Saturday, November 7, 2009
Missed Wednesday: Must Love Hellhounds
Well, last Wednesday was A-Z Wednesday, but it was also an all-day volunteer day at the school, as well as a hectic evening. So sadly I did not finish my M book on time. I should have gone for a kid book, but instead I grabbed a library hotspot, Must Love Hellhounds, a new book of paranormal novellas (not short stories, which was my downfall) with Charlaine Harris headlining. The cover was a bit racy to let the school kids see, which hindered my reading on the volunteer job. Many of the kids showed up at the vision screening with books, because their teachers made them carry books around. "Me too!" I'd pipe, pointing at my carefully face-down paperback on the desk.
The four stories all had to involve a scary hellhound, either as a good guy or a bad guy. Harris's story picked up on some minor characters in her Sookie Stackhouse books; the Britlingen bodyguards take on a client who is even more trouble than a vampire. Nothing fancy but a fun story with a tiny hint of love interest and some fun name dropping. Nalini Singh's story was clumsier, with an annoying instant attraction between the main characters that kept me from enjoying the plot. On the other hand, her setting is so crazy that I may seek out some books just to revel in the wackiness (see, vampires are created by angels, bossed by archangels, and with special human ninja types to keep them in line!).
Ilona Andrew's piece had another of the annoying attractions, when the protagonist spends so much time thinking about how hot the man is that she can't consider minor issues like whether he has a personality. And the special creatures of her story are were-hyenas, which are original but rather icky. Finally, Meljean Brook's story of an ex-CIA butler and her client's blind nephew gave a fun finish, as the characters were actually fleshed out and the story and world interesting.
I was expecting another lighthearted book of loosely themed stories, such as Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (werewolves at Christmas), but instead I think this is a book of introductions to an author's world, such as Mean Streets did with Jim Butcher and all. And it seems to do a decent job of this, although the only author I'm familiar with is Harris, and her story had little to do with her series. I'm interested in seeing what is happening in Singh's books (although I shall probably laugh in all the wrong places), and Brook's writing was good enough that I'd pick up more, so for me this book succeeded in its intentions.