, but it read inauthentic and like the author could have used a sensitivity reader.

Long Haul by Tanya Chris - 2.5 stars
Not bad, but not particularly memorable. I really liked Silver's character. Something about the whole HIV/blood narrative made me feel some type of way though. Having trouble articulating it, but it rubbed me the wrong way.

Overexposed by K. Evan Coles - 2.5 stars
Interesting enough concept, but the whole thing was really rushed, and the fucking felt like it kind of came out of nowhere. The emotional notes didn't quite ring true.

Dial-a-Vamp by Roberta Blablanski - 1.5 stars
This could have been really interesting, as it was told from the perspective of the "third" being brought into an established relationship for a night, and that's not normally a POV we get in those situations. Unfortunately, Ryan was super fucking creepy and manipulative, and I could see zero reason why the Vamp would indulge his assholery.

Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento - DNF
Had potential and an interesting concept, but the writing was just bad.

Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay - 1.5 stars
Emotional development just wasn't organic, and I didn't feel a spark between the characters. Honestly, not that interesting. I read this last night and literally cannot remember was it was about, I'm going off the notes I jotted down...

Call My Number by Megs Pritchard - DNF
Ridiculous concept, not at all compelling. Was this meant to be crack!fic?

Bad Blood by Lyra Evans - 4 stars
Really liked the writing and the concept and could have read even more. Biggest issue was that it moved a little *too* quickly from fighting to fucking, and that transition was a little awkward, like the author forced it to keep within the word count.

Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene - DNF
Again, are most of these writers purposefully trying to write something ridiculous? The whole concept was stupid, and there was zero connection between the MCs.

Quality Assured by Edie Montreux - DNF
Confusing, poorly written, uninteresting.

Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough - 3 stars
This was my second favorite of the bunch, except for the fact that it ended up not actually being a complete story. It was written like the first few chapters of a novel, and the ending isn't even an open ending (which I don't mind when intentional) but the story just stops with zero sense of resolution, which kind of spoiled the whole thing in the end.

Life Hacks by Elliot Griffen - DNF
Unrealistic over-dramatized set-up, completely boring.

Bad Decision by H.L. Day - 3 stars
Probably my third favorite of the bunch, though I wasn't in love. A bit insta-love, but overall a more interesting world-building and the writing wasn't bad.
Profile Image for Cee Brown.
1,305 reviews34 followers
May 1, 2020
¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨)
✮ (¸.•´✶They're Alive!!! No, really?

Overall...Just over 10 hours of bloody pleasure.

I will always run toward books about vampires. The concept of having vampires who reported to an agency and lived by rules, no matter their age, was brilliant. To have stories of different walks of life, excellent. Each story had its own take on what it's like to be a vampire and a spun tale of what life was both before and after the turning. Not all stories had a good beginning for the vamps, but meeting their human bought forth a happy ending, whether it was ever after or for now.

Overall rate 3.88 upgraded to 4/heat 3

Individual reviews to follow.

I voluntarily and honestly reviewed this book without bias or persuasion from Mel Gough and her working partners.
Profile Image for A.E. Bross.
Author 7 books38 followers
May 22, 2020
Honestly, this was a really enjoyable collection to read. The plight of the modern working vampire is one we don't normally get to read about, and each of these stories had a different approach to how our fanged-friends are getting along these days. These stories were funny and sad, romantic and steamy, and overall beautifully written and curated together. Were there some that stretched suspension of disbelief a bit further than others? Sure, but overall, this was an great read for a good cause. It's a win-win, really.
Profile Image for Celine.
803 reviews1 follower
August 10, 2020
Great book

This was a great collection of short stories.

I really enjoyed each of them, and there is a couple I would have loved to read more of and will definitely be looking for more books from these authors.

Each story varies a lot, from the sweet and cute, to the hot and steamy, with the dark or more action packed in between.

