Book Review: Tainted Love – Women In Horror Anthology

This was an excellent way to celebrate both Valentine’s Day and Women In Horror Month!

Like any anthology, Tainted Love was hit or miss, but this was mostly hit. The interpretations of the prompts of love and horror were wide and varied. Not all stories were scary horror — some were sad, some were social commentary, some were fantasy, and one was hard sci fi. This anthology explored a wide variety of settings, time periods, voices, and story lengths, as well. I loved seeing the broad range here.

Not every story portrayed romantic love, either. From obsessive romantic love to narcissism to familial compassion, this anthology explores the vast types of loves that exist. They may not always be healthy — although some of them are, surprisingly! — but they are always passionate.

There are 14 distinct stories in this anthology. I enjoyed most of them and especially liked Of Guys and Dolls. It is a quick dive into two types of love, romantic and sibling, with devastating results. The level of horror in that story was delicious. Vanitas and Prey are tied for second favorites; these longer titles have great levels of character development and explore very different aspects of horror.

CW: Although there is a broad trigger warning encompassing many potential triggers, it should also be mentioned that there are scenes of animal abuse. This book is definitely not for sensitive readers!

Tainted Love: Women in Horror Anthology by Azzurra Nox and Erica Ruhe is expected to be released February 16, 2021. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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