Not to overstate, but tonight is my full store inventory, that's its own kind of hell.
If you've ever had that longing to be locked in a bookstore overnight and feel like it would be some sort of utopia, allow me to suggest that if the reason you're trapped there is that you have to count every single book and make sure the ISBN numbers match the results on printouts designed for people with eyes much younger than your own that perhaps this is not going to be as fun as you'd thought.
Ah well. The things we do for work. I'll remind myself that there are better hells, and better ways to be trapped.
"Loki's Boy," by Jeff Mann
Case in point, the next story in Raising Hell has captives, a different sort of hell, and demons from a viking era. That it's Jeff Mann spinning this wonderfully evocative - and tightly bound - story of erotica from a different era with such deft strokes won't surprise you, since I assume you've been listening to me for the past few weeks, months, and years. If you haven't been listening to me - and hello, welcome to my blog! - then I'll restate it again: nobody does erotica with edgy BDSM overtones like Jeff Mann.
That we're revisiting the viking mythology here is just icing on the cake. The companion volume to Raising Hell is Wings, and in that volume, Jeff Mann's story also dealt with the viking life. Or, afterlife, actually. Either way, it gives the two stories a one-two punch, and I found myself rereading them both to contrast the two themes. I'm not sure I've read any tales that seem to capture that sense of the visceral viking world quite like these two - and that's intended as the compliment it is.