The Hunt God’s Hound is the third book in the Of Gods and Men series, which takes mythic tales and adds a handful of humor, a lot of lust, a good splash of sex, and lots of love. This story takes place in Ireland with Conall, a young man now trapped in the form of a dog — a female dog — by Lorcan, an ancient and evil Fomor sorcerer. At Conall’s side, as protector and master, is the Tuatha de Danann, Arlen, who has sworn to kill the Fomor or die trying.
Conall’s life has not been an easy one. His parents’ union was not supported by his mother’s family, and when his father died (and his mother soon after), Conall was left to the indifferent mercy of an uncle who hated him. Looking for acceptance, friendship, or any sort of emotional connection, Conall turned to sex with anyone who’d have him. Some of his more common partners are mercenaries passing through who ask no questions; they, like him, are just in it for a pleasant night or two, a quick fuck, and a friendly farewell.
When he’s a dog, the problem of his loneliness and neediness is even more apparent, because as a canine, Conall feels the urge to snuggle up to Arlen and revel in the touch of a hand on his head. When Arlen calls him a good dog, tells him to come, gives him an order, Conall finds himself responding before his mind can get in the way. It’s freeing.
Arlen, too, has been lonely. Losing his father early in the wars between the Tuatha de Danann and the Formoi, he watched his mother struggle to save her people and her family. Arlen has sworn vengeance, swearing an oath that he would kill Lorcan. However, he’s left with Conall, a dog who doesn’t yet know how to hunt. Instead of standing and fighting by his side, Conall needs his protection. And Arlen, who finds himself drawn to the friendly, open young man, wants to do more than just hold him at night. But Conall is in heat, and Arlen won’t take advantage of the young man like that.
While Conall is finally able to shift from female dog to his male human self, some animal traits remain. Ears, a tail, and the burning need of the dog’s heat beneath his skin, but all sexual relations between Arlen and Conell are done between two consenting human (well, one of them is a fae, but close enough) men who know what they want and what they’re doing.
As with the other books in the series, the writing is good, the pacing is perfect, and the humor is on point, but there’s more adventure than world building in this book. Which is fine, as it suits the needs of the story. I am very hopeful that the author continues this series, because I’ve been enjoying all of their books, so far. They’re quick, light, and fun, with a focus on happy endings and loving relationships.