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4.1 out of 5 stars16
4.1 out of 5 stars
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I'm not going to go into details about the individual tales, as previous reviewers have provided a great synopsis, but I got this one mainly for the above-mentioned authors, and have to say, that overall I was a touch disappointed.

I am highly-anticipating the release of Magic Bleeds, the 4th Kate Daniels book and was keen to read the novella in this book, and thought that it was pretty darned good. Andrea has appeared in the series before, and I liked how the author managed to get her an entirely believable romance in this novella, complete with Alpha hunk and a really good storyline that never stopped. Yes, in between hunting a vampire and battling Cerberus,a three-headed hellhound, we had lots of naked hunky Raphael (he shifts on purpose so that when he reverts back to his human body, he's naked in Andrea's presence!), we had Andrea overcoming the trauma and hurts not only of her childhood, but recent events and we get hot passion and some very sexy scenes. This novella alone made it worth reading the antho.

The Charlaine Harris tale disappointed, as did her recent Grave Secret. This was the first book of hers that I read in this new world, and whilst of the 4 tales it was not the worst, it was not developed enough nor were the characters likeable enough for me to want to read more of them. TMI at the beginning, would have been better suited to a longer , stand-alone novel.

Nalini Singh I read once when she was still writing Silhouette Desire books, and despite the hype of her paranormals, I've never been able to get into her, and this was no different. I think that if I'd persevered and read her Psi books I might have gotten into this world, but this tale did not do it for me.

I did not manage to read the Meljean Brooks tale at all - I started, thought it a tad silly (Sir Pup, another three-headed dog...?. Silly name for a hellhound) and gave up.

Overall, readable, but get it from your library rather than buying it, unless of course, you absolutely love all of the authors.
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Four new novellas from top Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance authors connected by one single thing: the awesomeness of hellhounds. At least, that's the plan...

** The Britlingens go to Hell - Charlaine Harris **
Two bodyguards are hired by a thief to descend into Lucifer's realm and retrieve what their client stole once before.

I've not read a lot by Harris, but as a taster the sheer weight of info-dumping at the beginning did not impress me. Things do get more interesting once Narcissus and Amelia Earheart appeared (which I'll admit were a pretty nifty couple of references), but on the whole it fell a little flat for me.
3 stars.

** Angels' Judgement - Nalini Singh **
In a world where vampires are Made by business-minded Angels, it's up to the human populated Guilds to keep all the contracts straight. And from these Guilds come Hunters to keep the vampires in line.

Sara Haziz has been offered the job as Director of the American Guild, but it's not a decision a girl can make in a day. While she's thinking it over, she's sent to find a rogue Hunter, who's started killing innocent vampires. It's dangerous work, especially with the Archangels eager to test the possible new Director. Luckily for Sara, another Hunter, Deacon has been sent to help her out. In whatever way she desires.

A tight, brilliant paced tale, with plenty of action. Hot and deadly, it's a fascinating setting that leaves me wanting more.
4 stars.

** Magic Mourns - Ilona Andrews **
Magic has returned to the world, but it isn't constant. It comes and goes in waves, and brings any number of surprises along with it. Which is what the Order (of Knights of Merciful Aid) is there to deal with. Andrea Nash is a knight, currently doing her best to fill Kate Daniels' shoes. Kate isn't a knight, but she is on terms with all the supernatural communities in Atlanta. So when someone spots a werehyena (bouda) with his tail on fire, being chased by Cerberus, she gets the call. But Andrea has supernatural secrets of her own, and one bouda holds a particular interest for her. Besides, any chance to get out the office and whip out her guns is good enough for her.

I love this world that Andrews has created, I love the details, I love the set-up, I even love her take on vampires. The Kate Daniels series is one of the best in the genre, and this novella is no different. Andrea makes a nice change from Kate's POV, and it's great to get more background on her. And Raphael is just gorgeous. (Kate does make a brief appearance too. Love the apple pie reference.)

Brush up on your Greek myths, take a deep breath and prepare for action.
5 stars. (Though I may be biased.)

** Blind Spot - Meljean Brook **
A missing woman, a blind man with special abilities and a vampire's butler - not to mention Sir Pup, the three-headed hellhound - are drawn together to solve the kidnapping mystery. And that's just the beginning.

