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Magical Romantic Comedies #13.5 (Doggone Mess)

Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection

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When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty. Join NY Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author R.J. Blain, and National Bestselling authors Diana Pharaoh Francis and Devon Monk on a wild romp where the damsels bring the distress and what can go wrong will go wrong.

Venture into a thrilling spinoff tale from the world of Jane Yellowrock; join vacationing gods in what appears to be a quiet, ordinary town; visit a supernatural hotel where the bedbugs could very well eat you; and dive into the zany, deadly world of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.

In this collection of all-new urban fantasy novellas and other stories, no job is too big or too small — if the price is right.

643 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 12, 2021

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About the author

Faith Hunter

90 books5,430 followers
Faith Hunter's Junkyard Cats novella series is available in Audible and eBook at this time.

Faith's Jane Yellowrock series is a dark urban fantasy. Jane is a full blooded Cherokee skinwalker and hunter of rogue-vampires in a world of weres, witches, vampires, and other supernats.

The Soulwood series is a dark-urban fantasy / paranormal police procedural /para-thriller series featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram, an earth magic user and Special gent of PsyLED.

Her Rogue Mage novels—Bloodring, Seraphs, Host, and the RPG Rogue Mage—feature Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage in a post-apocalyptic alternate reality.

Faith writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic. She gave up cooking for lent one year and the oven hasn’t been turned on since. Okay – that’s a joke. She does still make cold cereal and sandwiches. Occasionally, she remembers to turn on Roomba (that she named Duma$$ because it fell down the stairs once.)

Faith researches in great detail, and tries most everything her characters do. Research led to her life’s passions – jewelry making, orchids, Japanese maples, bones, travel, white-water kayaking, and writing.

Jewelry-making was the occupation of two of her characters: Thorn St. Croix, the Rogue Mage, and the main character of BloodStone, written by her pen name, Gwen Hunter. She fell in love with the art form. Though she doesn't have time for jewelry as much as she used to, Faith makes, wears, and sometimes gives away her jewelry as promo items to fans and as prizes in contests. See her FaceBook Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/official.fait... for pics.

Faith loves orchids. Her favorite time of year is when several are blooming. Pictures can be seen at her FaceBook page. And yes, she collects bones and skulls. Many of her orchid pics are juxtaposed with bones and skulls —a fox, cat, dog, cow skull, goat, and deer skull, (that is, unfortunately, falling apart) and the jawbone of an ass. She just received a boar skull, and the skull of a mountain lion (legally purchased from a US tannery) hit by a car in the wild.

Her latest love is Japanese maples, and she has managed to collect over thirty in one year.

She and her husband RV, traveling to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

And that leads Faith to kayaking – her very favorite sport. Faith discovered whitewater paddling when she was researching her (Gwen Hunter) mystery book, Rapid Descent. She took a lesson and—after a bout of panic attacks from fear of drowning—discovered she loved the sport.

Faith is one of the founders and a participant at the now defunct and archived www.MagicalWords.net, an online writing forum geared to helping writers. And she is a voracious reader.

Under other pen names, notably, Gwen Hunter, she writes action adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Gwen, she is a winner of the WH Smith Literary Award for Fresh Talent in 1995 in the UK, and won a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in 2008. As Faith, her books have been on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists, been nominated for various awards and won an Audie Award with Khristine Hvam, among other awards. Under all her pen names, she has more than 40 books, anthologies, and complications in print in 30 countries.

For more, including a list of her books, see www.faithhunter.net , www.gwenhunter.com , and www.magicalwords.net. To keep up with her daily, join her fan pages at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/official.fait...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 115 reviews
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.4k reviews425 followers
January 16, 2021
This review is based on the following stories.

Sealed with a Tryst & At Death’s Door by Devon Monk
These two stories go hand in hand. Crow makes me laugh when he shows up because you know chaos will be following him. It is no different this time around. I felt bad for Delaney, she has to deal with all the chaos, then it's time to switch the powers from one god to another and everyone is giving her a hard time about taking her vacation. You can about imagine all hijixs that goes on. I did like how in the second story Delaney and Riley were able to see some secret BigFoot ceremonies, it really makes a person wonder.

Bound Into Darkness & The Ties that Bind by Faith Hunter
These two stories go hand in hand too, but I thought it was odd that the second story took place before the first one in the timeline, made me a bit confused for a time.

Liz was fun at the start of this one, I liked how she was going to show Eli all that he was missing by passing her up. But the easy case that she was hired for was anything but easy and Eli ended up calling in everyone to help. It was close that they would even make it in time to help and at one point if they all could win the battle, but in the end they did, all going home more than a little battered. The second story was interesting in all the secrets it revealed, can't wait til other characters find out as well.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,677 reviews704 followers
January 15, 2021
When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty...because no job is too big or too small — if the price is right in these six brand-new short stories.

The Series
"Sealed with a Tryst", Ordinary Magic #??a
"At Death's Door", Ordinary Magic #??b
"Bound into Darkness", Jane Yellowrock, 13.1
"The Ties That Bind", Jane Yellowrock, 13.2
(If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Jane Yellowrock books on my website.)
"Doggone Mess", Magical Romantic Comedies

The Stories
Devon Monk's "Sealed with a Tryst"
It's an interesting concept of a human family chosen to protect the unknowing somewhat human town of Ordinary where the gods can come down to take a vacation. Sure they have to have their powers bound, and they have their own jobs to do when they come, which makes me curious to read more of this series.

