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Never After (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #6.5)
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Never After (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #6.5 - The Shadow of Mist)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,603 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
The bonds of love...

The bonds of matrimony...

The bonds between husband and wife...

Let's face it-some bonds are made to be broken.

Here, for the first time ever, are four stories from today's most provocative authors that take the classic idea of the "faerie tale wedding" and give it a swift kick in the bustle.

“Can He Bake a Cherry Pie?” by Laurell K. Hamilton.
“The Shadow o
Paperback, 393 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Jove (first published 2009)
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Oct 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Surprisingly tame, but most of the leading ladies manage to pull off their own 'happily ever afters' - no fairy godmothers required

From my own expectations, I am guessing that Never After is not at all what most readers are expecting from an anthology headlined by Laurell K Hamilton. In fact, though the mention of a couple topics here and there keeps these from being kiddy bedtime fairy tales, the four stories are pretty much G rated - a kiss is as racy as things get.

1) "Can he Bake a Cherry Pi
Oct 24, 2009 rated it liked it

I had the pleasure of chatting with Marjorie M Liu awhile back after her interview and really enjoyed an insight into her writing habits. During her interview she mentioned this book among her new releases and I thought it would be a good time to check her work and some of the other authors I haven't read yet (Shinn and Galenorn).

Although the spine labels this as urban fantasy to appeal to the UF/PR crowd, I'd say this was more fantasy/fantasy romance which is one of my top fave genres. Only one
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
As with any anthology, this had some good stories and some weak stories.

I was surprised that I truly enjoyed the Laurell K. Hamilton entry, "Can He Bake a Cherry Pie?," since I'm not fond of her books. It was exactly as long as it needed to be and had a very intriguing story.

Yasmine Galenorn's "The Shadow of Mist" is the weak entry in this anthology. I found the plot muddled, the characters one-note. It just didn't work for me.

Marjorie M. Liu's story was full of twists and turns I didn't expect.
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairytales
I only read this for Sharon Shinn's story, The Wrong Bridegroom, which was SHEER PERFECTION. I loved that it had all the elements of a traditional fairytale -- the beautiful princess, the dashing suitor, the wicked stepmother -- but turned the concepts completely on their head. The romance had elements of Emma/Mr Knightley to it, which was glorious. I love a heroine whom you can't help liking, even though you know she has an awful lot to learn, and Olivia was exactly that. The supporting charact ...more
Barb in Maryland
Oct 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, sf-f
Interesting and entertaining set of fairy tale like stories, all centered on marriages that don't quite work out the way originally planned, but the heroine achieves a "Happy ever after" anyway. Hamilton's story is a take-off on the quest story (and is the shortest of the four stories). Our damsel declares she is off the rescue the long lost prince, rather than marry the old duke her father has selected. This is a quest with a twist, and unexpected results--very clever. Galenorn's story is the m ...more
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
i only read the LKH.

i had this theory that if LKH walked away from the Anita Blake series and the Merry Gentry series for awhile maybe her writing would return to the level of quality everyone fell in love with.

if this is any type of indication of what would come out of something fresh i was very, very wrong.

Jan 20, 2018 added it
Shelves: romance
Read this mostly for Sharon Shinn and while I did enjoy her story I definitely think Marjorie M Liu’s was the standout here. I can imagine it as a longer form story and would loooove to see something like that from her. I may read Monstress now just because I was so impressed and charmed by her take on the theme of this collection.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Can He Bake a Cherry Pie? 5 STARS
I don’t think this is a retelling of a fairy tale… if so I don’t recognize it… but this is how I think they should be… it seems too often that to make the female hero of the story a hero for today we take away the qualities we deem girly… but it was that she was so good at doing “women’s work” and acting in the meek and sweet way women were expected too that got her through the obstacles set before her… I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be able to slap on some
Mar 12, 2015 rated it liked it
A nice, easy read to breeze through. These short stories add a new spin on the typical fairytale ending and their own touch of originality.

1) Can He Bake a Cherry Pie - Not bad at all. A short simple tale, but the riddles of the sphinx were done a little too carelessly. I liked how the prince remained the same despite everything. I kept expecting him to make some great character reversal and it never came. People can change, but not always.