If you love vampires with human partners, I really recommend this anthology
5,698 reviews34 followers
May 2, 2020
this was soo good.. im a bit off of the vampire world but slowly getting back into it.. and boy am i glad i did because these authors did an amazing job.. plus its a good cause. i loved all the stories.. they made me happy to read and it was lovely and i even found a couple new authors. amazing!
Profile Image for Teresa.
3,222 reviews35 followers
June 12, 2020

Varied and interesting, this anthology is sure to please vamp lovers. There were a few stories I liked more than others but none I disliked.
Profile Image for Anabela.M..
959 reviews15 followers
April 28, 2020
*this review contains spoilers

If you still believed in the myths that all vampires are shimmering, magically irresistible and extra rich creatures, this anthology will blow those beliefs apart. While they are indeed strong, cold, pale and can bring a human to heights of extasy with just one bite, most of them need jobs, sometimes menial, because they need a roof over their heads and the means to provide their next meal and pay their bills.

These are their stories:

1.𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐊𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐚𝐧 𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫 (𝐀𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞), AJ Sherwood

Vampire Justus takes a job as a housekeeper/PA/cook for eccentric mystery writer JD Cooper. Cooper was adorable, lost in his world and often forgetting about the real one. More than in need of someone to take care of his house, he needed someone to look after him, to keep him grounded to reality. Justus was just the one for that job, too...after the initial exasperation, after getting over the fact that Cooper tried to strangle him in his sleep - for research purposes, mind you. And, as the days went on, lines began to blur, their professional relationship became friendship, and then more.

This one was light and humorous, cute ...with a particularly sweet bite to it.

2. 𝐋𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐚𝐮𝐥, Tanya Chris

Vlad has lived for so long that nothing inspired him or gave him the will to do more than just go through the motions. Grumpy and morose, he liked the quiet being a truck driver gave him. And he's had it, until the impulsive idea to save Silver from a bashing and then have the young man tag along for his delivery.

I absolutely adored this story. Silver was the sweetest, soft spoken and kind kid. And a chatterbox. I loved how he got under Vlad's skin, until the loner vampire just wanted to always have around his warmth and enthusiasm...forever and ever.

3.𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐝, K. Evan Coles

A killer is on the loose and Danny is the only witness to one of his murders. Noah, a scene photographer, would do anything to protect him, even it means bringing temptation to his own home. Because Noah's had a crush on Danny for months, keeping away, afraid to reveal that he's a vampire, and having him at biting distance wasn't easy. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find out that Danny has been returning Noah's feelings all along?

This is a sweet and suspenseful close proximity romance, and in just a few pages, the author managed to write amazingly their emotions, to make me fear for Danny's life and even create a strong secondary character, detective Callahan.

4. 𝐃𝐢𝐚𝐥-𝐚-𝐕𝐚𝐦𝐩, Roberta Blablanski

Wyatt's life as a vampire was so depressing he's reached a point of such boredom and apathy, that even his 'nether regions' decided to go into a slump. Not even his job as a sex phone operator managed to arouse his spirit, until the night a shy voice called on his line, saying he fantasized about being bitten by a vampire. And THAT definitely made everything perk up, from Wyatt's imagination to his 'moody' appendage. When Caleb, the caller, and his partner Ryan invited him to their house to act on the fantasy in real life, they offered Wyatt something he thought he'd never find: a way out of numbness,  a reawakening of desire, hope and motivation to keep going.

This was not romance and it bordered on erotica. An incredibly steamy MMM, with Caleb and Ryan making Wyatt feel again, and I really hope the author would decide to expand  Ryan's story in the future.

5. 𝐎𝐟𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐞𝐧𝐮, RJ Sorrento

Recently turned vampire, chef Johnny hates being one. Losing the possibility to enjoy food and being stuck for eternity in a heavyset body have turned him into a growling, grumpy bear. He was adorable, really, and even more so when a snobby sommelier invaded his space. Nate smelled like an exquisite dish, looked like the cutest man ever, but acted the worst stuck-up. I've had so much fun seeing them around each other, waiting for the moment that either Johnny gave in to the need to sample Nate's tantalizing blood or they cleared out their differences, because it was obvious they were perfect for each other.

6. 𝐅𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, Sadie Jay

Indoctrinated by a vampire hating religion, Rollie staked Alex fifteen years ago. He'd thought he'd killed him, only to find himself face to face with a very much alive Alex (who prefers Aja now). Surprisingly, Aja gives Rollie the opportunity to explain himself and doesn't even seem to hate him. He even helps free Rollie's ex from an ugly situation.

There was no bitterness between Aja and Rollie, which I really liked. Just a sweet rekindling of emotions, both of them more than grateful for the second chance to be together.