In this case, "Sealed with a Tryst" finds the über controlling Police Chief Delaney Reed trying to find time to go out oDark Queen, Jane Yellowrockf town with her fiancé, Ryder Bailey. As you'll see, there's no end of problems in town, but nothing the rest of 'em couldn't handle... Well, okay, that dragon pig may be more than anyone can handle, lol.

Devon Monk's "At Death's Door"
This is simply a continuation of "Sealed with a Tryst" in the town of Ordinary and keeps on with the fun. That title is a crack-up. And you'll understand why I say this when you meet Than. I do have to appreciate his attitude about junky art, as opposed to cool junk art.

Faith Hunter's "Bound into Darkness"
This is a must-read for Jane Yellowrock fans!! It's a peek in at what Liz wants from a romance with Eli...oooh... I gotta say, that Eli is prepared for most everything. It's still a competition as Liz tries to prove that she can take care of herself — in spite of her lung issues, and Eli freaks about not being able to protect her. Now...if only she could protect herself from her own temptations. Not to worry though, there is plenty of blame to throw around.
"That was the nature of all power, to always want more, no matter the cost."
Hunter uses a third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Liz's and Eli's perspectives. It definitely give us insight into Liz's thoughts about Eli. Meanwhile Eli's thoughts take a bit of time for us to take in.

I am rather confused as to why a woman would use a urinal out in the woods. Why not just squat and go? I'm also disappointed at the poor proofreading job. Mmm, Hunter touches on the anger-guilt Liz (and her sisters) experience about what Jane did to Evangelina.
Yep, it's the South: "Black man with guns. Be careful."
The Characters
...because I follow this series. The still-cursed Liz Everhart, a stone witch, is one of the seven, er, I mean, six Everhart sisters, four of whom are witches. The curse happened in Blood in Her Veins: "The Devil’s Left Boot", 6.25. She and her twin, Cia (a moon witch with a flashier fashion sense), work at the family business: Seven Sassy Sisters' Herb Shop and Café. Ray Conyers, a famous country singer, is Cia's boyfriend. Molly, an older sister, is an earth witch who's married to Big Ethan Trueblood, an in-the-closet air witch. They have three kids these days! Angie-baby is the oldest, then EJ, and now baby Cassy. Evangelina had been their oldest sister and the leader of their coven until Raven Cursed , 4.

Jane Yellowrock, a bounty hunter of vampires and a Cherokee skinwalker, is now the Dark Queen and owns a resort/vineyard. George "Bruiser" Dumas is her significant other. Eli "Hoss" and Alex "the Kid" Younger, brothers, are part of Jane's family. Eli's a former Ranger with lots of skills, Jane's second-in-command...and afraid for Liz. Alex is a computer geek with a police record for hacking. Chewy is a former Ranger who had been on Eli's team.

Lincoln Shaddock is the vampire Master of the City of Asheville. Mayhew is one of his vampires. Romona Mayhew had been his wife and a problem in Blood in Her Veins: "The Devil’s Left Boot".

Golda Ainsworth Holcomb is part of the Ainsworth witch clan who was recently in an accident. Rover is her missing German shepherd-chocolate Lab mix. Sylvia, a sheriff, had been Eli's previous lover. Connie Carroll's teenage daughter died in high school.

Faith Hunter's "The Ties That Bind"
Whoa, we get some insight into the ancient history of Bedelia and Shaddock using a third person dual protagonist point-of-view. It was rather confusing that Bedelia and Shaddock's story comes after Eli and Liz's, but the action happens before Eli and Liz. Weird. You may want to read this before "Bound into Darkness", although, then again, maybe "The Ties That Bind" would give too much away if you read it first. I dunno...

This story is all about love and knowing when you've screwed. Knowing enough to realize ya gotta eat some crow. Bedelia has her own come-to-Jesus moment, even though it was rather confusing.

And there were plenty of regrets in this.

The Characters
Bedelia "Bee" Everhart, a witch who can draw on all the elements, is the mother of the now-six sisters, and she's moved in with her mother who describes herself as "older than dirt". Okay, she's only a hundred and two. Evangelina is Bee's now-dead daughter who had tried to seduce Shaddock. Two of Bedelia's fellow witches, friends, are the free-lovin' Mable and Clara Anne.

Lincoln Shaddock is the vampire Master of the City of Asheville; he's also the chef at his popular barbecue restaurant. Bee's recipe, B's-Mac, is still a bestseller. Some of his current vampires include Mary and Nubit. Romona Mayhew had been one of the long-chained Mithrans in Blood in Her Veins: "The Devil’s Left Boot". Shania Mayhew was an unaligned witch talked into an alliance. Connie Carrol was a human with a grudge.

Alex Younger is one of the brothers partnered up with the Dark Queen, Jane Yellowrock. Brute is trapped in his white werewolf form and works for PsyLED. The Coraville coven used to meet in the 1870s.

Diana Pharaoh Francis' "The Pixie Job"
This was cute and interestingly different as well as annoying. Mal is the primary character who's having her own issues. She's confident enough in her work skills, but doesn't have much faith in her relationship skills. That's the part that rather annoyed me, as Mal whined on and on about it. What I liked was that sense of being a part of a larger story with Francis naturally weaving in Mal's and Law's past and giving us a sense of their future while Mal is vacationing at Effrayant, a supernatural luxury hotel, and Law, her former and current boyfriend, is bound to protect the resort.