2) The Shadow of the Mist - I really didn't like this o
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Only two of the stories in here were really worth it to me. The title one, by Hamilton, was excellent and maybe should have been last to save the book. The last one, by Sharon Shinn, was okay as well. The other two were a slodge-podge of a mess.

The second one, Shadow of the Mist, in which a paranormal society features selkies and exceedingly cool world (supposedly) was heavily bogged down by the introduction of too many unnecessary side characters. The main character does nothing. T
Barbara ★
I was unimpressed with this collection but I must also say that I'm not a huge fan of anthologies. However, they used Laurell K. Hamilton's name to sell this book and her story was only 38 pages long. What a ripoff! That said here are my thoughts on this book.

Can you bake a cherry pie? - Laurell K. Hamilton
This is written like a fairy tale - all sing-songy and cute. Kinda of take off on Rapunzel only the prince was the captive not the princess. What can you really say about a 38 page short?

The S
May 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
05/2012 This contains four novellas by four different authors (I picked it up because I was interested in the story by Sharon Shinn). It was not my cuppa tea. I thought the story by Sharon Shinn wasn't as good as most of her writing. The main character was annoying, and I found myself wanting to shake her for not seeing the completely obvious (I'm not entirely sure why, as most of Shinn's romances are rather obvious, and I generally like this because sometimes reliable fluff is nice).

All four s
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book was a celebration of four different writers including Laurell K. Hamilton, and Marjorie M. Liu, and two other authors. The book was about 400 pages, so it was a nice sized story from all. Each story was about a princess, who was determined not to be married off to someone horrible, for their parents pleasure. I enjoyed them all, but I liked Marjorie Liu' s the best. Each story was interesting, and enchanting. The last story was the one where a princess needed to mature, and learn to hel ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 mostly short stories. Think empowered women fairy tales. Not a bad story in the bunch. Good quick read.
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book blew my mind. It had everything int it!!! Amazing
Robert Scott
--The premise of this collection was a lot better than the performance and Hamilton's name was used to sell books. I really love her Merry Gentry novels and like almost all the Anita Blake novels, but her story is the lamest of the four. Inspecting the works of the other authors, none of them would I make any effort to read given a choice. Actually The Wrong Bridegroom by Sharon Shinn is a pretty good story if a little contrived. I hate to rank any book I read at 3 stars or below, but could not ...more
Sarani Rangarajan
Good anthology

Sharon Shinn’s story is a good sample of her usual work, tho her books are better. I liked that one. Laurel K Hamilton’s voice is true too, and I loved this story. Hard pass on Galenorn, tho I keep trying her stories in the hope that perhaps one will speak to me sufficiently to entice me to try her series. Not based on this one. Liu’s Tangleroot Palace is the most beautiful short story in the set and I will be looking for more work by her.
Can He Bake A Cherry Pie? .... Laurell Hamilton...
Elinore, a nobleman's daughter who wants entrance back into the king's court betrothes his daughter to a scummy, elderly, pervert earl... before their wedding can be announced, she says she will go to 'Save Prince True'... the current king's elder brother, who 50 years earlier displeased a sorceress with his arrogance, so she enslaved him until a woman's art could win the prince his freedom... the many who tried died or were never seen again... E
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
This was four novellas by different authors, each with a story about a princess and who she was going to marry. I enjoyed them all.
Awesome not your typical fairy tale. Kick ass women that hold their own and make their own choices. Loved it.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid 3.5. A refreshing twist on traditional fairy tales that gives women agency rather than portraying them as helpless damsels in distress. Four stories make good bedtime reading.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon (Savhage Temptrest)
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
"Can He Bake a Cherry Pie?" by Laurell K. Hamilton was a cute yet dark story that had a very "fairy tale" feel to it. The protagonist Elinore has been promised to an old and lecherous earl by her father for political gain and she only sees one way out: save Prince True from the sorceress who trapped him fifty years ago or die trying. Overall, cute and interesting mixed with poetic justice for both Elinore and Prince True. Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

"The Shadow of Mist" by Yasmine Galenorn was an emotion
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loaned-out
A collection of four tales of magic, love, and matrimony by four bestselling authors.