This story from Brook's 'Guardian' series, centres on the search for Katherine, but along the way Maggie and Geoff are sweet, amusing and professional by turns. At times Geoff's abilities are wonderfully touching - not to mention nifty. But Sir Pup steals the show. I want one.
4 stars.

With some brilliant stories, this anthology is a great taster of some of the finest PR/UF writers of today. For fans of the existing series, and newcomers, there's plenty to enjoy here.
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VINE VOICEon 29 November 2009
I am an Ilona Andrews junkie, and quite into Ms Singh's Angel books, so bought this solely for these two authors, however these are all readable stories, of a goodly length, that absorb and entertain.

Britlingens Go to Hell: I presume this is based on a known world and characters, but as its totally unfamiliar to to me, it didn't really enthuse me as there wasn't time to get into it.

Angel's Judgment - Brilliant! It probably helps to have read the full length novel Angel's Blood (which I commend), and the additional background that comes in Angel's Pawn, a novella only available I think as an e-book. Having said that, they all cover a similar period and share characters, so reading them in any sequence will work.

Magic Mourns - well it's a Kate story - nuff said! I like the change of perspective, although I got a tad confused by the very sudden change of perspective right at the end - wings I thought, how'd she suddenly get wings? I got there! Its almost a year until the next one comes out, and the taster at the end of On The Edge makes me want to read it now, this instant! Whether this story will work if you haven't read the books I'm not sure - probably, but what an excuse to immerse yourself in the world of Kate Daniels, ;-)

Blind Spot - good, lovely interaction between the main characters, believable emotions - I've read this one twice, and will explore this author some more.

So, a good buy, although why all book are now coming out as these large format, floppy paperback I don't know - unless its to justify the cost (well duh!). Totally messes up my bookshelf planning...
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VINE VOICEon 30 October 2009
Like a lot of readers I am having withdrawal symptoms from Ilona Andrews writing. All the little teasers we've been getting of the next Kate Daniels novel, are just not enough. Having said that it was great to read 'Magic Mourns' which is from Andrea, Kate's gun loving friend's p.o.v. Sadly Charlaine Harris' story was the only weak one. Clovache and Batanya who some readers will remember as secondary characters from one of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, just didn't have what it takes to really grab this readers attention. Though the story was fast paced, the main characters don't have what it takes to be main characters, even for a short story.
Nalini Singh always delivers and did so with her story 'Angels' Judgement', I haven't read any of her new series yet but after this I will. Though the only thing I'd previously read of Meljean Brook's was boring and over complicated. Her story 'Blind Spot' had great characters and an enjoyable story, making me think that I need to read more of her writing. A great anthology with only one limp offering.
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on 18 July 2012
Charlaine Harris has gone further up in my estimation! In the strange world of Witches, bodyguards and contracts Crich and Lis 2 Britlingers go into Hell on a mission to retrieve a ball! Trying to dodge the tunnel making giant slime snails and mating Demons, they plough on in search of their quest. I loved all the humour and imaginative talent shown in this tale, as with lots of fairytales it does have a bit of cop out/happy ending.

I have never read Nalini Singh before but wow I certainly will be again! A power warped world of Vampires, Hunters & Angels! The Guild needs a new leader and a killer is on the loose - this has more twists than Hampton Court maze. Beautifully erotic in it writing Ms Singh is an author I want more of. A rise to power, sex, politics and Vampires to boot.... plus the cutest puppy called Slayer!

I could not get interested into the other 2 stories... I did not enjoy the childish writing or the daft content.... but others appear to love them! Just as an anthology should be I suppose!
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on 18 December 2013
Bought it mainly for the Charlaine Harris story and that was okay, not her best but not her worst. I enjoyed the Nalina Singh and the Illona Andrews as well, I am have read other pieces by these authors and do feel you need a bit of prior knowledge of the worlds they create to get the best out of these stories, but its not essential . I thought the Meljean Brook was the stand out story from the book. Not having read her before I will now go and look up some of her other work.
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The Britlingens Go to Hell by Charlaine Harris

Batanya and Clovache are bodyguards in the service of the Britlingen Collective. The ladies have only recently completed their last assignment, yet are called in for a new mission. The pair's new client is named Crick. No matter how innocent the man pretends to be, Batanya and Clovache can tell he is hiding information. It is not until the contract is signed that the bodyguards learn where they are going. Crick is heading to Hell so he can steal Lucifer's conjuring ball. It is the only destination in which no one has ever returned from.

