Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Hell Cop 2
SERIES: Hell Cop #2
AUTHORS: Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling and Ginn Hale
PUBLISHER: Loose Id
LENGTH: 322 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 23, 2009
Trust Me by Astrid Amara Brian Day’s no longer the naïve country boy Jay Yervant fell in love with. A hardened hell cop with dangerous powers, Brian’s osmotic abilities are growing out of control. When two men are found dead, killed by an osmotic, Jay wants to clear Brian’s name. But Brian’s erratic powers threaten even Jay’s survival, and he’s left wondering if his lover is as innocent as he claims. Dark Waters by Nicole Kimberling After a year of seeing Detective Argent, Michael Gold is uncertain about the future of their relationship. Can a liberal university professor and a Hell Cop find a happily ever after? When Michael invites Argent on an anthropological study, he thinks they’re performing an experiment in domesticity. But when a dead body appears, Michael and Argent end up playing detective instead of playing house. Such Heights by Ginn Hale Photojournalist James Sparks fled to the exotic Storm Palace to escape his relationship troubles. But soon he’s witness to a murder, and the man he least wants to deal with — his lover, Detective Ben Moran — is on the case.
This was a great look at the couples from the previous anthology; taking place a year after the events of the last book there were a lot of changes, many of which I was happy to see. There was still a little bit of overlap with the characters between stories, which was great, and the cases themselves were varied and interesting. While I did enjoy the book, and each of the stories presented, I found I wasn’t as immediately enthralled or sucked into any of them like I was with the first book, however. (I’m sure I’ll read it again, regardless.) If you enjoyed the first Hell Cop book you’ll most likely enjoy this one as well but if you haven’t read it and are interested in paranormal or urban fantasy stories, I’d recommend starting with the first book as you’ll understand this universe and characters better. (That and the first book was just really good!)
Trust Me by Astrid Amara: 4*
I really loved getting to see Jay and Brian again and this story gives you a good look at their lives now that Brian is a member of the Hell Cops. I think the issues surrounding Brian’s abilities served as a good wakeup call in regards to his relationship with Jay and I really liked seeing how, even when at odds with each other, these two men still did whatever they could to help their partner. The case itself was great and well put together. This was also the longest story in the book and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Things ended on a high note and it was gratifying to see that besides getting to see Brian and Jay settle into a deeper relationship, there was also some resolution with each of their families.
Dark Waters by Nicole Kimberling: 3.5*
This was the one story where I was completely blindsided by the plot, which was kind of nice. 😀 It was nice touching base with Michael and Dion again but the case was really the star of this story; I found it interesting and I enjoyed getting to see Dion’s abilities showcased at the end. I also liked that Dion seemed to open up to Michael a little bit more as the story progressed. The ending was by far my favorite thing, not only about this particular story, but also out of the entire book, however, though I do wish I’d been able to actually see the event instead of the story ending where it did.
Such Heights by Ginn Hale: 3.5*
As James and Moran were my favorite characters in the previous book, I was really looking forward to this story. The case was great and way more twisty than I had been expecting, which I always enjoy, but I wasn’t as drawn into the story as I had expected to be. Like the previous stories in this collection the main characters were working through some relationship problems but James and Moran still came together when needed and they found a way to make everything work. The affection between the main characters was more noticeable in this story in comparison to the other two (at least to me it was) and it also had a great ending that had me finishing the book with a smile. Well rounded story that made for a great finisher to the book.