Can He Bake a Cherry Pie? by Laurell K. Hamilton - Elinore has been promised into matrimony by her father to a perverted old man and she has decided to do the one thing she could think of to get out of the marriage...Go on a quest to free the captured Prince. She will either die in the trying as so many others have done or free him and become his bride and Queen. Either one will grant her escape from her "intend
Blow Pop
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, reviewed, fluff
Content warning: The second story about the selkie has assault and rape in it. The first has mentions of sexual assault, suicide, and death. The fourth animal abuse/mistreatment/death.

So, I'm going to try and do the review by the individual stories and in order. The one thing I will say about all of these: I HATE happily ever after type bullshit stories. I really do. Because most of them are terrible. But I did enjoy these despite the happily ever after.

Laurell K. Hamilton's:

I own just about ev
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
The focus of the stories in these anthologies all involve girls who are being forced to wed against their will. Laurell K Hamilton headlines the book, but unfortunately her story is both the shortest as well as the least enjoyable. The first story in the book, it ends at the 11% mark on a Kindle - and that includes all of the title pages before the story. The rest of the stories are actually quiet good and make the book a worthwhile purchase.

Laurell's story is more along the lines of a fable. To
Kathy Davie
An anthology of four much-too-obvious short stories about women and marriage. The wrong man at the time, the right one in the end.

The only reason I've bumped it up to a "3" is the twists...thank god the poor writing in this at least tried a tiny bit...

"Shadow of Mist" (Otherworld / Sisters of the Moon, 6.5)

The Stories
Laurell K. Hamilton's "Can He Bake a Cherry Pie?" stands the usual fairy tale ending on its ear as Elinore thwarts her father's plans while using her mother's teachings to br
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, re-read
This one was tough to rate. Three of the four stories are incredible, they drew me in and kept me there and I was enthralled all the way. The other one...

Laurell K Hamilton is honestly at her best here; I'm a long time fan and this has reminded me why. The writing is strong, I adored the main character and it's such a beautiful thing to see feminine traits as a strength, not try to show how strong the main character is because she's so 'not feminine' (not even masculine, just denying feminine t
Oct 24, 2014 rated it liked it
1 star for Hamilton's story, 2 for Galenorn's, 4 for Liu's & Shinn's, averaging out to 3 stars. :)

Hamilton's "Can He Bake a Cherry Pie?" - There was a good premise here, and an interesting setup, unfortunately it fell flat once the action started. No clear reason why the heroine succeeded in her tasks, and everything felt rushed.

People often read these sorts of books to try out different authors, and having read quite a bit of Hamilton's writing in the past, I can only say that anyone who w
Aug 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Four short stories from four very different authors.

Laurell Hamilton's Can He Bake a Cherry Pie? was better than other short stories I've read from her. At least it's not one she'll be rewriting to include as a chapter in her longer works as she didn't use any of those characters. I must agree with another review I read about this--there was lots of rah! rah! women are awesome! but the character didn't do anything to deserve what she got. No trying hard, no real display of "womanly virtues" (wh
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Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the leading writers of paranormal fiction. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Hamilton writes the popular Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels and the Meredith Gentry series. She is also the creator of a bestselling comic book series based on her Anita Blake novels and published by Marvel Comics. Hamilton is a full-time writer and lives in the suburbs of St. Louis ...more
More about Laurell K. Hamilton

Other books in the series

Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Witchling (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #1)
  • Changeling (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #2)
  • Darkling (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #3)
  • Dragon Wytch (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #4)
  • Night Huntress (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #5)
  • Demon Mistress (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #6)
  • Bone Magic (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #7)
  • Harvest Hunting (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #8)
  • Blood Wyne (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #9)
  • Courting Darkness (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #10)

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“Prince Charming can go suck rocks. I've met my true love and he's a contractor” 19 likes
“Now, here. The Warlord sent a likeness of himself.”
Sally frowned, but leaned in for a good long stare. “He looks like a dirty fingerprint.”
“Of course he doesn’t,” replied her father, squinting at the portrait. “You can see his eyes, right there.”
“I thought those were his nostrils.”
“Well, you’re not going to be picky, are you? At least he has a face.”
“Yes,” Sally replied dryly. “What a miracle.”
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