7. 𝐂𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐌𝐲 𝐍𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫, Megs Pritchard

I'm not going to give too many details about this one, because it has an unexpected, hot twist to it and I don't want to ruin it. Suffice to say that it's steamy and cute.

8. 𝐁𝐚𝐝 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝, Lyra Evans

It would be easy to mark this one just as a simple enemies to lovers romance, but it's also so much about prejudice and bigotry. Against vampire, yes, but it was an exceptional reflection on our society.

The action takes place in a hospital's Emergency Room. The atmosphere was amazingly depicted, with some on page urgent cases. Adding to the tension, doctors Alek and Crawford did their worst to antagonize each other. They simply couldn't stand one another and I could actually feel the air crackle every time they were in the same space. But what if the hate was just a bad attempt at fighting their attraction?

Love it.

9. 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐲𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐩𝐬, Crystel Greene

This was proof, once again, of how brilliant this author is at writing unrequited love. Maybe Lico was just a plain man, but seen through Jesse's eyes he became this irresistible, gorgeous, warm temptation. Honestly, I kinda fell myself for Lico's cheerful smile and jovial attitude. But. Jesse is a vampire cop, and Lico is his partner, and he doesn't even believe in the paranormal. So, how will Lico react when Jesse shows his true nature? Will he bolt or accept Jesse's biting qualities?

Be ready to laugh and swoon.

10. 𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐀𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐝, Edie Montreux

This one is about environment conscious vampires. Yes, that's a thing. Apparently, if you're terminally ill and, before getting sick you've been actively involved in saving our planet, chances are that some vampire will offer you immortal life. So, beware of recycling and usage of water, among other vital precautions.

Thank you, Edie, for the important message and for Kellan and Derek's sweet story.

11. 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐜𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐒𝐤𝐢𝐧, Mel Gough

There was something about the young, silver-blond haired man who's house been burned by fire that made fireman Ryan offer his home as a place to rest for the night. And, after he discovered him gone the next day, to do everything possible to find him. Locating Derek opened Ryan's eyes to a whole new world, where vampires exist and some of them, like Derek, are payed by humans to have the whole biting experience.

Both Ryan and Derek are charming characters. Derek made no excuses for his choice of profession, and Ryan seems to have no problem with it. For now, because this story ends abruptly and it seems like there's going to be more about these two in the future. Hopefully.

12. 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬, Eliott Griffen

Vin is a vampire hacker, small, young  and cute, cute, cute. His cuteness is only part of the reason why he convinced Josh to work together to steal information that Josh was supposed to protect. The other part is that they really needed proof of Josh's company shady business. Vin and Josh were adorable, no other way to describe it. Shy and tentative, every day more attracted to each other and unsure of whether or not to act on it.

There's was a nice amount of suspense to this story. Josh might want nothing to do with Vin after finding out the latter was a vampire...if they even survive their risky pursuit of proof.

13.𝐁𝐚𝐬 𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, H.L. Day

Taxi driver Alessandro, against his better judgment, picked up a man standing in the rain. Too bad Liam wanted to be dropped off at the worst blood club in town,to experience the extasy vampires could offer, even after Alessandro tried to convince him not to. Thing was, Alessandro knew what happened to beautiful men like Liam in that club, that he might not come out of it alive. For some unexplainable reason, even for himself, Alessandro went in and tried to free Liam, putting his own life at risk.

This was the darkest story of this collection. It showed an ugly side of vampires, one of violence and cruelty. I loved Alessandro and his bravery, and honestly, I'm a bit conflicted about Liam. I thought he was rather shallow, and not so much for his recklessness, but for how he acted once they were out of the club. I mean, Alessandro was battered, bruised and scratched and Liam was all sunny, unperturbed and cheerful. But, Alessandro did get himself a particularly handsome, tasty lover, so there's that.


All of this short stories were unique and precious. Each presented different personalities and situations, every character with their hopes and dreams, all of them surprised and appreciative of what life decided to gift them. I thank all the authors for putting together this incredible collection. I loved it.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dilyana.
168 reviews11 followers
May 1, 2020
----- What I Think about the Anthology as a Whole -----

The world in the stories is similar, but not exactly the same when it comes to how vampires react to the sun, their abilities, etc. I suspect the authors discussed what would be common rules on which to set the stories, but each gave their work a bit of a different flavor.

