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Must Love Hellhounds MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Four well-known fantasy writers bring magical dogs into the plots of otherwise standard paranormal novellas. Harris's urban fantasy, The Britlingens Go to Hell, pits bodyguards Batanya and Clovache against demons, wolfwomen and two hellhounds guarding some unusual prisoners. In Singh's paranormal romance, Angels' Judgment, vampire trackers Sara and Deacon must discover who is murdering vampires; one suspect owns a hellhound. In Andrews's sexy Magic Mourns, Andrea, a knight who helps people with magic problems, links with a shape-shifter to find a stolen corpse, but first they must get by a three-headed dog. In Brook's page-turning romance Blind Spot, Maggie Wren, CIA operative turned vampire's personal assistant, teams up with a hellhound to find her boss's kidnapped niece. Only the most obsessive dog fanciers will be really enthralled by the passing mentions of canines. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"This fabulous foursome hits the bull's eye with an amazing quartet of novellas featuring unusual adventures, each with a hellish canine. The depth and breadth of talent in this anthology is most impressive. Each author delivers high-stakes adventure based on her own bestselling universe. A must-have addition!" ---RT Book Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
There are a couple historical cameos that pop up inexplicably in an attempt at comic relief; attempt being the operative word there. And Lucifer himself as the villain is more interested in sadomasochism then anything else. The obligatory hellhounds serve as prison guard dogs.
If I hadn't read Charlaine Harris before, this story would probably have kept me from seeking out her other books. This just feels like she phoned it in. The writing is not good, the characters underdeveloped (even for a novella), and the world convoluted and poorly explained. Since I know that Charlaine Harris is a good author, I'm going to dismiss this effort as a fluke.
Sexual Content: references to sadomasochism and male rape. Anatomical sexual incompatibilities.
2 out 5
"Magic Mourns" by Ilona Andrews takes place in the same world as the Kate Daniels series. While Kate is in a few scenes, "Magic Mourns" focuses on Kate's best friend and fellow Knight in the Order of Merciful Aid, Andrea Nash. I'll admit it up front: I bought this anthology solely to read this story. The Kate Daniels series is hands down one of the best urban fantasy series today. I was a little disappointed when I realized that Kate (and Curran) wouldn't be front and center in this story, but my disappointment didn't make it past the first page.
Of all the stories in this anthology, "Magic Mourns" makes the best use of the hellhound concept using Greek mythology and the most famous hellhound of all: Cerberus. Familiar characters abound here, most notably the werehyena Rafael. He had been pursing Andrea since the previous Kate Daniels book and I loved getting to focus more on that relationship.
I also loved how thoroughly and quickly the complex world of this series and those that inhabit it (Masters of the Dead, The Pack etc) were explained and incorporated into the narrative. Longtime fans and new readers alike should love this edgy, and deeply magical story. And a BIG thank you to Gordon and Ilona for the pretty significant reveal regarding Curran at the end. Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, book 5) is due May 25, 2010, and for me, the wait just got worse.
*"Magic Mourns" is my pick for best story of the anthology*
Sexual Content: References to rape. Implied sex.
"Angels' Judgment" by Nalini Singh continues her Guild Hunter Series following Angels' Blood. In her Guild Hunter Series, Nalini Singh capitalizes on the two hottest trends in the urban fantasy genre today: vampires and angels. I know I don't normally associate the two, but Nalini makes it work.
Sara wasn't used to feeling sorry for vampires. Her job, after all, was to bag, tag and transport them back to their masters, the angels. -Angels' Judgment
If you're new to this series, the world building here spins traditional angel mythology completely on its head. Forget everything you learned in Sunday school, these angels are lethal beings of unimaginable power as well as the creators (and masters) of vampires. When a vampire tries to buck the system and go AWOL, Guild Hunters are called in to bag & tag them and drag them back to their angelic masters.
"Angels' Judgment" is a prequel to Angel's Blood and focuses on Elena's best friend, Sara. While on the hunt for a rogue Hunter who has been butchering vampires, Sara teams up with smokin' hot Deacon (aka The Slayer) to stop the killer and survive the `angel sanctioned tests' long enough to become the new Guild Director.
I loved the original angels in this world and the strong, yet still feminine, character of Sara. I'm not usually a fan of a lot of romance in short stories or novellas simply because there aren't a lot of pages available to develop a love story with any credibility. That being said, I thought the relationship between Sara and Deacon had more substance than most. I especially liked the scene where she `protected' him at the club.
For me, anthologies are a great way to try out new authors and possibly get hooked on their writing style. From there, good characters and unique world building will always reel me in, and with "Angels' Judgment," Nalini Singh has caught herself another happy reader.
