One story gives good bite while others only nibble
As a follow-up to her first young adult anthology, editor P.C. Cast brings together six more short stories of vampire romance in Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite from some of the most popular young adult paranormal authors today, including Claudia Gray, Lili St. Crow, Nancy Holder, Heather Brewer, Rachel Caine, and Jeri Smith-Ready.
"Bloodshed" by Claudia Gray - Like her contribution in the first anthology, Gray uses her tale to provide back story about the trials of love and vampirism that Patrice (of her Evernight series) has endured before the present day. I liked the war theme and the return of Patrice but it wasn't overwhelming. 3/5
"Say Yes" by Lili St. Crow - This story employs a gritty and vulgar style reminiscent of Holly Black to examine what can go terribly wrong at a drunken teen party where darker forces lurk. Though chilling, the tale lacked any romance or love, though the anthology's name suggests that readers should expect otherwise. 3/5
"Letters to Romeo" by Nancy Holder - In an interesting reconception of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo has been pining away for his lost love for 700 years and thinks he has found her in a modern girl. While the potential was there, a rushed and unexpected ending and a lack of connection with the vampire Romeo left me unmoved. 2/5
"The Other Side" by Heather Brewer - Unrelated to her Vladimir Tod world, this story details what happens to two teen lovers who wake up in a dark cell to find themselves bound and being drained of their blood. The story was set up well to make the twist surprising, but it didn't move it past being merely interesting. 3/5
"Drama Queen's Last Dance" by Rachel Caine - Set in Caine's Morganville Vampires universe, this story details Eve's fight to keep Michael's affection when a sultry vamp shows up in town. Because it was set in an established world, little work was done to build the characters or their relationships, and I didn't like the voice or style. 2/5
"Thief" by Jeri Smith-Ready - By far the best story in the bunch, "Thief" draws readers into a world where Travelers steal to make a living and old-school betrothals still happen, despite the power of real love to insist otherwise. This story created a fascinating world and endearing, sympathetic characters quickly and effectively; I would love to read more set in this universe. 4.5/5
While I enjoy short story anthologies and the opportunity they present to sample multiple authors, ETERNAL: MORE LOVE STORIES WITH BITE didn't have anything to make it stand out from similar books. Only one story ("Thief" by Jeri Smith-Ready) really stuck with me and the rest were interesting but not memorable. In addition, this book had only six stories, two fewer than its predecessor, and it wasted space on another rambling and patronizing introduction from Cast. If you're willing to branch out into other paranormal creatures in search of a good anthology, I would heartily recommend Love Is Hell instead.