***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***
Elijah Sorensson has spent over thirty years Offland, only returning home, to his Pack, once a month, during the Iron Moon. He's slowly losing touch with his wild and knows the only way to regain himself is by returning home. But his Alpha demands he stay among the humans, protecting the Pack's interests off Pack territory.
Almost at the end of his tether, utterly disgusted with himself and what he's become, Elijah meets his saving grace. A woman who calls to both halves of him, but mostly to his wild. A woman he can be himself with, a woman he can confide in...But not fully, since she's the biggest taboo of his Pack—she's human.
As its predecessor this story also moved rather slowly, but apart from a few slower than slow scenes, it wasn't boring. It wasn't as suspenseful as the first book in the series either, focusing more on the main character (hero), his inner struggles, and his environment, but it still worked.
At first, Elijah came across as a prick, one of those you meet on the street every day. The smooth operator with an overused pick-up line, but one the story really kicks in, the reader (and the hero himself) realizes Elijah Sorensson, the lawyer and player, is just a mask. A suit he pulls on for those days of the month he's not home, a suit that's become too tight, almost ingrown, until he hardly recognizes himself or knows who and what he really is.
It takes a woman, the right woman, a vegetarian loner with a passion for animals, someone rather similar to him, to bring him out of the thirty-year-old fugue state he's been living in. It takes the right woman to make him see what he's missing and what he's been losing. And it takes the right woman to make him see the true meaning of sacrifice, Pack, and home.
The story is once more told in first-person POV—Elijah's point of view. And once more, it didn't bother me at all. This was mostly a one-character show with the rest of the cast (Thea included) serving as backdrop, set design for Elijah and his character development and change.
I was happy to see more of Silver and Tiberius, discover just how Evie is taking on the Alpha duties...And in the end, I was more than glad to see the Pack would be fully reunited, since I didn't really appreciate how they behaved toward Elijah, almost judging him for his life in the Offland, while it was the Pack that sent him there in the first place.
The issues dealing with the suspense arc of the first story were only touched upon in this one, and since the main architect of evil is still loose, I'm looking forward to what the future might bring. The Pack is growing, and no matter what many of them think, to me having a Shifter and now a human in their midst, will only make them stronger.
After taking a fatal bullet to the chest, Bowen Adrian Knight wakes up deep under the ocean, with a mechanical heart in his chest and a still ticking bomb in his brain. The chip he's had implanted to ward off Psy telepathic attacks is still malfunctioning and still threatening to blow up his brain when it finally gives.
But a BlackSea scientist has maybe found a solution. It still gives him only a five percent chance of survival, but even that is better that instant oblivion. Especially once Bowen lays eyes on the scientist's cousin and resident chef, Kaia Luna. She might hate his guts, but he's persistent, and he can be patient—he's not security chief for nothing...
This was the first Nalini Singh book I had to sleep on, before writing a review about. And I still don't really know what sort of rating it should get, so I'm going with the middle ground. There were so many things right about it (the first half) and so many things not exactly right (second half of it).
Let me start with the good—I loved Bo. I might've been ambivalent toward him when he first appeared, but NS certainly did him a solid with his story. He's no Hawke or Kaleb, but he's a worthy competitor with Max the only other human hero in this series.
He shone in his story, his past and his issues making him a well-rounded character, and his protective streak, his compassion and his emotions making him a worthy hero.
The heroine, Kaia, unfortunately, didn't really make an impact. I sort of liked her, but I never really warmed up to her, and the second half of the story, with her phobia and her idiotic reasoning for not telling Bo about it, and her even more idiotic reasoning of using said phobia to push him away (after she was the one who made things beyond complicated in the first place), ruined her character for me, and ruined every chance she had of getting a pass as a Bowen-worthy heroine.
I just wanted to smack her about the head...Several times.
And that final reversal of her issues felt more like a cop-out than anything else. A pretty little bow to tie it all nicely.
I liked the initial drama of the "impossible" romance, not in the star-crossed-lovers sense, but in the one-of-them-is-dying sense. I loved the intensity, the desperation behind Bowen's wooing of Kaia, despite his knowledge of just how little time he has.
Yet that intensity kept deteriorating the more the story progressed, until it vanished completely as the plot turned into something akin to a soap opera with obstacle upon obstacle thrown into the path of maybe Bowen having a chance after all; and that final race against the clock pushed it a little too far over the edge of melodramatic for my taste.
Unlike its predecessor, where we trembled after that breakup, wondering just how it might all work out in the end (even though we knew it would, this one failed to provide that anxiety...It was like the book was holding our hand telling us it would all be fine while promising heartbreak.