I enjoyed the similar themes, but also the variations in length, POVs (it's usually one per story and it's the vampire's, but a few show us the human's perspective on what's happening), writing styles and also sub-genres.

We have some stories more on the side of sweet romance while others are more erotic; some are random encounters of everyday people, others have their leads fight against higher stakes; some give us a glimpse of the danger vampires could present, others take us down a chilling path into their dark world.

With so much diversity, there will be something for any reader.

My overall rating for the anthology: 4.5/5

----- My Thoughts and Ratings for Each Story -----

--- How To Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood ---

My thoughts:

How To Keep an Author (Alive) is a charming short that will elicit a few chuckles from you. I've been meaning to check out AJ's novels for a while now (heard a lot of good things); am I still interested after this read? Yep.

My rating: 5/5

--- Long Haul by Tanya Chris ---

My thoughts:

I have already read a couple of things by Tanya (review links at the bottom of the post), so I sort of knew what to expect. Writing style-wise: not a bad read. It didn't have much of a plot though, just two people meeting, hitting it off, naughty scenes ensue. It reminds me of an extra a writer would gift to their fans, a one-shot response to a question like "So, how did these two side characters meet?"

My rating: 4/5

--- Overexposed by K. Evan Coles ---

My thoughts:

This one is longer than the previous two and more plot-oriented. The crime subplot weaves in nicely with the romance and I really enjoyed it, even though there was one thing the perpetrator did that didn't make sense to me. The only other thing that bothered me was that the ending was left open. When I saw how much - that's to say, how little - was left of the story, I thought "Hmmm, maybe the author would write some sort of a sequel to this." And then the story ended with "The End (For now, anyway)" so... Yeah. We might see a continuation of this one and I'd love to read that. If this isn't the case and it was supposed to be a standalone: I still enjoyed it.

My rating: 5/5

--- Dial a Vamp by Roberta Blablanski ---

My thoughts:

Not bad, but the pacing was a little off for me, a little too quick. The sex talk was also not something that stuck with me.

My rating: 4/5

--- Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento ---

My thoughts:

This is one of those short stories that read very draft-like. That's to say, the author was so careful to keep things short, that, while the story has a beginning and an ending, it seems like it hasn't reached its final stage (thus, draft-like). I would've liked more details and descriptions.

My rating: 3.5/5

--- Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay ---

My thoughts:

Sweet is the word that I'd use to describe this story. I enjoyed the fact that we got to be in the human character's head.

My rating: 4/5

--- Call My Number by Megs Pritchard ---

My thoughts:

I'm lost. At first it seemed like the main characters didn't know each other, but then it turned out they knew each other for years. That revelation makes the way the first chapter is written seem weird.

My rating: 3.5/5

--- Bad Blood by Lyra Evans ---

My thoughts:

We open at a hectic night in the hospital and disease and injury might make the beginning unpleasant for some readers. Now that that's out of the way: this is one of my favorite stories in the anthology. I liked the characters and the tension between them.

My rating: 5/5

--- Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene ---

My thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well, although I was puzzled by what happened on the drive to the crime scene. The way the two cops interacted and how many things they did/talked about didn't make sense time- and tone-wise (it was a short drive and their emotions didn't match the situation), but what came after that: yep, I enjoyed it.

My rating: 5/5

--- Quality Assured by Edie Montreux ---

My thoughts:

Not a bad story, but the author stresses upon an environmental message quite heavily. While I agree with the message (we're killing our planet and you know, it's our home and we need it) it made the story seem as more of an agenda to spread the message than a romance story, even though we do get romance.

My rating: 4/5

--- Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough ---

My thoughts:

Fire and Ice Cold Skin is another favorite of mine. If I have to complain, there was one comment the firefighter made after their first time together that seemed a little too lukewarm for the situation and had me lifting my brows and saying "Really? That's what you are going to say?". Yeah, I know this is nitpicking, but sometimes it's that one small detail that's off that sticks with you.

My rating: 5/5

--- Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen ---

My thoughts:

This is another story that I think would've benefited by a slightly slower pace. Also, it requires a large dose of suspension of disbelief about how law enforcement works. The last scene at the office was a little too melodramatic for me.

