Review: Must Love Hellhounds by Various

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Must Love Hellhounds
Authors: Various
Published: 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Anthology
Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries #9, Guild Hunter #.5, Kate Daniels #3.5, & The Guardians #5.5
Rating: B


The Brittingens Go to Hell by Charlaine Harris

Rating: N/A
Didn’t read this installment in the book. I’ve tried to read Harris in the past but could never really get into her. So I decided to skip this one.


Angels’ Judgment by Nalini Singh

Rating: A-
This is a short prequel story to Singh’s Guild Hunter series. It features Sara Haziz right before she decides to accept the Guild Hunter director job. Its basically a “how they met” story about how Sara and her husband, Deacon, got together. I loved this story.

Sara and Deacon are assigned the job of finding out who is behind a spurt of vampire slayings in the area. Signs point to it being a hunter who has gone rogue. However, things begin to get complicated when one of the archangels decides to test the potential new guild director.

Like most of the things I’ve read from Singh, this was pretty fabulous. However, places felt a little rushed. Singh had several good plot threads going that could’ve easily carried a longer story. Great installment for fans of the series. Continue reading

Read in November

Number of Books Read: 13

Below are the books I read in November but didn’t have time to review this month.


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Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Hidden Legacy #1

Rating: A

A brand new series from the Andrews’ writing team. Nevada Baylor is hired to bring a dangerous fire-starter in to his family before he causes more damage to the city. This is a wonderful start to the Hidden Legacy series. I loved that Nevada’s powers were more defensive, which is different from Andrews’ other heroines who typically have more offensive powers. I look forward to the next book in the series which is slotted to come out sometime next year.


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Tiger Magic by Jennifer Ashley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Shifters Unbound #5

Rating: C

Carly Randal gets pulled into the world of Shiftertown after accepting help from the cat shifter, Tiger. Not the greatest installment in the series, but not bad either. Everything was just too easy for Carly and Tiger, which made reading the book a little boring.


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The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Weathermages of Mystral #1

Rating: C –

After conquering the summerlands in the name of vengeance Wynter takes one of the Summer King’s daughters as his bride. This is one of those books where the heroine spends almost the entire story being neglected and abused by everyone around her. Everyone hated her because of where she came from and they made their opinions really clear, even Wynter. I hate martyr story-lines and this was definitely that. Despite this, CL Wilson’s writing style is engaging and I might eventually pick-up the next book in the series just for that.


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Tethered by Meljean Brook

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Series: Iron Seas #2.5

Rating: A

Yasmeen and Archimedes are blackmailed into helping a friend find a missing relative.  I absolutely loved this short story featuring the main characters from Heart of Steel. They are both dealing with their emotional hang-ups while trying to take care of one another as they head into a dangerous job. I would love to see more of this pair together and I’m hoping that Brook will eventually decide to give them another book to themselves.


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Tarnished Knight by Bec McMaster

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Steampunk Romance

Series: London Steampunk #1.5

Rating: B

Esme is devastated when she finds out that vampire John Doolan has no plans to make her his thrall. The two spend the length of this short story circling each other. I read this to see if I’d be interested in starting the series.  The world here wasn’t anything especially new, but the writing was interesting enough that I’ll give one of the full length books a shot.


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Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Kate Daniels #6

Rating: A

Kate Daniels and crew venture overseas in a bid to get medicine to stop shifters from going loup. I loved this book to pieces. The setting outside of Atlanta was a breath of fresh air for this addition to the series. I loved how vulnerable Kate is with everything that is going on with Curren and the pack. It was also great to see a ramp-up in tension centered around Roland. It feels like the stakes are finally raising in the series and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.


RIVETED, A Novel of the Iron Seas

Riveted by Meljean Brook

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Series: Iron Seas #3

Rating: B+

Annika is from a hidden village in Iceland and has spent the past four years searching for her sister when she runs into David. David is bent on fulfilling a promise to his mother that threatens to expose Annika’s people. While set in the same world as the rest of the Iron Seas series, this book can stand firmly on its own. There are no connections between the other books in the series so this would be a good introduction to the series if you’re not wanting to start with The Iron Duke.

The Kraken King

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The Kraken King

Author: Meljean Brook

Publish Date: 2014

Genre: Steam-punk Romance

Series: Iron Seas, book 4

Rating: A –


In The Kraken King (book 4 in the Iron Seas series) pulp adventure writer, Zenobia Fox, has had a target on her back ever since her brother acquired a fortune on one of his treasure hunts. Now anyone looking to make a quick buck knows that kidnapping her will easily get a ransom from her brother. Tired of living in fear and closeting herself away, Zenobia takes the chance to sail with her friend to Australia. But misfortune loves Zenobia as she quickly finds herself caught in the midst of a brewing conflict over a war machine and is suspected of being a spy.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been following Meljean Brook’s “Iron Seas” series all that close. I read the first novel, The Iron Duke, but didn’t have the urge to jump into the rest of the series. Now, however, I definitely want to go back and read the other books because The Kraken King was fantastic. It feels like Brook has a much better grasp on the world and where she wants to go with it than she did in The Iron Duke.

