Title: A Hellhound Called Derek
Series: Mated to the Human (Book 1)
Author: Michelle Frost
HEA or HFN: HEA
Touch his mate and you’ll wish for the fires of hell.
Alpha of the Hellhound enforcers, Derek doesn’t think he has time for a mate until the Paranormal Council of the city gives him one.
Hollis is smart, funny, vulnerable…human, and his police commissioner uncle has designs to use Hollis’s new mating for his own ends.
He’ll learn quickly not to mess with a hellhound’s mate.
A Hellhound Called Derek is the first in this fast-paced novella series where the paranormals are all deliciously protective of their humans…no matter what type of trouble they get into.
“No. I understand that this isn’t ideal and kinda fucking crazy, and I have no idea how it’s going to go, but the one thing I can tell you about it is this.” Derek took both of Hollis’s hands in his own again. “You don’t ever have to fear me. Hell, you don’t have to fear anything. You’re my mate now and under hellhound protection.”
What I loved:
I loved this. First off, I was pleasantly surprised by how low angst the romance between the main characters ended up being. Personally, I tend to prefer “easier” romances between the heroes in the romances I read (there are definitely exceptions to this, such as The Alpha’s Warlock, which I reviewed last week).
There was very little resistance from either of the heroes about jumping head-first into love. They pretty much both knew right away that they were in it to win it. And, honestly, from the very first moment these guys were on the page together, I was rooting for them. Derek cared so much about making sure Hollis was okay and he was extremely protective of his human mate. But, like, the good kind of protectiveness. As in, the kind didn’t make me wonder if I should have Hollis blink twice if he wasn’t okay and needed me to call someone for him.
Derek wasn’t like that at all. He was strong and protective, but also clearly a very kind and caring person who wanted, from the very beginning, to make their unusual situation as easy on Hollis as possible.
However, despite the fact that these guys kind of went all-in from the beginning, Hollis still ended up needing to learn how to stand up for himself against his family in order to really be able to accept love whole-heartedly. This is something his low-key cinnamon-roll of an alpha demon mate was fully willing and able to show him how to do. This was a nice touch, because it demonstrated that their relationship helped Hollis become a stronger, more actualized person. This is a common part of the character arc for at least one of the heroes in romance (and rightfully so, because it’s wonderful) but I think it was especially well done here.
And honestly, reading these two very different guys get to know each other, protect each other, and comfort each other was just very, very sweet. The book was quite short (about 85 pages), but it still felt like a complete story. The external plot did end up developing quite fast in the last half of the book (perhaps even a bit too fast) but that was actually 100% okay with me, since it let us get back to the relationship between Hollis and Derek.
In terms of spice level, it was about right for the length of the story. There were a couple of explicit scenes between the heroes, but it was definitely more sweet than spicy.
Overall, this was a quick and pleasant read with two very adorable main characters who end up being SO DANG GOOD TOGETHER. I totally recommend this, especially if you find yourself in the market for a good “palate cleanser” after reading a dark or angsty romance.