by Anthology

September 2009
ISBN: 978-0-425-22959-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

A quartet of authors with an eye toward the supernatural have gathered to create Must Love Hellhounds, a very unusual anthology. The demonic creatures are not always the focal point of the novellas, but play a role in the plots and serve as the common thread for the collection.

Perennial favorite Charlaine Harris offers readers an entirely different world in The Britlingens Go to Hell. Bodyguards Clovache and Batanya must escort their client into the underworld to retrieve a magical ball. Getting in is the easy part. Getting back out will take all their skill and daring.

Best known for her Psy-Changelings series, author Nalini Singh debuts her new story line, Guild Hunters with Angels' Judgment. When Guild Hunter Sara Haziz is nominated to be the next Guild Director, she expects to be tested. The Cadre will expect nothing less than her best effort to show them that she is able and willing to accept the position. She doesn't expect to meet the legendary Slayer or discover that passion can erupt at the worst possible moment.

The husband-wife writing team Ilona Andrews that creates the Kate Daniels series offers readers a tasty morsel in Magic Mourns. Although Andrea continues to rebuff the interest of were-hyena Raphael, she jumps to assist him when he is attacked by Cerberus. Why has the hellhound left his post, and what is he doing in Atlanta? Andrea may not be confident about her background, but she never doubts her abilities as a Knight of the Order. Raphael needs her help. It is just that simple, and that complicates everything.

Meljean Brook brings a heroic hellhound to readers in her Guardian novella Blind Spot. When Maggie Wren goes to the aid of Geoffrey Blake and his kidnapped sister, her employer sends along Sir Pup, a shapeshifting hellhound with a wicked sense of humor. Honestly, being a vampire's major-domo is never what one expects, and this task certainly is no different.

Out of the four stories, I enjoyed the Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh contributions the most, even purchasing the first Guild Hunter novel that just hit the shelves. The Harris novella was very difficult to get into and assumed that readers understood the background of the world. I searched for other stories featuring the Britlingens but was unable to find anything. I would skip that story if I were to re-read the book for a second time. It was my least favorite, even though I enjoy Ms. Harris' other writing.

Reviewed in August 2009 by Paula.

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