I do wish that Francis had made more use of that cute little Elliot, lol. Yeah, I know, Elliot did have good bits, but, but, he was so darn cute! As for So'la…hmmm, I do think I'd like to read more about Mal...

It was certainly a different sort of tale with Law and LeeAnne both bound to make the hotel work under their supernatural laws, keep all the guests safe, and ensure that the bride and/or groom aren't killed. Yep. Not everyone on either side is too happy about a joining of pixie and giant. We get all this via Mal's perspective in a third person protagonist point-of-view.

R.J. Blain's "Doggone Mess"
This was too cute, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the story coming out in 2022 sometime. Yeah, I'm annoyed that this must be a teaser to get me all excited about reading more. It is rather annoying to learn that this short story will be part of an upcoming book. Just leave it as a short and continue with the concept in the full-length. Oy.

That whine over, it really is cute with this different take on lycanthropes with Blain using a first person protagonist point-of-view from Joyce's perspective, as she battles the landlord who wants her out. In many ways it was too easy to predict, but the journey was a lot of fun.

The Cover and Title
The cover has a female character in black leather pants and a low-cut black top, holding a bright crystal of some sort, and crouching on top of a skyscraper with the skyline behind her along with flashes of bright neon and a werewolf head forcing itself through a brick chimney on the right. The title is a gothic metallic gold a'slant at the top. Below the woman is the rest of the text in gold: an info blurb about this collection of stories along with the names of the authors.

The title is about all those Dirty Deeds perpetrated in these short stories.
Profile Image for Jeanny.
1,875 reviews144 followers
January 17, 2021
Reading all of the stories included was never the plan.

I read 4 out of 6 short stories.
The story by R.L. Blain was what amounted to a prequel & it got 4 stars.
Both stories by Faith Hunter got high ratings 4/5 stars
The story by Diana Pharaoh Francis wasn’t to my taste & ended up being a DNF.
Profile Image for Kitt.
269 reviews40 followers
April 8, 2021
★ ★ ★ Sealed with a Tryst by Devon Monk 170pgs - cute novella from her Ordinary series; which I haven't read, but it didn't matter. I suspect I would have liked it more if I had, though.

★ ★ ★ ★ At Death's Door by Devon Monk 15pgs - short story from her Ordinary series from Than's POV. This one was adorable! Happens before the ending of the first.

Skipping Faith Hunter as her Novella, Bound into Darkness, is pgs 185 to 315 and happens between bks 13 and 14 of Jane Yellowrock, but I've only read to bk 12 so far.

Same goes for her short story, The Ties That Bind, pgs 316 to 355.
Profile Image for Steph.
1,910 reviews271 followers
January 18, 2021
Rating for Monk and Hunter's stories: (✮✮✮½)
* Unread "The Pixie Job" by Diana Pharaoh Francis and "Doggone Mess" by R.J. Blain

In Sealed with a Tryst by Devon Monk (Ordinary Magic #6a?), Delaney is struggling with her desire to take a vacay with her fiancé, Ryder Bailey, and her need to be in Ordinary handling all problems that arise. Crow's "Whale of a Sale" causes some chaos that requires all hands on deck as Delaney's working through her struggle. (✮✮✮½)

In Devon Monk's connected short At Death's Door , (Ordinary Magic #6b?), we get Death/Than's POV as he takes responsibility of Delaney and Ryder's dog and demon piggy. (✮✮✮☆☆)

In Bound into Darkness by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock #13.1), Liz Everhart has been asked to locate a missing dog, lost after a car accident. She asks Eli to join her. She's ready to prove to Eli that she's strong and able to take care of herself. (✮✮✮✮☆)

In Faith Hunter's connected short The Ties that Bind , (Jane Yellowrock #13.2), we get Linc(oln) Shaddock's POV as he approaches Bedelia "Bee" Everhart to share the situation with Liz and Eli, his plans to assist and requests her assistance capturing the baddie.

I loved the insight into Linc and Bee's history. Looking forward to more! (✮✮✮✮☆)
Profile Image for Liz (Quirky Cat).
4,166 reviews64 followers
January 14, 2021
Guys, I have been so anxiously waiting for Dirty Deeds to release, and now it's finally here! This book collects several novellas and shorts from some of my favorite authors, and naturally totals about six hundred and forty pages. I read all of it in one night. It's that good. Go get it, and read it. ASAP.

Included within this anthology you'll find works by Devon Monk (a novella and a short story, both set in her Ordinary Magic world), Faith Hunter (again, a novella and short story, both set in the world of Jane Yellowrock – but following different characters!), Diana Pharaoh Francis, and R.J. Blain (Magical Romantic Comedy series). All of which I've reviewed in further detail down below!

Sealed with a Tryst by Devon Monk
★ ★ ★ ★
It's time to head back to Ordinary in Sealed with a Tryst! Delaney is in desperate need of a vacation – yet she's concerned (and rightly so) about leaving the town of Ordinary behind. Even for just a few days. Given the events that she's had to get involved with over the past couple of years...nobody is going to blame her there.

The latest set of circumstances are going to increase Delaney's desire for a vacation, while also succeeding in increasing her concern about leaving. Once again. It's almost as if somebody had found a way to cause more mayhem in a town full of supernaturals and gods.

“I think this is Crow thing. Which means it's nothing but trouble.”

I'll admit it, I really do enjoy Devon Monk's Ordinary Magic series, yet I never seem to get caught up in it. Still, I happily dove into this novella, even despite that fault. I had zero problems keeping up, though I did spoil a few details for myself along the way (worth it).

