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Must Love Hellhounds Cover Picture

Must Love Hellhounds

Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook

Published 2009         368 pages

Reviewed by Ania Tyburska

Summary (from the book jacket)

From New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris and Nalini Singh and national bestselling authors Ilona Andrews and Meljean Brook, tales of man's worst friend...

In these hound-eat-hound worlds, anything goes. And everything bites.

Follow paranormal bodyguards Clovache and Batanya into Lucifer's realm, where they encounter his fearsome four-legged pets, in Charlaine Harris's The Britlingens Go to Hell. Seek out a traitor in the midst of a guild of non-lethal vampire trackers, one that intends to eradicate the entire species of bloodsuckers, in Nalini Singh's Angels' Judgment. Find out why the giant three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades has left the underworld for the real world - and whose scent he's following - in Ilona Andrews's Magic Mourns. Embark on a perilous search for the kidnapped niece of a powerful vampire alongside her blind - and damn sexy - companion and a hellhound in Meljean Brook's Blind Spot.

These four novellas by today's hottest paranormal authors will have hellhound lovers everywhere howling.

The Review

Four short stories by some of the most known vampire writers, oscillating round the common theme: Hellhounds. Sometimes the hounds themselves are more of a required detail, sometimes, like in case of Meljean Brook novella, a real cameo. A treat not only for doggie lovers.

The Britlingens Go to Hell by Charlaine Harris
This novel is a bit of an oddball in Charlaine Harris’ bibliography. Though officially it takes place in the Sookie Stackhouse universe (remember the two bodyguards from other dimension she encountered in Rhodes?) it is more of a dungeons and dragons fantasy novel written by a feminist than anything resembling the Louisiana based series. Story concentrates round two members of a prestigious assassins/bodyguards guild, who are hired to guard a guy in Hell. Which in their dimension is just a country. Only underground. And governed by Lucifer. And inhabited by demons. Still, just a country.

If it sounds for you like the lamest excuse for the other dimension, you are right on cue. I give some points though for the courageous forays into new genders. Rating: 3 stars

Angel’s Judgment by Nalini Singh
I love Nalini Singh’s love stories and this one is not an exception. In this quick peek into the Guild’s Hunters world we get to see the hunt that brought together Sara (Elena’s from Angel’s Blood best friend) and her future husband, Deacon. The only problem is the actual length of the story. The strength of Nalini Singh’s writing lies in the gradual build-up of the tension between main characters. When she is restricted to the short form, the stories often seem fragmented and inconsistent. Still it is a nice addition to the series and Deacon makes for possibly the hottest hottie in the whole anthology. Rating: 5 stars

Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews
As all stories in this compilation, Magic Mourns can work as a stand alone piece although it is a bit of shame to approach it without knowing all the nuances, as it fits chronologically into the Kate Daniels series. Kate herself also has a background role to play in the love story of her best friend and her bouda (that is were-hyena for you) lover.

All the best qualities of Ilona Andrews writing are here. The story, taking place in post-apocalyptical Atlanta, is quick paced, romantic and, at times, quite brutal. The language, as always, is very descriptive - often bringing an unsuspecting reader to spasms of laughter with the witty comments and strange comparisons. Hellhounds at their best! Rating: 5 stars

Blind Spot by Meljean Brook
Guardian’s novels are not exactly my piece of cake as they contribute incredible amounts of time to the internal struggles of various beings, which, in my opinion, makes for a very slow reading. Luckily in the short form, this prominent thread is not that eminent and we get a nicely wrapped story of another member of vampire Colin’s family. The brightest star of the novella and possibly the whole anthology is the Hellhound with wicked sense of humor, Sir Pup, which really nicely concludes the whole anthology. Rating: 4 stars

For the collection as a whole:-

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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