***** FIVE STARS! Exciting and intriguing. The Collective is worth having its very own series! *****

Angels' Judgment by Nalini Singh

The Cadre of Ten are the archangels who rule the world in all ways that matter. They meet when Simon, the human Guild Director of the American Chapter, decides he will retire within the next year. Simon informs them that he chooses Sara Haziz to be his successor. Once done, Simon calls in Deacon to be Sara's bodyguard without her knowledge. Why? Certain archangels may feel the urge to "test" her. Though the Guild hunts and retrieves Made vampires who break their Contracts, the hunters do their best not to kill them. However, very rarely, a hunter cracks and seems to go insane. Should that happen the one called "Slayer" hunts down the hunter and terminates him.

Sara knows almost instantly that Deacon is a babysitter, but is shocked to learn he is also "Slayer". The two are out to find a vampire serial killer. The evidence points to the killer being a hunter from the Guild. At the same time, Sara must keep her eyes out for a possible life-threatening test or two.

***** FIVE STARS! Even though I have not read any title in the "Guild Hunter" series, I was enthralled throughout this entire story. Outstanding! *****

Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews

When someone has a magic problem in which the police could not handle, the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid get a call. Kate Daniels, of the Atlanta chapter, is on medical leave. Andrea Nash is filling in for her. When Andrea gets a call of a shapeshifter in distress, of course she responds. Andrea never expected to find Cerberus chasing Raphael. Raphael Medrano is a werehyena who pants after Andrea. (She has been avoiding him lately.) Raphael is searching for the one who stole the body of his mother's human mate, Alex Doulous. Turns out Cerberus is circling, sniffing around, a house filled with at least one vampire. And vampires are often controlled by a navigator, such as a necromancer. Andrea and Raphael have no idea how many vampires are in the house, but one thing is for sure; Doulous is inside.

**** FOUR STARS! This is one of the most unique stories I have read involving shapeshifters and vampires. Though I have never read a full-length novel by this husband and wife writing team, you can bet I soon will. ****

Blind Spot by Meljean Brook

Maggie Wren is a former CIA operative. Her previous employer had been a congressman. Maggie's last mission had been to assassinate her fellow operative, Trevor James. Learning that the congressman was a demon, literally, she quit. That was three years ago. Now Maggie's employer is a vampire. (Again, literally.) She is over the household management and personal security (a.k.a. the butler with a gun) for Colin Ames-Beaumont, billionaire owner of Ramsdell Pharmaceuticals.

Geoffrey Blake is the nephew of Maggie's boss. All who meet him believe he is blind. However, even though Geoff cannot see out of his own eyes, he can see out of the eyes of anyone near him. And no matter how far away his sister, Katherine, is Geoff can through her eyes. So when Katherine is kidnapped, Maggie and Geoff go hunting for her. Accompanying them is Sir Pup, a hellhound.

**** FOUR STARS! I have one glaring problem with this story. When Katherine is imprisoned in an RV, she tries to help Geoff know where she is by viewing car plates. Katherine notices the license plate on the car traveling BEHIND the RV has South Carolina plates. Problem is that South Carolina does NOT have front license plates, only rear. Otherwise, this story is great. It blends romance, mystery, and a bit of paranormal with a twist. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 17 August 2013
I like the book and before purchasing I knew only one of the authors placed in this compilation. But it was nice surprise that all other stories were also very good. It made me to look at the other authors too. If you like supernatural stories then you can enjoy this book.
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on 5 July 2010
I've read all of Charlaine Harris's books, but I was really shocked by just how crap her story was! Nalini's story is good, but even I, as an avid fan don't feel it's worth the price tag.

The other stories were ok, but seriously not worth the money
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on 12 December 2013
The first two novellas, by Charlaine Harris and Nalini Singh, were great but I am afraid I was very unimpressed by the third and fourth offerings and won't be rushing to read anything by those two authors.
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