This was a fun and chaotic story, as one might expect. I love the Reed family, and the disasters they are constantly working so hard to avoid. There is just so much charm and personality here, which really did shine quite nicely in such a short period of time. Bonus points for all of the humor woven into the plot and world as a whole.

At Death's Door by Devon Monk
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
At Death's Door is a short story directly tied into the novella mentioned above. Only, this time the perspective is from Than! That was a bit of a surprise for me (again, I'm behind on the series, so maybe this isn't the first time that happened).

Than has agreed to take on...guard duty while Delaney is out of town. That in itself is about to bring a fair share of chaos to this vacationing god. All the better for us readers.

“Being a part of constructive change, instead of his rather natural state of chaotic change, pleased him.”

This was such a fun and quirky read! I'm finding myself growing really fond of Than (and again, I haven't even seen all of the adventures he's been up to lately!), so that made this short so much fun for me. As did the other two characters, for obvious reasons. My only regret is that this wasn't longer.

Bound into Darkness by Faith Hunter
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Who doesn't love a spinoff? Bound into Darkness spins off from the beloved Jane Yellowrock series, following Liz Everhart – one of the Everhart twins, and sibling to Molly. Having survived a horrible bout of pneumonia, Liz is trying to get her life back in order.

That may or may not include a certain stubborn man, whom she had been doing the dance with. Right up until he saw her sick, that is. Perhaps she could use her latest job as an excuse to bring them both together, and just see where things go.

In a world of supernaturals and vampires, that sort of planning is just asking for trouble. As Liz Everhart is literally about to find out. For the Jane Yellowrock fans out there, Bound into Darkness is set sometime between Shattered Bonds and True Dead.

“He thought she was weak which might be worse. Stupid man.”

It's thanks to Bound into Darkness that I heard about this anthology in the first place – as I am a massive Faith Hunter fan. Naturally, that meant that while I enjoyed this whole collection, it was this novella that I was most looking forward to.

It lived up to those hopes and expectations, and then some. This was a dark and brilliant story, in all the ways I've come to expect from Jane Yellowrock's world. It was fascinating to see the world from a different character's point of view – one who knew of Jane and had opinions on everything that had gone down so far (well, what she knew of, anyway).

Plus, the Evenharts are amazing, so getting the chance to read about any of them is pretty amazing. This novella gave her (and some of her family) a chance to shine, while also fleshing out the world even further.

Obviously, major bonus points for the secondary character and perspective for this novella (whom you can probably guess, but I don't want to risk spoiling. Just in case). 10/10 would read more about these two.

The Ties That Bind by Faith Hunter
★ ★ ★ ★
The Ties That Bind is Faith Hunter's short story addition to this collection, and it also ties directly into what happened in Bound into Darkness. Gotta love it when that happens! Once again we're provided insight into one of the Everhart's, this time of the mama bear variety. I'm not saying more, because it might spoil the fun.

“As she waited, she added honey to the chamomile infusion. Stirred. Sipped. Patient.”

I knew that there was going to be a novella from a new perspective in Dirty Deeds. What I did not know is that there would also be a short story! Finding this made my day, and I'm sincerely not exaggerating there!

This was a quick read, yet was still full of action, adventure, and plenty of drama. Oh! And don't forget the supernatural, which includes tons of magic (given who it's about, or connected to, that shouldn't be a surprise in the least!).

The Pixie Job by Diana Pharaoh Francis
★ ★ ★ ★
The Pixie Job is part of a series written by Diana Pharaoh Francis. Sticking with the 'I need a vacation' theme, Mal has taken a much deserved break. Though admittedly the length of the vacation was not entirely her idea.

Naturally, that means that something is going to pop up to ruin, alter, or otherwise infuse chaos into her time off. That is the way things go in the urban fantasy world, right? Especially for somebody who has been through as much as her.

“I told you. I'm on vacation. I promised Law, and the other ghosts, and So'la. I'm not supposed to do anything but relax for an entire month.”

Out of all the stories in this anthology, The Pixie Job is the one I had the least background on. Still, I didn't have much trouble following along, or finding enjoyment in the chaos and mess that Mal had to dig her way through.

All of that being said, I'm positive that a longer running fan of Diana Pharaoh Francis would enjoy this story so much more than I would, so please make sure to check it out if that applies to you!

Doggone Mess by R.J. Blaine
★ ★ ★ ★
Last, but not least, there's Doggone Mess, a novella that ties into her Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series. I've never read any of that series, but after having read Doggone Mess – I want to!

Joyce is an unmated female lycanthrope, one who has exactly zero interest in joining a pack, thanks to the method used to induct her into the world of the supernatural. Thus, she spends most of her time working minimum wage jobs, and hiding her identity.

So of course she finds herself in a situation where has to deal with one on a regular basis. On the bright side, the job will pay well, and it comes with some perks. Like the access to Pixie Dust. That'll make things more worthwhile.

“I bet my terrorist virus just wanted me to settle down and used pixie dust to its advantage, although I'd resisted its wicked ways thus far.”

Doggone Mess is my first introduction to Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count), and I have to admit, that is a very accurate description of what I just read! It was fun and entertaining, with romantic threads throughout.

It's enough to get me interested in reading the rest of the series, whenever I can free up some time and space on my TBR shelf. The balance of themes and elements made this a quick and unique read, one that thoroughly invaded my brain.

Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
645 reviews5 followers
May 27, 2023
Love this collection, each story is part of an existing series and each is long enough to be really enjoyable. My favourite of the bench is the offering from Devon Monk but it's a toss up as each is a quality read. . The Faith Hunter stories involve Eli and and Liz Everhart on a hunt for a dangerous creature the second Bedielia Everhart (Liz's mum) and Lincon Shaddock the vampire master who loves her. Devon Monks are set in the town of Ordinary where the gods to to holiday again these 're just fun reads and allow you to get a feel.for the series without having to have read the books both are great short stories. R U Blaines offering is a new story and is as ever with this author lot of fun to read. The last offering by Diana Pharoh Francis was not to my taste but fit in well with the overall theme of the set.................
Profile Image for Cindy.
937 reviews19 followers
January 17, 2021
Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection
(Magical Romantic Comedies #13.5 (Doggone Mess))
by Faith Hunter (Goodreads Author), Diana Pharaoh Francis (Goodreads Author), Devon Monk (Goodreads Author), R.J. Blain (Goodreads Author)

It’s a great anthology! How great? Let me count the ways…

Devon Monk has two related entries which are apparently both from the Ordinary Magic Series:
"Sealed with a Tryst"
"At Death's Door"
How good were they?
I hopped right up on Amazon and acquired the first book in each of her series.

Faith Hunter also has two related Jane Yellowrock entries:
"Bound into Darkness"
"The Ties That Bind"
I’d read a couple of the Jane Yellowrock books so I pulled up those from my library and filled out the series with new acquisitions.

Diana Pharaoh Francis' has a single story which is part of her Mission: Magic series:
"The Pixie Job"
Since I wanted to know how the hero and heroine managed to arrive at the opening of this story, I picked up the first in the Mission: Magic series. [I also fell big time for Elliott, the world’s cutest magical goat!] I also acquired the first book in each of her other series’.

R.J. Blain entry is part of her Magical Romantic Comedies series.
"Doggone Mess"
Although this is part of her MRC series, there doesn’t seem to be any overlap. At least not yet. The author promises more to come with Joyce and Wayne’s stories…
And no, I didn’t rush off to buy any of her books. I didn’t have to – I already own them all. And her Susan Copperfield books. And her Bernadette Franklin and Trillian Anderson books. And yes, I recommend them all.
Profile Image for Melindeeloo.
3,068 reviews158 followers
January 21, 2021
There's a new limited time anthology, Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection, out this week (and available for six months) with stories by Faith Hunter, and Devon Monk series and also stories from Diane Pharoh Francis and RJ Blain.

Devon Monk's Ordinary series story was actually a twofer. There was a longer story with Delaney trying to break free from her duties - and all the chaos of wrangling a town where gods come to live as mortals - and gain a little vacation with her fiance. And there was a little quicky story from Thanos' POV - death vs the dragon pig was fun.

Faith Hunter also gave us connected long and short stories set in the Jane Yellow rock world. The longer one had Everhart sister Liz taking Eli as backup on a job to rescue a dog lost in the woods -Eli! This was good with the job ending up requiring both tactical savvy and magic. Eli and Liz are a good team. The shorter story has master of the city Lincoln Shaddock and the Everthart mom Beddelia doing clean up behind the scenes of the first story - neat look into some of mom's secrets.

I am sorry to say that the RJ Blain story didn't work for me and really that's a me thing. I've tried things by this author before with the same results - I am sure that her books are hilariously wacky but I just can't get past the cadence of the dialogue and the characters are super chatty.
Profile Image for Anniken Haga.
Author 10 books77 followers
July 28, 2021
I bought this book mainly for the Faith Hunter stories, as I don't have much experience with the other authors or their works. Because of that, I also decided to not read those stories, and so this rating is based solely on the Faith Hunter stories.

Bound Into Darkness

I had so many problems with this 1, and I'm so sad about that!
The editing is abhorent, both on regards to grammar, as well as build up. There were repetitions and events coming out of thin air, makimg me feel like I'd skipped a page.
And while I like Eli as a character, his POV here seemed to reduce him to a vet and nothing more, which was disappointing.
And it was slow


The Ties That Bind

This story was everything the other wasn't. Not only was the action intense, but the underlying plot was very interesting! It may also explain why there was so little cancer in the Everheart-sisters.
I'm so hyped to learn more about this!
Editing was a little spotty, tho.

Profile Image for Caressa.
191 reviews
January 18, 2021
Shorts that make you beg for more

This anthology is a super fun read that takes you into the worlds of some fabulous authors. Devon Monk’s Ordinary series is a fun place. The pet sitting story deserves to be read aloud! Who would have thought Than could be so fun!
Faith Hunter sets up the Everheart clan for a re-evaluation by long time readers as new information makes us see them differently. Eli and Linc seriously moved up in my estimation.
R. J. Blain teases us with some new characters destined to rack up the body count!
The 3rd story wasn’t as fun for me, because I’m not familiar with the world in which it’s set. I will be rectifying that soon!
Profile Image for S.K. Gregory.
Author 133 books198 followers
January 8, 2021
A really enjoyable book with some great characters. I loved the supernatural elements and in particular the story with Jane Yellowrock. Urban fantasy fans will love this collection. Highly recommeded.
Profile Image for Shannon.
125 reviews1 follower
January 18, 2021
I only read the Faith Hunter short stories so far, but I really enjoyed them. 🥳
1,053 reviews
Want to read
July 1, 2022
Bound into Darkness and The Ties that Bind are both in "Of Claws and Fangs" July 2022
Profile Image for Barb Lie.
1,799 reviews4 followers
January 15, 2021
Dirty Deeds: Urban Fantasy Collection is an anthology with novellas written by Faith Hunter, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Devon Monk and R.J. Blain.  I am a huge fan of Faith Hunter, and reading any novella or short story is a must for me.  I will write a short review on Hunter’s stories, revolving around her Jane Yellowrock series, and can only say that the other books are also part of their series, which I have not read.

