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Book Review of Must Love Hellhounds: The Britlingens Go to Hell / Angel's Judgement / Magic Mourns / Blind Spot

sfvamp avatar reviewed on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2

This anthology was consistently interesting to me but only because I was familiar with the worlds in which these stories took place. I don't think that I would have liked three out of four of these stories if I had read them without any knowledge of the series they belong to.

The only exception to this was "The Britlingens Go To Hell." I really liked this standalone by Charlaine Harris. I haven't read anything else by this author and from the Twilight-like devotion she has inspired in her books and from the HBO series, True Blood, I didn't expect her style of writing to resonate with me. I was pleasantly surprised! I could have read a full length novel about these characters and their adventures. The setup and characterization reminded me fondly of Tanya Huff's Four Quarters series. This was by far my favorite addition to the anthology for its creativity, humor, and the characterization of the three main heroes.

The next story, "Angel's Judgment" was really well written and interesting insomuch as it fits into the Guild Hunters series. It was an adequate short story but the only reason it worked for me as a romance was because I had previously read stories that happen later in the series and knew already how much these characters come to love each other.

Ilona Andrews' "Magic Mourns" was another decent story that worked as a romance because the characters already had history. I'm not as familiar with the series in which this takes place so I felt like I was missing some crucial backstory but not enough that I couldn't enjoy the characterization of the two main protagonists. I didn't feel like the story had much plot however. It had the opposite problem as "Angel's Judgment" in that the plot didn't do the characters justice but their romance was more believable.

Meljean Brook's "Blind Spot" was another interesting side story from her Guardian series, but it would have been totally confusing to anyone who hasn't read at least the first two books and possibly more. I believed the hero's obsession with the woman, but I didn't understand why she was so drawn to him. Brooks can be difficult to read at times, her stories convoluted. But this story was relatively simple and easy to understand especially if you already have an understanding of the world in which it is set.