Must Love Hellhounds (anthology) by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews and Meljean Brook

MustLoveHellhoundsReleased: September 1, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 361
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-22959-0

This book was an instant buy for me since it contains novellas by three authors I read regularly: Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews. Overall, great stories. I really enjoyed them and it was nice to be exposed to an author I’d never tried before. More on each specific story below.

The first story in the collection is The Britlingens Go to Hell by Charlaine Harris. It involves secondary characters from (I think) the seventh book in the series Altogether Dead. It’s a great little story and Charlaine Harris explores part of the Southern Vampire series mythology that’s really only touched on in the series, so the novella’s full of wonderful little details and surprises.  Clovache and Batanya make excellent protagonists and it was really fun to learn more about Britlingens.

Nalini Singh provides the second story, Angels’ Judgment. It’s part of her new Guild Hunters series, which I haven’t read, although I thoroughly enjoy her Psi-Changeling novels.  The protagonist of this story is Sara Haziz, future chairman of a vampire policing organization. She’s put to the test by the vampire population but manages to find romance and extra muscle in Deacon, the man who polices the policemen. It’s a nice little story that’s accessible to people who don’t follow the series, although I’m sure there are things in there that would resonate more strongly with people who have read Angels’ Blood.

One of my most favourite authors, Ilona Andrews, has also contributed to this anthology with Magic Mourns. It’s Andrea’s story and I was really excited to read it because she’s such a great character in the Kate Daniels stories. This time, though, she’s on a solo outing, which allows us to learn all about her not-so-budding relationship with Raphael, a bouda (male werehyena) who has been courting her. I’ve been dying to find out how their story would turn out and this was great, plus the overall mystery was really interesting. Happiness!

The fourth novella was contributed by Meljean Brook, who I’ve never read. Her story, Blind Spot, is set in the world of her XXX series but I managed to follow along fairly well. It’s a tidy story and the only one that has a hellhound as a good guy, which was refreshing. He also provides a bit of comic relief, which was great. I’m quite tempted now to borrow some of her books from the library; she seems to put a lot of stuff in anthologies so it’s a bit of a tougher sell in terms of actual purchasing but Blind Spot was interesting enough that I’ll at least find the book that centres around some of the short story’s secondary characters (Demon Moon).

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