Paramourtal: Volume 2
Edited by Kevin Hosey and K. Stoddard Hayes
By Eden Royce
Paranormal romance seems to be surrounding me right now. I’m currently judging a contest for it. Somehow, the demon protagonist I’m writing is falling for another character in my novella. And I met my current boyfriend seven months ago.
Enter Paramourtal 2. It’s the second volume in an award-nominated paranormal romance anthology series published by Cliffhanger Books. This collection of 10 stories incorporates various species of otherworldly creatures into its stories of love gone wrong. (And in a few cases, quite right.)
Fire-wielding Fae, wish-twisting genies, vengeful angels, imps reveling in the trouble they can’t help but cause. Many are pulled from fairy tales born in different parts of the world retold with their original darkness: Don’t go in the woods. Gretel is dead and Hansel is out for revenge.
There’s even a boogeyman. But he’s not too successful at first.
I should say this is not a horror romance collection, although there are those out there. If you’re into gore, severed limbs, and not sleeping at night, this is not the anthology for you. Paramourtal 2 is for your friend or significant other that can’t understand your love for horror, but wants to try. Again.
Paramourtal 2 is full of otherworldly creatures showing unusually human sides of themselves in the name of love. Reading it was like going into an interview with a stoic, intimidating person. Then having that person smile and offer you the job.
Best thing about this anthology is that the elements of romance are incorporated seamlessly into the supernatural aspects of the stories. Its authors don’t write traditional love stories then go back and rework the plot to include a shifter.
One standout story was “The Fourth Wish” by Tari Kudrick. Full of bizzaro humor and characters you could give a damn about, it was a strangely touching story that left me feeling that anyone—no matter how creepy or weird can find love.
Another story of note is Chindi Moon by Kevin Hosey. Rich with details of the beauty and harness of the Southwestern desert and Navajo folklore it did what romance typically doesn’t and horror always does. It made the characters suffer. Even at the end, something is lost. And there’s no getting it back.
So while you read the next big psychological horror novel, I’d recommend getting that “not-quite-into-the scary-stuff” person in your life a copy of Paramourtal 2. It’ll keep you from having to keep the lights on all night.