Hungry for Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance

Hungry for Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance - Lori Perkins, Brian Keene, Elizabeth Coldwell, Jan Kozlowski, Regina Riley, Vanessa Vaughn, Mercy Loomis, Kilt Kilpatrick, Jeremy Wagner, Steven Saus, Jeanine McAdam, S.M. Cross, Gina McQueen, Stacey Graham, Raven Hart, Lois H. Gresh, Isabel Roman, Stacy Brown, Francesca L I've never been happier to finish an anthology on anything in my life, partially because this book took me on such a whirlwind of emotional turns that I feel like I need to review it just to say that I survived it. *proudly attaches "I survived an Adult Zombie Romance book" button to her breast pocket.*Although it was a bit of a struggle, I actually found a few of the stories here charming, probably more than I expected to, considering the thematic of this particular collection of stories.Forewarning through. I could utter two words that could send you running far and away from this particular book, depending on how your sentiments run. Make you want to put it down and never return. You think I'm kidding? Fine, I'll tell you. Ready?Zombie erotica.Still here? Because if you are, you'll be happy to know I'm totally kidding! *nervously laughs*Sort of.There are a fair bit of erotic stories to be had in this collection, which is something I didn't expect jumping into it. I figured there would probably be love stories of varying degrees and insinuated smut - mostly between humans who were either facing the zombie apocalypse or would perish or spend some remembrance of a loved one in the aftermath of the zombie incoming. What I didn't expect were the stories that featured zombie/human or zombie/zombie sex. And one particular domination story that made me cringe. If that wasn't freaky enough, some of the stories are short pieces that didn't develop any of the characters they showcased and made me feel like I'd been made brainless (pun fully intended). I wanted to scrub it clean with a toothbrush after reading some of these pieces because they were...painful. Either in their overt nature, in their oh-so-obvious humored (not so much) insinuations, or in their ability to not showcase anything interesting.As tempted as I was to mark this my first ever DNF, I decided to continue with it. It paid off in some interesting ways, because if I hadn't plowed through several mediocre stories, I probably wouldn't have found the ones that piqued my interest. Instead of giving you a play-by-play of every short story - 21 total - featured in this set, I'm just going to give you a review of the ones that I thought were well-written, or those that caught my attention enough to warrant mention."Revanants Anonymous" by Francesca Lia Block - this story actually could've gone a lot of different interesting directions, but among the first five cringe inducing stories, this was the better one. Basically about a zombie reform group where a woman who isn't really a zombie listens in on zombies who need help coping through their newly found lives. There was a mention of one guy who says he's reformed and does yoga. Can you imagine a zombie doing downward dog and tree poses? :P No? Well, it made me laugh.The story itself has said girl lusting after a particular zombie whose good at playing the blues and such. The romance felt tangible (if a bit forced in attraction), but then I wasn't expecting it to end the graphic way it ended. It felt tacked on and awkward.First Love Never Dies by Jan Kozlowski - this story followed the troupe of "I had to kill my lover turned zombie". It actually wasn't too bad, despite some of the cheese lines, but I felt like it ended before it truly began. There weren't many scenes featuring the man and his lover, but at least it was better written than some of the stories that came before it.My Partner the Zombie by R.G. Hart This was a really cool urban fantasy noir story, featuring, for the first time in the anthology at the point I read, characters that I actually cared about. The author describes the situation and character sentiments quite well. I wish it could've been even longer, because I'd totally read a zombie noir.Undying Love by Regina Riley - Another of my favorites in the spectrum of the stories here - because the relationships depicted in this story felt most palpable, like things had changed for the characters and how they were coping with those changes.Apocalypse as Foreplay by Gina McQueen - My favorite of the stories in the anthology. Two lovers kicking zombie butt and taking names as they're doing so. The humor in this is overt and unapologetic, and dare I say their relationship is, yes, sexy. It ends a little sooner than I wanted, but I wouldn't mind reading beyond the scope of this story if I could.Kicking the Habit by Steven Saus Interesting concept for a story treating zombie feeding like an addiction. Particularly the taste of neurotransmitters piqued my interest, and the relationship between the couple felt plausible. I would've read more into this author's universe if he expanded upon it.Inhuman Resources by Jeanine McAdam - I didn't expect this somewhat cute story of a secretary who gets stalked by a group of zombies and ends up with a zombie hunting boyfriend by the end. It had some interesting bits of humor, albeit its brevity.and special honors go to Last Times at Ridgemont High by Kilt Kilpatrick because the narrator, Jeremy, is hilarious and gets himself into some rather precarious situations. It does evoke the same connotations of its obvious namesake reference, though in a zombie apocalyptic way. :)Overall, there were moments I found I enjoyed in this anthology, but it was a one-time-read for me. It does make me want to look more into the authors whose stories I liked, but overall, I think the anthology could've offered, collectively, stronger material rather than the hit or miss structure it contained.Overall score: 2/5