My rating: 4.5/5

--- Bad Decision by H.L Day ---

My thoughts:

Have you ever read a book and once you see how little you have left of it, you are reluctant to keep reading because you don't want it to end? I experienced that with this story. What a way to end the anthology!

My rating: 5/5
Profile Image for KC.
295 reviews7 followers
June 3, 2020
- How To Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood - 5, fun
- Long Haul by Tanya Chris - 4.5, a bit sad and a bit hopeful
- Overexposed by K. Evan Coles - 4, good, with a bit of mystery and action
- Dial a Vamp by Roberta Blablanski - 3.5 - good, but a bit rushed
- Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento - DNF
- Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay - DNF
- Call My Number by Megs Pritchard - 3
- Bad Blood by Lyra Evans - DNF
- Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene - DNF
- Quality Assured by Edie Montreux - DNF
- Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough - sudden end leaving things in the air
- Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen - DNF
- Bad Decision by H.L Day - DNF
Profile Image for Renee.
344 reviews10 followers
April 26, 2020
As this is a charity anthology, I first want to thank all of these authors for coming together and taking the time to craft such amazing words for a wonderful cause. To all who participated, you have my sincere gratitude.

I loved reading this anthology. There is something for everyone and the authors each brought their unique spin on vampires while keeping a central theme. It is one of the most cohesive anthologies I’ve read. It kept me thoroughly entertained and I highly recommend it. 5 stars for an original, compelling, and fun read!

Individual reviews are below.

How to Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood – 5 stars
This was quite a humorous story. As an anthology piece with word constraints, it hit all my review criteria. I loved the pacing and how it poked fun at authors. It didn’t take itself too seriously and was a great opening. It was a tad predictable at the end but there’s nothing wrong with that, especially in such limited constraints. It left me satisfied, smiling, and needing to read more by the author.

Long Haul by Tanya Chris – 5 stars
Oh wow. This one hit all the feels. It went above my criteria for an anthology piece. This handles some very sensitive topics but does it with such respect I couldn’t put it down. The author added excellent depth that made this an incredibly successful read.

Overexposed by K. Evan Coles – 5 stars
I am thrilled to learn from the author’s tease that more will be coming. I want to see more about the journey of these characters. It was engaging and had some excellent twists to it. The pacing was a tad fast but I believe that was mainly due to word constraints.

Dial-a-Vamp by Roberta Blablanski – 4 stars
This was one of the more steamy stories. It did, however, become a bit repetitive on the plot and characters. There is definitely potential there and overall I thought it was a good addition.

Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento – 4 stars
This had quite a bit in it. One of the things I love in this anthology is how original vampires are and R.J. Sorrento did a good job of that. I do feel streamlining the plot would have been easier given the word count, mainly because some of the characters fell a bit flat. It would be interesting to see an expanded version of this one.

Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay – 4.5 stars
While some of this felt unbelievable and I deducted half a star, it was most likely due to word constraints. It definitely kept me entertained though. I would really love more of these words. I want an extended version so much. One that delves into their backstory because I feel that would really shape the story. I also need a book 2 featuring Oakley. I’m greedy and know it. I’ll definitely be checking out more of this author’s work.

Call My Number by Megs Pritchard – 5 stars
This was such a fun piece. It had a great twist to it, especially for an anthology story. I loved the author’s ability to create such engaging characters. I’ll definitely be checking out more of this author’s work.

Bad Blood by Lyra Evans – 5 stars
I absolutely loved this one. I desperately need more from Lyra Evans with either these characters or this genre. It was such an intriguing piece. It had a favorite trope of mine that can sometimes be overdone but the author kept it refreshing. I look forward to more from this author.

Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene – 4 stars
This worked well as a tease for what more is to come. I liked where the author went with it though part of it fell flat for me. Some parts felt overdone to the point it dragged a bit. However, it was a solid story and I’ll be picking up the next installment. A fuller version will definitely be useful for this and I think it can be great.

Quality Assured by Edie Montreux – 4.5 stars
This was an engaging addition. I liked how the author was very unique. It definitely pulled at my heart. It did however occasionally come across a bit choppy in places. Yet it was a strong piece and I loved the characters, even the secondary characters had an amazing depth to them. It also tackled a really important subject and I respect the author for that. I love how Edie Montreux made it relevant and reasonable to be on that subject. It didn’t just feel thrown in.

Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough – 4 stars
I am hopeful that the continuation will hook me more than this piece did. I wasn’t able to really engage with the story. It feels like it was potentially a world-building issue. As an anthology piece world-building can be hard to convey, especially with this being PNR. I’m still intrigued to see what happens and I believe with some more depth and sharpness it will shine.

Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen – 4 stars
This one was a bit out there for me on realism. It was very fast-paced and I wish it had just a little more depth to it. However, it was a fun story with a dash of intrigue.

Bad Decision by H.L. Day – 5 stars
Love this! It was such a great addition to this anthology and ended it on a perfect note. I couldn’t get enough of it and I want more from this author. The characters were amazing, the storyline fascinating, and the pacing balanced perfectly. I especially loved the world-building; it was incredibly vivid. I am willing to beg for more words from H.L. Day on this!
1,199 reviews6 followers
April 27, 2020
I loved this anthology. I love vampire stories and these 13 short stories were so good. There has been none that has disappointed me in the least, although some I loved better than others.
While all the stories are absolutely stand-alones, the whole anthology revolves around the central theme of vampires working “normal” jobs. None of them is rich, as we’re used to vampires being portrayed, and they all got their jobs through VAMP (Vampire Agency for Mortal Professions), a sort of temp agency employing vampires to work amidst humans.
I got to read some new to me authors, and that’s always a bonus! Also, there are a lot of different tropes: from enemies to lovers, to second chances, to forced proximity, so a little bit for everyone!

Here are my individual reviews/ratings:

How to Keep an Author (Alive) by AJ Sherwood – 5 stars
Funny and cute, written in form of a diary from Justus, a vampire PA to Cooper, a human, absentminded writer.

Long Haul by Tanya Chris – 5 stars
Loved this one, too. Vlad, a vamp truck driver, saves Silver, a prostitute, from a bad situation. This one was pretty emotional and, though short, goes deep into emotional territory.

Overexposed by K. Evan Coles – 4 stars
This is a sort of prologue (or a tease, as the author put it), and I am happy to know there’ll be probably more coming. Noah, a vampire crime-scene photographer, is on the CS when Danny, a cute baker is witness to a crime and helps him through it.

Dial-a-Vamp by Roberta Blablanski – 4 stars
This was sort of a steamy bit. Very short, but entertaining. It’s about a human established couple where one of the two characters has a vampire king and calls Noah, a vamp phone sex operator. Naughtiness ensues….

Off the Menu by R.J. Sorrento – 5 stars
New vampire sous chef Johnny refuses to feed from humans, but when he’s forced to work with a very snobby human sommelier with a scent to go crazy with, things get dicey… I loved how RJ Sorrento managed to pack so much in a short story, with a resounding HEA on top!

Fangs for the Memories by Sadie Jay – 5 stars
I loved, loved, loved this. Second chances are my absolutely favourite trope, and Alex and Rollie meeting again after 15 years was just right my alley!

Call My Number by Megs Pritchard – 5 stars
Not at all what I expected when I started reading this story, it had a great twist to it. I loved Maximus and Ross, both great characters. This story is one of my favourites in the anthology, I really wish it could be axpanded in a full-length book.

Bad Blood by Lyra Evans – 5 stars
Enemies to lovers at its best! Alek and James are both resident doctors at the ER, and they can’t stand each other, or….? Snarky comments, angry kisses and a lot of fun to read!
Graveyard Cops by Crystel Greene – 5 stars
Sweet and funny, I loved the characters. Jesse and Lico are patrol partners, but Lico doesn’t believe in vampires, and Jesse is hell-bent on keeping his real identity a secret, until something happens to change that.

Quality Assured by Edie Montreux – 4 stars
Kellan is the human supervisor who has to check on Dereck’s work; he also has a beef against vampires because his sister was killed by one. I liked the characters, and the story in general.

Fire and Ice Cold Skin by Mel Gough – 4 stars
A HFN or a prologue to a future longer story, perhaps. A good piece, but didn’t fully engage me.

Life Hacks by Eliott Griffen – 5 stars
Loved this one. I always love spy/hacker stories and this one was a good one. Vin and Josh start from opposite sides but end up cooperating towards a common goal. Well written and engaging.