Bound Into Darkness by Faith Hunter
Bound into Darkness takes place between the last two novels in Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series; the story revolves around Eli Younger and Liz Everhardt. Liz has had a crush on Eli for a while, but after she was seriously injured, she has been in recovery and Eli has not been around.  When Liz gets a call for help to find a missing dog, she asks Eli to help her.   They head to the steep and dark mountain, looking for the dog, only to find Liz encountering a skeletal demon, who comes to life and wanting to possess her.  Liz manages to escape, with Eli’s help and together they build a hedge circle, but time is of essence, as the demon is trying to break through.  To make matters work, a group of rogue werewolves are on the way to kill them.  The question is:  who set this trap to have Liz killed and why?

What follows is an exciting, tense novella that kept my attention from start to finish.  The last half of the book was amazing, as we got to see many of our favorites try to rescue Eli and Liz; including Jane, Cia (Liz’s twin sister, also a witch), Alex, Brute, Lincoln, just to name a few.  We also learn who was behind this trap, which also gets explained more in the next short story; Ties That Bind. I really loved this new addition to the Jane Yellowrock series.

The Ties that Bind by Faith Hunter
Bedelia is the mother of Liz and Cia Everhardt, and she senses something is happening.  Linc Shadrock, who fathered her children, and whom she has not seen in many years, once he became the Master of his territory. When he visits Bedelia late night, he explains about the woman who is threatening to kill her daughters. The Mayhew witches blame Liz for killing one of their own, and they were behind the current attack.  Linc needs Bedelia’s help before he leaves to help save his daughters, with the help of Jane Yellowrock and team. 

Bedelia agrees to call in her witch friends, who had set up a circle from years before, and try to trap the Mayhew leader.  Once the ladies arrive at the circle and set up the trap, they find themselves under attack by both witches and werewolves. 

I enjoyed seeing how Linc loved Bedelia, and explained that he still loved her.  That was a nice addition.  Great short story.

As noted above, the stories below just have a glimpse from the description above:
Vacationing gods in what appears to be a quiet, ordinary town; visit a supernatural hotel where the bedbugs could very well eat you; and dive into the zany, deadly world of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.

Sealed with a Tryst by Devon Monk
At Death’s Door by Devon Monk
The Pixie Job by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Doggone Mess by R.J. Blain

The Reading Cafe
Profile Image for jammaster_mom.
956 reviews4 followers
April 23, 2021
I usually do not like short stories. I read a lot and find that I want something I can dig my teeth into and usually short stories leave me wanting. This collection is totally different! I picked it up because there are two authors that are on my auto-read list: Faith Hunter and Devon Monk. I have really liked Dian Pharaoh Francis Horngate Witches series and wanted to read more of her work. R.J.Blain is new to me but I really like finding new authors and series:)

The two stories from Devon Monk are both set in her Ordinary Oregon series and weave together. The focus is on Delany and her attempt to go on a romantic vacation with Riley. The second story dove tails with the first and revolves around Than and the dragon pig. Both were funny, interesting and added to the world of Ordinary!

The two stories from Faith Hunter also wove together and focused on secondary characters. The first is from two different POV: Eli Younger and Liz Everhart. Liz is a stone witch who takes private investigator jobs on occasion. She also wants to know why Eli has been pretending to be uninterested in her after her recovery from pneumonia. She wants to know why and is inviting him on her latest assignment to figure it out. The second story dove tails with the first one and is about Bedelia Everhart and the Master of the City of Asheville Lincoln Shaddock. Wow! What bombshells are found in this story for those who have been reading the Jane Yellowrock series!!! Well worth the read and I love how the two stories twinned together.

The story from Ms. Francis is from her Mission: Magic series. I haven't read the series but I am going to pick it up after reading this short story. It was a fun romp with magical creatures who have murderous agendas. There a lightness and snark that I enjoyed but also a seriousness as Mal has some very firm lines that she will not cross. Fun read.

The story by R.J. Blain was very fun and snarky. There are were-creatures who are monitored by the CDC because they carry and can spread the Were taint like a deadly virus. Joyce was turned by an attack and has been trying to eek out a life for herself in New Jersey without drawing the attention of the local packs. She works at McDonald's by day and picks up bounties for extra cash to make ends meet. Then Wayne walks into her life and everything takes a sharp right turn. This is not a full story, which I found mildly annoying, but a tease for the full book to be published in 2022. Not what I was hoping for but I liked the author's voice and am going to pick up a book from one of her other series to see what I think. I didn't get this book for her so I am not that disappointed.

Overall, a great collection of stories and a must read for fans of the different authors and series.
Profile Image for Eclectic.
1,314 reviews5 followers
January 14, 2021
Supernatural beings with strange fixations, personal failings, and comical personalities. All in six magical and suspenseful stories sure to educate you on fascinating urban fantasy tactics. Who could ask for more?