Sexual Content: One brief non-graphic sex scene, one long semi-graphic sex scene, a scene takes place in a gay club without any description.
"Blind Spot" by Meljean Brook takes place in the world of her Guardian Series. Ex CIA operative Maggie Wren (who appeared briefly in Demon Forged) has been working as a `butler' for the vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont (from Demon Moon) when she is sent to rescue his kidnapped niece, Katherine, along with the aid of his nephew, Blake. While not a vampire like his uncle, Blake, though blind, has his own talents that include being able to see through anyone else's eyes. Given the title of this anthology, I'll give you one guess what kind of breed his seeing eye dog is.
Despite having roughly the same amount of pages as the other authors in this anthology, Meljean delivers the best romance of the bunch in "Blind Spot." It drives me nuts in a story when character's stop for `sex breaks' during life or death situations (for example rescuing your sister from her demon kidnapper). Fortunately, while there is a satisfying amount of romantic tension here, both characters have enough self control to put Katherine's life ahead of their own attraction.
I really only had one problem with this story. I would imagine that growing up together, Katherine and Blake would have learned the most effective ways of communicating with each other, given their unique abilities. And I have to think that sign language would have occurred to someone by now. I mean how hard would it be to look at your own hands and even just spell out a message alphabetically?
This was my first time reading Meljean Brooks and I'm now going to have to add myself to her throngs of fans. Her writing, pacing, characters, and world are simply delicious. The next Guardian book, Demon Blood is due out July 6, 2010.
Sexual Content: References to sex.
[Charlaine Harris' "The Britilingens Go to Hell"] was not at all what I expected, it was more fantasy, and not a Sookie Stackhouse story (apparently though the guards made an appearance in the series - see the comment on my review by Lynda for the details). Two female body guards in an alternate dimension with magic are given the job of escorting a thief back to hell to recover a stolen item he was force to leave behind. - This is the only one of the stories that wasn't a romance all though there is a reference to the heroine `doubling her pleasure and doubling her fun' by taking advantage of the leading man's `special' endowments off screen. The story was okay, but it was basically just a walk-about in Hell, it had almost a MaryJanice Davidson feel. (3 stars)
[Nalini Singh's "Angel's Judgement"] is a romance complete with the promise of a happily ever after. Set before Angels' Blood, we get the backstory for Elena's friend Sara as Sara is on the brink of accepting the job as Guild Director - should she live through the Angels' and vampires' test. Fortunately, using the pretense of aiding Sara in the hunt, for not a vamp but a rogue Guild Hunter, uber dark and sexy Slayer Deacon is on tap as backup. - I have to admit it, I read this one first and I had such high expectations - since I really really liked Angel's Blood - that I liked it when I read it but didn't love it. Unlike Singh's earlier Angel's Blood e-prequel (Angels' Pawn), this prequel doesn't really have the flavor of Angel's Blood. But still this might may be a good thing if you prefer her PsyChangelings, because Singh does write a good short story romance. I liked it better, on the second read with the different expectations. (3.5 stars 1st read, 4 stars on the second)
[Iona Andrews' "Magic Mourns"] was my favorite of the stories, Kate's off recouping from the events of Magic Strikes. Series regulars hyena shifter Raphael and closet hyena beastkin Andrea take a turn in the spotlight, and get a chance at romance while tackling a problem that involves a hellhound, a ghostly shade, some apples and a snake - okay as I mentioned above the short is a nice little carve out from the series. You could live without finding out whether the yummy Raphael and the weapons loving Andrea finally get their hook-up, but why would you want to? This story really has the flavor of the series and does such a good job of weaving in the mythical elements and of course the romance. (5 stars)
[MelJean Brook's "Blind Spot] - Former CIA operative Maggie (a bit player in Demon Forged) finally thought that she had a place to belong with her job as guard and trouble shooter to Savi and Colin (Demon Moon), but a ghost from her past presents a possible conflict of loyalties in Maggie's hunt for a missing woman. Blind hero Blake seems an unlikely ally to help Maggie find his kidnapped sister - but then again Blake is more than he seems. Maggie's going to need Blake's special talents and a hellhound with a sense of humor, to make the right choices - I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Brook's Guardian series, I just love her heroes, and Blake is a good one. Brook also does a good job with the relationship between Maggie and Blake by setting up a pre-existing connection on Blake's part and, instead of rushing to bring the romance to completion, leaving us with a promise of a HEA for Maggie and Blake. (4.5 stars)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Angels' Judgement " - the reason I purchased only to find that I had just read it in "Angels'...Read more