Dead and Loving It by MaryJanice Davidson is one of the best books that I’ve read lately. It’s full of humor, werewolves, and vampires in four different but related stories by Mary Janice Davidson. She writes about her Wyndham werewolves and the Vampire Queen Betsy and King Sinclair.
The first story is “Santa Claws” and is about Alec Kilcurt, laird of Kilcurt Holding and the most powerful werewolf in Europe. Alec is in America to pay homage to the child of pack leaders Michael and Jeannie Wyndham. Once his duty is done, he is on his way to his hotel when he scents a glorious smell, peaches, among the stench of the city. He rushes to the scent and finds an ovulating female Santa Claus bell-ringer on a street corner. Alec is enchanted by her and wishes to make her his mate and spend the rest of his life with her. This is the werewolf way but she is human so Alec tries to act human by asking her out to dinner, she says no because it is morning, so Alec asks her out to lunch and she finally says yes. Her name is Giselle and she is short and plump and she is everything that Alec strongly desires. Once out of her Santa suit, Alec is even more enchanted but Giselle thinks that he is crazy. They have lunch and Giselle gets a terrible case of food poisoning from her oysters and barfs on Alec’s shoes. Alec takes her back to his hotel, calls in his doctor, and takes care of Giselle. Once Giselle feels better, Alec never wants her to leave, instead wants her to go back to Scotland with him forever. The two are physically attracted to each other and end up consummating that attraction. When Alec finally decides to tell Giselle that he is a werewolf, he is amazed that she had already guessed and didn’t have a problem with it because her mother had once worked for the former pack leader. So Alec asks Giselle to marry him….
The second story is “Monster Love” and is about vampire Richard Will and werewolf Janet Lupo. The two meet in a dark alley in the middle of the night. Janet has just left the wedding of Alec and Giselle from the previous story and she is upset that werewolves are not marrying werewolves but are mixing with humans so often. Janet is thirty-six and is an extremely ill-tempered, opinionated werewolf who uses a lot of curse words. As Janet is walking to get dinner, she is followed by a couple of robbers but since Janet is a werewolf, she is not afraid since she is extremely strong. This is when the vampire Richard comes in also, he is going to “help” Janet and then feed off of her. Janet punches Richard and the robbers and heads for dinner. After dinner Richard is waiting for her and the two begin talking. He tells her that he is a vampire which he says she must already know since she had felt his chest that has no heartbeat. Richard does not realize that Janet is a werewolf and she does not tell him. Richard is so intrigued by Janet that he wants to see her again mostly because she is not afraid of him. He also says that they must get married because together their names are Dick and Jane which he finds hilarious. Janet agrees to dinner the next night and they part. In the meantime, Janet gets a summons from the packleader that she can not ignore. She has been summoned to appear before him right away because he has found her a mate since she has not chosen one for herself. Janet does not specifically want a mate and she definitely does not ever want cubs, er, children. So Janet is sad that she will miss dinner with Richard but she thinks that she can contact him after she is through with packleader Michael Wyndham. Richard comes to their date early and sees Janet leaving and is hurt and upset that she had “lied” to him about not being afraid of him because he is a “monster.” So Richard decides to kidnap Janet right off the street and takes her home to his condo and ties her to his bed. He has plans to take revenge by making love to her. Janet is his prisoner but he takes very good care of her, feeding her outrageous amounts of delicious food, heavy on the protein, since she has such a healthy appetite. He, of course, unties her and they play mattress games, finding that they care very much for each other. They discover that together they are a complete family unit and they belong together.
The third story is “There’s No Such Thing as a Werewolf” and is about blind werewolf Doctor Drake Dragon and unsuspecting fairy Crescent Muhn. Drake is the only “handicapped” werewolf known since the male werewolves killed handicapped babies right after they were born when the female was weak. This was a practice that was no longer allowed since the new packleader’s human wife Jeannie thought that it was horrible. Drake’s father had died before he was born and his mother had hidden him away so that the packleader would not kill him. He’d been raised to be independent and he had left the pack years ago and lived alone in the city. One night Drake meets Crescent. He talks her into going for a meal with him and he invites her to stay with him since she has no place to stay except for the shelter. Crescent is an orphan who has been on her own since she was ten-years-old. Drake is very attracted to Crescent and he can actually see her with his eyes! The two consummate their physical attraction and Drake wants Crescent to stay with him forever. While out shopping one day, the two run into Richard and Janet. Janet attacks Drake, trying to kill him because she doesn’t want him to tell the pack where she is since she’s left the pack and plans to never return to it. Crescent is very upset and punches Janet which actually hurts to Janet’s surprise. It’s at this time that it comes out that Crescent is a fairy. She doesn’t know it though because she has never known her family since they died when she was a baby. Then Richard tells them that he had met a fairy in the past and that fairies are allergic to iron and some metals which could be why Crescent has been unable to fly. Crescent has a lot of piercings in her ears and bellybutton and she runs to the roof removing her earrings as she runs. Then she leaps and flies…..
The last story “A Fiend in Need” is about George the Fiend who lives with vampire Queen Betsy and the werewolf who cannot change into a werewolf, Antonia Wolfton. Antonia is a sharp-tongued, bad-tempered werewolf who gets visions. She tries to tell people the visions that she’s had of them but if they don’t follow her vision, she gets blinding headaches. One day she decides that she wants a mate and a place to belong because she just doesn’t fit in with the pack. No one wants her for a mate because they are almost afraid of her visions and because they don’t want to take the chance that her cubs, I mean, children might be handicapped like she is and be unable to change into a werewolf. So Antonia gets a vision of an address and to go there and help the queen and then she will get what she wants. So Antonia knocks on the mansion door, introduces herself and enters into the lives of Queen Betsy, King Sinclair, Tina, Jessica, and Dr. Spangler. There is a hilarious scene in the kitchen where Antonia tells them that she is a werewolf but that she can’t Change and Sinclair thinks that she is crazy because as he says, there is no such thing as werewolves. George the fiend is in the kitchen and he jumps on Antonia. She isn’t afraid, instead she likes him and is attracted to him. Antonia finds George to be the perfect man. He doesn’t talk much, he looks good, he has no scent and he’s excellent in bed. She is upset that he loves Betsy but it isn’t until the end of the story that George tells her that he does love Betsy but that she’s like the sun and belongs to everyone but that he loves Antonia and she is the one for only him.
This book is a quick read since it is four novellas. There’s plenty of humor to keep things light and reading about Queen Betsy and her family is like re-visiting old friends. The only thing that I would add is that some of the love scenes are fairly graphic so if that is something that you do not enjoy, this won’t be the book for you. Otherwise, this book is an enjoyable way to laze away a chilly afternoon.