Sealed with a Tryst by Devon Monk – It’s a Pandora’s storage bin of a mess. Police chief Delaney Reed is supposed to be on a much-needed vacation with her fiancé, Ryder, but she’s worried about the usual strange incidents in her town of Ordinary, Oregon. What could go wrong in the vacation spot of the gods?

At Death’s Door by Devon Monk – What do you get when you have Death pet sit for a fire-breathing dragon pig with an attitude who eats anything metal and a dog named Spuds who goes AWOL? A LOL tale of a favor gone bad.

Bound into Darkness by Faith Hunter – Liz, a stone witch, has a soft spot for lost dogs, but her search in the mountains with the handsome and fearless Army Ranger, Eli churns up a years-long grudge that puts her powers to the test and their lives at risk.

The Ties That Bind by Faith Hunter – A past forbidden love between a vampire and a witch. And good friends gather to trap an enemy witch who turns out to be much worse than they all expected.

The Pixie Job by Diana Pharaoh Francis – A dreaded pixie and giant wedding. A reformed ghost exterminator with a ghost cult following, a militant elf, and drunk magic goats. They have their work cut out for them to find some missing children and the owner of a missing hand. Will the wedding go off without a hitch? Not without some supernatural chaos.

Doggone Mess by R.J. Blain – When an angry fast-food worker/bounty hunter/werewolf shifter is destined to live with a virus that was forced on her, she accepts a well-paying job from the CDC to kidnap an eligible male werewolf and businessman. And the games begin!

I recommend this magical fantastical fun collection of stories filled with strong females, protective males, hilarious beings, and dire situations.

Thank you to the authors for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
Profile Image for Heidi.
450 reviews23 followers
February 23, 2021
I love a good novella collection, and these are some fun urban fantasy authors. Diana Pharaoh Francis is wonderful, but her full-length series tend towards emotionally wrought while The Incubus Job and this follow on "The Pixie Job" are more fun-filled action and snippets of romance. I also enjoyed the spin-off development of characters from Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series in the stories "Bound Into Darkness" starring Eli & a witch, and then some followup witch/vampire romance in "At The Ties That Bind". Also a rom-com urban fantasy that is perfectly on brand for R.J. Blain with werewolves, mafias, government agencies and some very odd matchmaking. Devon Monk develops the character of Death as Delaney attempts to get away for a much needed vacation.

Overall, if you're into lighthearted urban fantasy and/or looking for some new urban fantasy authors, I highly recommend it, but heads up you may end up diving into well-developed series with long backlists after you get a taste.
93 reviews7 followers
January 18, 2021
A really liked 3/4 of the authors stories in this one. Devin Monk, Faith Hunter and RJ Blain all had great stories that didn't NEED all the backstory of the series they were pulled from, though if I hadn't read the Ordinary, Oregon series from DM, I'd have probably not enjoyed it as much. While I have read and loved some of Diana Pharaoh Francis' other novels, I hadn't read the series she pulled this story from, and I just felt I was missing too much backstory and world building to enjoy it.
I'd never read RJ Blain before, and now I see I am missing out, because wow. After I finished this, I went out and got her first magical romance comedy series (with a body count) and I stayed up into the wee hours to finish it. 😂 Can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Overall, it was a good set of short stories, but as they are all pulled from existing book worlds, it would be MUCH more enjoyable if you are already familiar with the authors' other works. I would not recommend this if you were just looking for something to see if you like an author's style (except maybe RJ Blaine's story), because while they try to explain some things, you miss a lot of nuances not being familiar with certain characters and events.
Profile Image for Linda Ellis.
155 reviews1 follower
January 24, 2021
Brilliant. Loved it

What a treat! Lured to buy this by the promise of a new tale by a favourite author (R J Blain), I was quickly enthralled by a new (to me) author, Devon Monk, and the opening two stories “Sealed with a Tryst” and “At Death’s Door”. Both stories belong to her “Ordinary Magic” series which is now on my “to buy” list.

The next two stories are by Faith Hunter - “Bound into Darkness” and “The Ties That Bind” - are part of the Jane Yellowrock World. I have read and enjoyed the first Jane Yellowrock book, but these stories are set after about book 15 in that series and I feel I would have enjoyed this offering more if I had read the full series to that point and was familiar with the characters and their relationships. They were a good read, but I felt that I would have benefitted from knowing more background.

“The Pixie Job” by Diana Pharoah Francis presented me with another new author I plan to read more of. It features manic trickster pixies, miniature giants and all sorts of weird and wonderful beings.

The collection ends with R J Blain’s “Doggone Mess”, belonging to her “Magical Romantic Comedy” series. I love this whole series and I know I read this with a smile plastered on my face.
Profile Image for Kay.
241 reviews
March 2, 2021
Purchased this book because I love Devon Monk. Now I've found out I love her 3 co-authors too! I really do NOT need new authors to read, but these 3 are too good to not hunt down.
Devon's stories: Sealed with a Tryst recounts Delaney Reed's trials as she tries to escape Ordinary to get a brief vacation with her soon to be husband Ryder Bailey. Just getting out of town is a major ordeal and involves soooo many other people that it seems impossible, but giving up is not an option!
At Death's Door gives us a whole new facet of Than, the God of Death, as a pet sitter no less. Loved, loved, loved this story.
Adding in stories by Faith Hunter, Diana Pharaoh Francis and R. J. Blain was like having extra cherries on a decadent turtle sundae, too wonderful to imagine. These authors were new to me, even though I know they've been around for a while. I probably should have skipped reading these, since now they've hooked me too.
If you love paranormal with romance thrown in, grab this anthology and prepare to read all night!
Profile Image for Jessica Belmont.
1,483 reviews46 followers
January 14, 2021
Dirty Deeds is a collection of urban fantasy short stories by four different authors. One of my favorite things about collections like this, is being introduced to multiple authors. In this case of this collection, every author stands out as an excellent writer.

