Right off the bat, I want to apologize for the amount of excerpts I have used in this review. I simply loved too many parts of this book, and just had to include my favorite sections. Let’s just say, it’s a “celebration” of the moments that captured me.
Another great book to the series, Book six (Vane’s book) shifts gears slightly and allows us into the world of the Were-Hunters. I loved it and would consider it one of my favorites so far! Vane was one of the sweetest, most gentle and least brazen of the bunch.
As we’ve learned in Talon’s book, Vane is a Were-Hunter. Were-hunters are essentially, Apollites that have had their essence magically spliced with that of animals (in an attempt to keep them alive past their cursed 27th birthday). What resulted were two species of “shifters” (of sorts), that despised each other (Katagaria – animal in nature but can shift to human form, and the Arcadians – human in nature but can shift to animal form).
Zane was born to a Katagaria father (beastly in both form and personality), and an Arcadian mother who was taken against her will and raped by his father. His mother abandoned her litter once born, leaving her pups to be raised by the Katagaria. Unfortunately, for Zane, as he aged, he realized he was human in nature and struggled to keep his animal form so as not to be killed by his Katagaria family when they realized he took after his Arcadian mother.
Regularly abused, neglected and alienated from his “people”, the only ones that truly loved him were his siblings Fang and his sister Anya. Fang, a true Katagaria, assisted his brother through their childhood in keeping his secret, and teaching him how to hunt. As adults, Anya (and her pups) were killed one evening, while Fang and Vane were away, assisting the Dark-Hunters in protecting “Sunshine” (remember Talon’s book?). The death of Anya enraged their father, and he contracted Daimons to hunt and kill his sons for betraying them by helping the Dark-Hunters.
Somewhat successful in their escape after being attacked by the Daimons, Vane brought his now comatose brother “Fang” to “Sanctuary” (the local hangout for all the paranormals) to be cared for and protected from his father while he planned what to do next.
Vane, walking down the streets of New Orleans, walks by a shop and sees the one woman who has been haunting his heart since the first time he saw her (that night that he had protected Sunshine).
Bride, a gentle soul, who has just been terribly hurt by her pompous fiance finds herself dumped via a FedEx’d letter, and kicked out of their home. Crying alone in her shop, she was devastated.
Fierce anger tore through him. It was bad enough that his life sucked, the last thing he wanted was to see someone like her cry.
Vane, unable to stop himself, walks into the shop to console her.
Finally she laughed. The sound lightened his heart instantly.
“Is that a smile?” he asked.
She nodded and sniffed delicately before she laughed again.
Returning her smile, Vane reached out and cupped her cool cheek. She was so beautiful when she laughed. Her dark amber eyes sparkled. Before he could stop himself, he leaned down and kissed the tears from her lashes.
After he helps mend her broken heart, Bride not ready to pull away from him just yet, makes a special request, leading them (and us) into one of the most delicious love scenes I have ever read. I don’t know why this one got to me, but it had a certain je ne sais quoi…deeply intimate and connected.
Something inside him relished the rarity of this.
In a life where violence and territory and blood wars reigned, it was nice to have a reprieve. A tender lover’s touch.
The human side of him craved this.
It craved her.
After they reluctantly part ways, they each discover a burning pattern developing in the palm of their hands. Bride has no idea what it could be, but Vane quickly realizes what it means…
Colt ducked under the bar and came up behind him. His jaw went slack. “You’re mated?” He asked incredulously. “Who’s the lucky she-wolf?”
Vane couldn’t breathe as he saw the marking. How could this be?
Colt laughed. “Yeah, right, you sound like Serre when he got mated. Trust me, it happens to the best of us.”
“No,” they said, meeting the bear’s gaze. “She’s human. I am a wolf. I can’t be mated to a human. It’s not possible.”
The color faded from Colts face as the full impact of the situation hit him. “You unlucky bastard. It’s not often that an Arcadian mates to a human, but it does happen.”
“I’m not Arcadian,” vein snarled. There was nothing human in him. Nothing.
Colt grabbed his hand and held it up to the line of sight. “Argue with this all you want to. But face it, Vane. Your three weeks are ticking. Either you claim the human or you live the rest of your life without ever feeling another female’s touch.”
Should be easy enough, right? He’s gorgeous and we quickly realize, she can’t stop thinking about him. But how can the very skeptical, human ”Bride” accept a half-wolf as her lover? And worse yet, how can he possibly keep her safe, when he is being hunted?
There were so many great moments, that made me chuckle, from Vane attempting to enter her life as a possible “pet wolf”,
Kyrian started for the stairs, then stopped as he caught sight of the wolf sitting quietly behind Bride.
“Is that who I think it is?” Amanda asked him.
Kyrian cocked his head. “Yeah, I think so.”
Bride’s heart stopped. “You know his owner?”
Kyrian looked a bit uneasy with her question. “He doesn’t really have an owner per se. How did you end up with him?”
“He turned up at my house and I took him in.”
Kyrian and Amanda exchanged a puzzled look. “He let you?”
Tabitha opened her mouth as if she understood what they were thinking. “Oh dear Lord, don’t tell me he’s one of your cockamamie friends.”
to asking for dating advice from Nick
He stepped forward and draped an arm around Vane’s shoulders. “All right, listen to me, Wolf. You get some clothes and impress her with a lot of cash. You need to take her somewhere good to eat. There is a place down on Chartres where you can get a two-for-one dinner-”
They all turned to look at Amanda, who stood between the curtains, glaring at them.
“What?” Nick asked.
“Don’t you dare tell him how to date.” Amanda came over and handed her daughter to Kyrian. “Have you ever noticed that Mr. Suave here seldom dates a woman twice. There’s a reason for that.”
And wait until you read through the Thanksgiving supper with Bride’s family!
The charming character development (including the Roman Dark-Hunter, Valerius), the complex but precious relationships formed, alliances, and the family history that goes back hundreds of years make up a very full and rewarding tale. Another great little twist in the end had me smiling, and I can honestly say, there was no part of this book that I didn’t love.