Title: Pretty Poison
Author: Kari Gregg
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Noah fell from an eighth story balcony as a toddler, cracking open his skull and shattering his body. The accident would’ve killed a human, but even shifter blood can’t heal some damage. After the pack recommended a mercy killing, Noah’s family ran. But there’s no outrunning the mating pact formed before Noah’s birth.
Wade, the new alpha, chooses an adult Noah to fulfill the pact. Wade believes the previous alpha was a fool to reject Noah as a weak and inferior wolf, but Noah’s family was wrong to hide him and starve his wolf, too. Human doctors with human medicines are poison to shifter physiology. Now that Noah is fully grown, halting his shift to retain the pins, plates, and bars holding him together hurts rather than helps him, and for Wade, more than Noah’s recovery is at stake.
Noah’s family sacrificed everything to keep him alive. Noah will do whatever it takes to save them—including mate with the alpha who is determined to correct past mistakes and defeat old prejudices contaminating the shifter community.
Too bad some still believe Noah is the true poison…and should be culled from the pack for good.
Like Joe Pesci in that rollicking classic film “Lethal Weapon 2”: ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, lemme tell you about this here book. Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, so here’s what happened…
Noah, no one should ever and I mean EVER even have the seedlings of a dream of hurting this man. Hear me? Yes?? Ok, then we’re off to a good start. No joke, this is how I felt just three percent into this story. Three percent. Tres.
Of course… it wasn’t much later than this that, uhhhmm, the very author herself, er, had poor Noah suffering. Granted, not necessarily at the hands of others, sort of, but it was painful nonetheless. Let me just tell you, this writer is good at that: describing physicality, painful or otherwise. That’s not an easy thing to do, to describe that mix of physical and emotional that comes from our body and heart reacting simultaneously. This author? Pshaw, she’s got that down.
Another interesting aspect of this story was the juxtaposition of terminology and customs that felt very olde world with very modern settings and concerns. Sometimes it struck me as a bit odd but that too worked.
So, already, we have a character worthy of investment, we have pain, we have excellent description and a unique flavor, both to the story and the writing style. Shall we continue? Yes, let’s.
Romance. Yes, romantic gestures, romantic words and yet, none of it felt ick. You see, I don’t do the ultra-sweet very well. I have to be the in the mood and it has to be done… well. Welp, add that to the list of ingredients to this crazy bouillabaisse.
Noah is determined, strong, smart, and has been sheltered to a great extent. This alters his perceptions and expectations, especially in the beginning. I felt that coming off in waves and it definitely helped set the mood, for him and for the story.
Which leads me to: Wade. He’s the other half of this unlikely pairing. And yet, saying unlikely can also mean very much alike, these two. They both have their motivations and they are well-supported, their intentions meaningful, important. These are revealed throughout the story, and excitingly, not just to us readers. Noah and Wade do share things with each other, even if reluctantly sometimes. These tactics are well used in continually tilting the playing field. Eventually, things do even out and in a very satisfying way.
Speaking of, can I just say that this book is fucking hot as all hellfire! The chemistry between these two is hella evident and we get to wallow all around in it. Youbetcha! Bonus: hot sex that actually furthers the story. Imagine that. Omigoodgraciousme, you will not be disappointed. Yeah, some of you will know one thing in particular I am refusing to mention: everyone should get to experience this as it happens. Woot!
Supporting characters: check! Fletcher sort of snuck up on me with his role and his importance, wee Chase is adorable as anything and Mia is crucial, cranky and fabulous. Noah’s family plays a smaller role, each of them, but they appear during important moments, so they’re well utilized.
The relationship, fledgling, between Noah and Wade really is presented beautifully, with constantly changing dynamics and appearances. And instead of misunderstandings causing setbacks that ring with false weight, they’re used as tools to reveal even more about each of them, both as individuals trying to figure all of this insanity out and as a duo.
On this similar tip, I absolutely loved that a disagreement between Noah and Wade in regards to whether Noah is healthy enough to carry a litter of whelps felt exactly the same as any two people discussing how and when and if they should start a family. I mean, we’re talking about a guy carrying bebes, wolf pups, for his shifter lover. And yet, it felt right!! That’s because it is. 😉
It’s just another example of how when one man is feeling week and unsure, the other steps up, and vice versa.
Believe it or not, there is a theme to this book and it literally screamed out at me and I screamed right back with a FUCK YEAH: being different is a good thing, it shouldn’t be something used an excuse to exclude or minimize or relegate. Vive la difference! And if there’s hot sex involved, mores the better.
Every now and then there was a mismatch between what was happening and the words used, but meh, I cared not, at least not enough to harm my joy. There are minor issues with sentence and overall structure, but none of these things diminished my obvious, unexpected and gleefully transparent enjoyment of this book. HA!! I’m still laughing at myself about it and I frakking love that. Read this book!
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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