As for the suspense, I liked it. I wasn't crazy about it, but it provided the much needed balance to the supposed tearjerker of the romance. I liked the twists and turns, the guessing game, the red-herring and the surprising reveals (especially that last "villain" proved to be a doozy. Good job.
Yet the ending to it all (so far) came so abruptly, cutting the flow of the story completely off, instead of slowly cruising to a stop.
It felt like a few parts were missing, making the reading experience even more jarring than it already was.
Having read all the above it might look like I didn't really care about the story. I did. The first half was very good, it's the second half that's the problem for me.
But I liked (most of) the characters—especially the secondary cast (Kaia's turtle grandmother was a hoot), and the cameos (Mercy, Hawke, and Kaleb) made my heart sing.
And the ending made me look forward to the future.
SWAT Officer Max Lowry, the youngest "pup" in the Pack meets Lana Mason at a police award ceremony and falls hard, fast, and furious. Luckily the girl is also a werewolf, so his nose tells him, so there shouldn't be any problems in getting with the program. Unfortunately, Lana has no idea she's a werewolf, she's the daughter of the deputy chief of the DPD tactical division...And a group of hunters is gunning for her, having followed her from Austin to Dallas.
What is a "wolf pup" to do?
Well, this is awkward. After six strong books, this seventh in the series left me rather cold. The action was still quite strong, though the suspense was lacking, there was the requisite sarcasm and snark whenever members of the Pack were in the picture...But the spark was gone.
To start with, I didn't really care much about the two protagonists. They sounded so very young (in fact, they were barely in their twenties), it bothered me a little. Their romance was also nothing to write home about, with the two seemingly merely going through the motion, without much feeling or emotion in the background.
The suspense and action could've saved it, but even these two elements lacked intensity and intrigue. Be it the DV case or the main hunters-related action, it felt lackluster and once more the characters didn't seem very involved. I didn't really feel the urgency and the approaching danger; even the final showdown was quite a let-down ending rather quickly and abruptly, the mysterious phone calls between the baddies merely whetting my appetite without delivering much.
I guess I'll have to wait for the next books (although if the hunters story arc is going to drag for nine more books, it will take quite an effort to keep my attention—it will most assuredly take more effort that this particular story managed).
What did "catch my attention" and what I am looking forward to that this book "started" is Zane's story. Keeping my fingers crossed for the poor Brit.
Remy Boudreaux had loved and lost before, and decided never to do it again. Life is much easier spent in pursuit of easy hookups. Then he returns to his hometown of New Orleans for a week of training with the NOPD SWAT, and follows a tantalizing scent through half the city, only to end up in a crowded club, face to face with his highschool best friend (and crush).
Triana Bellamy had a major crush on her friend Remy back in the day, and she doesn't think twice at experiencing what she's been missing in the years they've been apart.
When things start moving too quickly, Remy pulls away, and Triana is devastated. But she soon has another problem to keep her mind occupied. Someone is demanding her mother hand over a wolf-pendant necklace, and the PI she's hired might've stumbled on information that might solve her father's murder...
This book was much more romance-focused than the previous ones, or maybe it just struck me that way, but I didn't mind, since I happened to like this specific romance. Especially since it was the hero's turn to be a stubborn ass, refusing to let himself love his heroine in fear of her getting hurt (and in the end she got hurt even when they weren't together).
I loved both Remy and Triana, him with his scarred heart and fears of being cursed, and her with her inquisitive mind and pride that prevented her from begging for scraps from a man who supposedly didn't care.
It was a little heartbreaking reading about their struggles (Remy really was an idiot), yet reading about their connection was simply adorable. I loved them to bits.
Then there was the suspense. It might not have been as prominent as in the previous books in this series, but it still packed a punch, especially once it became clear that all the little dangling threads were connected. The villain's motive for getting the (apparently insignificant) necklace was a little out there, but the story was set in New Orleans, where things like werewolves and other beings that go bump in the night (not to mention naked men calmly strolling down the street) barely raise an eyebrow.
And the action, mostly that last scene of wolves chasing the car during a tropical storm, was gritty, intense, and vividly depicted.
The story also had the requisite heaping of secondary characters who either provided comic relief and sarcasm (Remy's pack mates—even Cooper made an appearance) or important information on the werewolf lore and werewolf hunters (Triana's mother and the villains).
That last "prediction" why the Pack is suddenly gaining members (either in the form of soul-mates or additional betas and omegas) was rather chilling, but I'm looking forward to the direction this series is taking.