Bad Decision by H.L. Day – 5 stars
Another one of my favourites. Great characters and great word building. I wouldn’t mind if H.L. Day would expand on Alessandro and Liam’s story, at all. A perfect ending to the anthology which only left me wanting for more!
Profile Image for Mx Phoebe.
1,000 reviews
May 24, 2020
I love reading and I love a great cause. Stuck in isolation with a bunch of vampires is no hardship when they are Working Stiffs the new anthology which includes stories by: Roberta Blablanski, Tanya Chris, K. Evan Coles, H.L. Day, Lyra Evans, Mel Gough, Crystel Greene, Elliott Griffen, Sadie Jay, Edie Montreaux, Megs Pritchard, A.J. Sherwood, and R.J. Sorrento.

As always, I started this anthology with a swipe of the screen. Luckily for me, I landed on one of my new favorite authors Crystel Greene and Graveyard Cops. Lico sounds yummy and not just to bite. Greene has created a character with a sense of humor, honor, and a physique to drool over. He is the opposite of Ice Cop Vampire Jesse and it reads fabulously. There is action, drama, blood, and romance. Greene promises more of this dynamic cop duo in the future and I cannot wait.

Mel Gough gives us a cisgender firefighter who rescues a young man whose home just burnt to the ground in Fire and Ice Cold Skin. Stereotypes and tropes work for a reason because Gough gives us a hero we can sink our teeth into (laugh) - pun intended. Gough then puts an interesting twist on the story with Drake’s character and I love it. I am a huge proponent of this area so I always think it is great when I see it with a positive aspect in a story. Lust and a hero? Gough continues this story elsewhere and makes you want to follow the blood drippings….

Woo-whee! Tanya Chris writes a steamy romance. Long Haul may be a short story, but Chris packs a whole lotta heat in it. Damn. I do not know how this paragraph is going to do with the sensors for public reviews (laugh). This is one story you want to have bookmarked to read on repeat. Long-haul trucker Vlad may not have much to say, especially when you compare it to young Silver who he just picked up, but he does not have to say anything when he drops his draws. (laugh) Seriously you cannot take me anywhere because I always get stuck on the sex in a review. Chris writes a really good story too!

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
30 reviews
April 28, 2020
I was very excited when I was offered an ARC for Working Stiffs, as Vampire stories are my favourite genre. Coupled with the fact that this is a hefty, 13 author anthology, then colour me in reading heaven! Each delicious short story by talented authors we know and love, feature a Vampire at work, having been placed in their various jobs by VAMP: Vampire Agency for Mortal Professions. Each story shows a working vampire in such diverse jobs and professions as a CallCenter operative, cabdriver, long-distance lorry driver, waiter, a very overworked ER doctor, a professional hacker working for the FBI, and a police officer, to name just a few.
These Vampires need to make a living in order to pay off mortgages or pay the rent, and also pay for the expensive synthetic blood that keeps them alive. One thing that they also have in common is that they’re all too busy to have a love life, some craving a connection, others thinking that they are doomed to spend eternity alone. But fate, in the guise of each job, brings our vampires into contact with a human who will become their forever person.
These stories are for all tastes: the sweet, the angst-filled, the romantic, the thriller, and definitely lots of guaranteed sex in each one.
I loved each and everyone of the stories and felt that they could all translate to a full-length novel, if the author was so inclined to make us happy!
What I got from these stories is that vampires are just like us, trying to get by, trying to make a living, make a contribution to society, pay the bills, and, ultimately, make a connection with someone that may eventually end up in falling in love and a forever relationship. 
I salute each and every one of these authors for their wonderful stories and their generosity in putting together this anthology for the benefit of WHO’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
Profile Image for Natosha Wilson.
1,274 reviews14 followers
May 2, 2020
This anthology of several short stories was so amazing. No story in this book is the same. The only thing they all have in common is one of the main characters is a hard-working, blue-collar vampire and the other main character is human. Other then that each read is as different as night and day. Which, honestly, that is to be expected because each one is by a different author with a different writing style. That is what makes this such a great book.

This anthology contains thirteen different stories that revolve around a vampire meeting his human partner who is impossible to not fall in love with. Whether the read is about a waiter, cab driver, police officer, doctor, computer hacker, chef, or many other professions... this book has something for everyone.

