Do NOT go into this book, or this series for that matter, with any preconceived notion of what you think this story will be like. Yes, there are hot hunters of supernaturals and each book in the series is about one of them. But so far, I’ve read the first novella, Shadow Hunter, and this book and I’ve been knocked out of my shit-kicking boots by characters and world building. I can see so much potential for the future stories that Kait Ballenger is now easily one of my favorite paranormal romance authors.
What I love most is that her characters aren’t so much “what” they are. There is so much written into “who” they are…
Jace McCannon hates werewolves. Despises them. He has good reason to; his father was a werewolf and an abusive husband and father. The fact that Jace is half is dad (half-werewolf) leads to a bit of self loathing on Jace’s part in the form of a lot of drinking. He’s a pretty broken guy. He hides the fact that he’s half werewolf from all but his best friend. But it sure does make him a good werewolf hunter.
While he’s out hunting a serial killer, he comes across a gruesome murder scene – and a werewolf. He chases down this werewolf and ends up taking her hostage with the intention of using her to get in contact with the area’s packmaster. Jace wants to find out why the packmaster isn’t out hunting down this serial killer himself because all signs point to the killer being a werewolf. Little does Jace know he has the packmaster in his hands. Literally. And at the most inconvenient time for both of them – a full moon. I won’t explain more because I’d ruin some of the story but that’s how we get a bit hot and heavy early in the story. And I liked it!
Frankie is a great female protagonist. She’s an alpha werewolf and smart – I’ve never read a female alpha werewolf who wasn’t portrayed as a villian! Love!
Supporting characters are introduced and used sparingly in the story so you don’t get overly confused by all the hunters. My favorite is David, the next hunter to have his story told. He totally broke my heart and I think I’m actually looking forward to his story the most (sorry, Jace, your story was good, but David… you almost stole the show for me). And I can’t wait to see who blows the loafers off Shane (what is with all the shoes coming off metaphors??)
Story / World Building / Tempo
The story is mainly centered around werewolves and their culture. And even though Ms. Ballenger is just starting to build her world, she’s already added demons, skinwalkers, gods, and the fae. Vampires are there, too (read Shadow Hunter, seriously – you won’t understand why Damon is such an ass, otherwise).
The story moves pretty quickly. But plot isn’t quite as straight forward as you would think a murder mystery with a romance should be. There is a bit of meandering through a few different aspects to the story so you really never have a chance to get bored. When I thought I had everything figured out, I didn’t quite have the whole story correct. Which was kind of cool. I both figured it out AND was surprised. But yes, it does get all pulled together in the end. Surprisingly, I really wasn’t sure these two “lovebirds” would be together in the end. If you read Shadow Hunter, you might have an inkling why (did I mention that I think you should read that novella?).
Not always pretty, the fight scenes are graphic and the horrors of a sadistic killer are quite brutal but it adds a nice edge to this paranormal romance. It’s the sweet fact that these two opposites can make it to each other in the end that totally makes this story for me. I think Ms. Ballenger has a great start to a series here and I’m seriously jonesing for David’s story, like NOW!!! Oh, how I missed good paranormal romance… not anymore!
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