I’m not going to break down each story. I never do when I review these collections. I really think going in blindly is your best bet. I got to experience each story without any preconceived notions.

What I will say is, once I started, I couldn’t stop. Don’t start this one before bed, because you’ll be up all night (like me!). Each story delivered intriguing plots and characters that were realistic. I love novellas when written well. It amazes me to see incredible world and character building in much less space.

I really enjoyed this collection. I’d recommend giving it a shot.

*I received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours to honestly review on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
January 30, 2021
It's difficult to write a good review for a anthology unless you break it down and I am too lazy for that. I will just say that I got the book purely to read the Faith Hunter stories and they were marvelous. I am so happy I didn't miss out on the delicious lore she gave us in these two stories. The other authors are unknown to me and I thought the stories were ok - would probably be better if I had the knowledge of the worlds they are written in. The only one I didn't care for at all was the last one - RL Blain I think the author was. I didn't like that at all. I do not like it when the author uses dialogue as a way to carry the story along. Pages and pages of dialogue, explaining away. They don't do things to advance the story, they explain it all to each other. I hope that makes sense but it's a pet peeve I guess and I didn't like it.
Profile Image for Angie.
430 reviews4 followers
Want to read
February 21, 2021
So far I’ve read the Jane Yellowrock spin offs and I loved them.

Bound in Darkness featured Eli Younger, Jane’s business partner and adopted brother, and Liz Everhart, one of Jane’s best friend’s sisters. Liz takes a job hunting for a hurt dog, and knows she won’t be able to do the job alone, so she asks Eli to accompany her for heavy lifting. Much hijinks happen after that.

Ties That Bind features Bedelia Everhart, mother of Liz and her six sisters, and Lincoln Shaddock, Master of the City of Asheville. They come together to help save Liz and Eli, and some crazy history is exposed. Crazy crazy history!! These two stories by Faith Hunter are worth the price of admission alone, so even if I never get around to trying the other authors, who are new to me, I’ll feel like I got my money’s worth!!
1,193 reviews7 followers
January 13, 2021
My interest in this book is for the Devon Monk Sealed with a Tryst and At Death's Door.
Amusing, with plenty of laugh out loud moments. You can't help but be drawn in to the town of Ordinary and enjoy the quirkiness of the residents. Each book or short story brings you home to Ordinary. Allows you to visit with the family, even when the storms are striking and the roads are flooded. Delaney and her sisters have their hands full when Crow sells off Pandora's boxes at a tent sale. It takes all the residents of Ordinary to keep their town safe and allow Delaney and Ryder to take a well deserved vacation. Than leaves you smirking and laughing when he is in charge of Spud and the pink dragon while Delaney and Ryder are vacationing. You just never knew Death could be funny.
65 reviews1 follower
January 15, 2021
Worth it for Faith Hunter’s stories alone!

Two great stories from Faith here. Firstly Eli and Liz track down a lost dog, and get into a spot of bother along the way (no spoilers). I always enjoy Eli in the main Yellowrock books so it was lovely to have a whole story with him as a lead. Secondly - Lincoln and Bedelia. Be. Still.My. Heart! I know want to read the entire Yellowrock series again so that I can reread all the Lincoln Shaddock and Bedelia Everheart bits so that I can read this again and enjoy it even more!

Not finished the rest of the anthology yet, but am a chapter into Devon Monk, and adding her series to me ‘to read’ list. I’ve discovered lots of now-favourite authors through anthologies, this one hits the mark again.
266 reviews
January 13, 2021
Sealed with a Tryst - Devon Monk: ★★★

At Death's Door - Devon Monk: ★★★

Bound into Darkness - Faith Hunter: ★★
Doesn't work as a stand-alone; if you haven't read the Jane Yellowrock series it won't make sense

At The Ties that Bind - Faith Hunter: ★★

The Pixie Job - Diana Pharaoh Francis: ★★
Also doesn't work as a stand-alone (except this one I have read the main story The Incubus Job, not that it helped. I didn't remember the characters or world-building)

Doggone Mess - R.J. Blain: ★★★★★
Profile Image for Carrie.
22 reviews
January 16, 2021
Loved it!

I have read many books by Faith Hunter and her 2 stories were wonderful! I really hope she writes more from these perspectives. I have also read books by Devon Monk before and this one was great! The other two authors were new to me and I'm so excited to find all their books and devour them!! Thank you for the lovely stories. Each of the stories in this book are well written. They are completely enjoyable alone, not knowing the ,"worlds" they took place in didn't make a bit of difference. I highly recommend this book.
205 reviews
January 19, 2021
As always, Faith Hunter shines - great stories, unexpected plots and I can't wait to see where she takes these new angles in her Jane Yellowrock series. The other authors were new to me, some interesting stories but, because I didn't know the any background from previous books, I felt they tended to drag. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the Glitter Bombs chaos and pixies in Diana Pharaoh Monk's "The Pixie Job" - anything that makes me laugh out loud will probably motivate me to try at least one of her titles.
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