The one thing I can say with much certainty is each read has its own story and each read has someone falling in love, even by accident. This is one of those reads that left me feeling satisfied with each story once I was done with it. Not one was boring and most left me hoping that a bigger and better story will emerge from it.

I am so glad that I read this book. It was an exciting read and each of the authors did an incredible job! This is a highly recommended read if you enjoy vampires. I definitely look forward to more from each of these authors in the future!

NOTE: This book was provided by the authors for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Profile Image for DB Kimmers.
221 reviews41 followers
May 11, 2020
I'm only placing my recommendation for one story, but the entire collections is worth a read.

As a long-haul driver, Vlad is accustomed to early morning stops where he must feed and bed for the day. What he doesn’t expect to encounter in Long Haul is a young man in need of assistance whose warm, enthusiastic, inquisitive nature speak to his loneliness.

Part of the Working Stiffs collection to benefit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, this short works on the premise that the world is struggling to come to terms with the existence of vampires and their need to be an average “Working Stiff”.

With few words Tanya Chris creates a delightful tale with enticing imagination and an ease at characterization. Unfearful of Vlad, Silver almost wants to protect the vampire and Vlad finds himself wanting to do the same for Silver.

In one night, two lost souls speak to each other in a way only mutual loss can understand and if fates allow, two men just might find themselves in it for the “Long Haul.”

After I read Long Haul, I couldn’t get over how appropriate this title is and found myself hopeful for a long “life” for Vlad and Silver. After all, as Vlad thinks to himself, “When life lost its charm, what could you do but find someone still charmed by it?”
Profile Image for Cheryl Kaiser.
73 reviews
May 1, 2020
I find anthologies to be a great way to learn about new to me authors. I will admit in this charity anthology, the only author I was familiar with was AJ Sherwood. None of the thirteen novellas were a disappointment, though.
These are not your typical paranormal/vampire M/M romance stories. These vampires must work for a living. We have a variety of occupations covered in these stories. from Doctors to phone sex workers and just about every other profession in between. I find worldbuilding can be tricky in paranormal worlds but these authors did a fantastic job. I could feel and envision the cold cement stairs in Bad Blood by Lyra Evans. AJ Sherwood’s spin on the life of an author made me think that it’s just possible vampires are real, how else would an author succeed without a vampire assistant? Roberta Blablanski’s story Dial-a-Vamp, had me giggling throughout with the antics of Wyatt and Caleb.
These stories are so enjoyable, they made me want to seek out more full-length stories by these authors. Please consider this book as the proceeds will benefit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. ***
Profile Image for E.Muddle.
1,054 reviews17 followers
May 2, 2020
This is one of the best anthologies I've read. It was cohesive, yet each story had its own unique twist. There is humour, mystery, suspense, sexy times, and swoon-inducing romance. I enjoyed reading each story and the premise of vampires co-existing in the human world and working mundane, normal jobs was highly entertaining.

I particularly enjoyed "How to Keep an Author (Alive)" by AJ Sherwood. It was a humorous and lighthearted read, and is just a lot of fun that leaves you smiling at the end. The enemies-to-lovers story, "Bad Blood" by Lyra Evans was another stand-out, with great dialogue and snark factor. And then there was "Bad Decision" by H.L Day which was a brilliant ending to the anthology and just left me wanting more. It hooks you in right from the start and has incredible world-building and complex characters. Alessandro and Liam had a thrilling journey together; it was wonderfully paced and, although ending on a perfect note, I would definitely not complain if we were to see more of these two.
Profile Image for Heather.
588 reviews8 followers
May 12, 2020
I hate to leave a bad review when an anthology benefits a charity, but honestly the only reason I'm giving it 2 stars is because it's for charity; it would otherwise barely rate 1 star. I've only read a couple of these authors before, and though I generally love an anthology because I can find at least a couple of new authors in one, there's not a single author in here whose books I will check out based on these short stories. Most of them are very poorly written and it's clear that the authors need to learn the art of writing a short story. The pacing in each is all wrong, and most of them suffer from the problems all poorly written short stories suffer from: unconvincing or weak premise, throwaway endings, totally cliched, and summarizing too much plot instead of picking one moment and really getting it right.

I love vampire and paranormal stuff, but I honestly didn't like any of the stories, even from the authors I know. I can't recommend this anthology at all. You'd be better off just donating the money directly to the charity.
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