The world centered on here is a much differnt atmosphere than was featured in Iron Duke, which I liked a lot better. I was pretty impressed with the different politics that Brook incorporated as Zenobia and crew traipse across the continent. It gave the impression that this is a country that is divided and barely hanging onto peace time. Adding to this was the turmoil of the war machine and how the burden of it has fallen onto just a handful of average people.

One thing that Brook continues to do right is that she doesn’t include past main characters from the series unless they serve a function to the plot. This is one area that a lot of long running romance series fail in. Often characters will be inserted into the story to show just how bright and shiny their lives are now, which drags the plot down. So, instead of dreading seeing past characters appear in Brook’s novels, I’m excited because I know they’re appearing for a reason. This was the case here as we got an appearance from Archimedes and Yasmeen from Heart of Steel.

All in all, The Kraken King was a lot of fun. Also, I don’t feel like I missed anything by skipping Heart of Steel and Riveted to get to this one. Can’t wait to see what Brook will come out with next.

Night Shift

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Night Shift

Authors: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane

Publish Date: 2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Series: Psy/Changeling 12.1, Kate Daniels 6.5, SPI Files .5

Rating: B+


Night Shift is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in a while with contributions from three powerhouse writers in their respective genres.

It says something when the “worst” story in a collection is from Nalini Singh. Secrets at Midnight is her contribution and it’s pretty boring. Leopard shifter, Bastien Smith, has scented his mate but quickly finds out that not all is well with her. Singh can write some compelling short stories, so I was surprised at how she seemed to have sleepwalked through this one. The conflict is non-existent and it’s painfully obvious what is going on with his mate from the minute Bastien starts talking about her. If I had to rate this one on an individual basis it would be a C –.

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews was the reason I had been so anxious to get my hands on the anthology. The story takes place in the Kate Daniels world and follows the characters Jim and Dali who were featured in Magic Dreams, which I had adored. This story completely lived up to my high expectations. Dali is approached to look into the case of a missing person and Jim tags along for the ride. It was great to see Dali take the lead and I loved getting a little more of these two working together. I’m still holding out hope that we’ll eventually get a full-length novel featuring Jim and Dali, as they’re just fantastic. A+

Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin was the only author in the collection who was new to me. Makenna Frazier is a seer who gets pulled into a high profile case involving leprechauns on her very first day of work. I’m guessing this is a prequel to Shearin’s Urban Fantasy series starring Makenna because the story works to set-up a much more involved plot. All in all, this was a good contribution and I was intrigued enough by the characters to potentially read the first book in the series. B+

The Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane (aka Meljean Brook) was my second favorite contribution in the anthology. Mala is on a quest for her goddess to tame the beast of Blackmoor in a corrupt kingdom dominated by a tyrant. I really loved how different interpretations of words and personal perceptions influenced this short story. I’m not a huge fan of medieval settings but this one worked for me. I’ll be looking forward to the first full length book set in the world. A-

All in all a great anthology that is well worth the money.

Guardian Demon

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Guardian Demon

Author: Meljean Brook

Publish Date: 2013

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Guardians Book 8

Rating: A


In Guardian Demon, the final book of the Guardians series, things have finally escalated in the war between Guardians and hell. Lucifer has set into motion events that will allow him to break through the barrier to earth and destroy humanity. In order to stop him, the Guardians must pool all their resources together. This includes Andromeda Taylor, who, after the events that brought Michael back from hell has committed herself to leaving the guardians by “falling”.

Guardian Demon was an intense read and an excellent conclusion to these books. What made it so suspenseful was that everyone was racing against the clock to discover Lucifer’s plans for starting the apocalypse and to save loved ones who got pulled into the fire. This became direr as each move seemed to play into his hands. On top of this, Michael has finally returned from his torture in the frozen field and is committed to atoning for what he has done to Taylor before the personal clock he’s racing against runs out.

What I love about Brook is that she isn’t afraid to put her characters through some pain. Just because someone has been a staple of the series since it began or has gotten their own book, doesn’t mean they’re safe. Knowing that characters you love could be hurt makes the emotional impact of the battle so much more engaging. I only wish that Brook had pushed this envelop a bit more in the final confrontation and that ending of the book wasn’t so clean cut.

All in all, this was a fantastic read and a very satisfying conclusion to the series. If you’re looking to get into the Guardians, I would recommend you start at the beginning with Demon Angel since each book builds upon the other. However, if you don’t want to read all 8 books in the series then at least read Demon Angel and Demon Moon prior to this one since the characters from those two books are key ones here.