Author: Elizabeth Coldwell
Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
When an ancient enemy is summoned to destroy his pride, a lion shifter must fight to protect the man he loves.
Kees van der Veer has never forgotten the mysterious stranger who seduced him on Millennium Eve and who promised that when the time was right, they would be together again. Returning to Amsterdam after fifteen years away, he is reunited with that stranger, entering into a world of love and danger he could never have imagined.
Arjan is a lion shifter, part of a pride who has lived in Amsterdam since its Golden Age. He has spent fifteen years regretting the need to drive his destined mate away after one night of blissful passion. But only once they meet again can he reveal to Kees the truth of his heritage. When an old enemy is summoned to destroy the pride, Arjan must act to protect not only his family but also the man he loves.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of light BDSM and food-play.
Ok I debated on my rating for this story. At first I was inclined to give this a 3 because there were parts of the story that I found interesting enough to keep me reading until the end. But once it was all said and done, the things I struggled with in this story outweighed the potential of the rest and I unfortunately had to settle on a 2 star rating.
First I would like to say that the plot in this story was interesting and kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed the idea of the shifter hunter. I liked that things were not revealed until the end and I liked that I honestly did not come close to guessing the hunter’s true identity. However, I felt like this portion of the story was the only thing that flowed well and had any time of forethought and cohesion.
This was the start of a series about shifters, yet there was very little information given about shifters. Arjan was really the only lion shifter that the readers got to meet in any detail and he had been exiled from pride life for some time. The author established a few key shifter traits such as life span, the initiating factors of shifting, and the idea of fated mates, but that was as far as it went. There was no real look into pride life or dynamics and there were no secondary shifters introduced to carry this series forward. So to be honest, I am not really eager for book 2 because I have no clue who it will be about and the plot from this one does not carry on forward. This to me does not make for a successful first installment in a series.
I also think that there is only so much being “fated mates” I can forgive in terms of relationship development. This idea of fated mates was not the usual. There was no mating bite to form an irreversible bond between the men. There was just this strong pull towards each other to get the men going in the right relationship direction. Only, the author treated the mating as if there were this instant bond. But then she did not follow through. The men never had that instant love a bond creates, but at the same time they never spent the time necessary to get to know each other and form love organically. It was as if the author could not decide which way she wanted the mating to go, so she added a bit of both but not enough of each to make one win out over the other. I found myself rolling my eyes a lot at the relationship portion of this story because the men NEVER TALKED. They had sex, a LOT. Every time they had an emotional moment, they had sex. Every time there was anxiety, they had sex. Every time they ate, they had sex. Every time they worked together, they had sex. But they never took the time to get to know one another. And then, they were in love! Oh but wait, it wasn’t love enough to keep Kees in Amsterdam even though he swore he cared for Arjan above all else. But then they were in love and had to be together. But Kees still needed to move back to New York because, job and stuff. But then they were in love and proposing marriage. It was so contradictory and convoluted and just plain confusing that I gave up caring if they made it or not.
Honestly, I felt like there were good portions of this story missing. As if the editing team removed chunks of the story, but then the author didn’t go back and adjust for the now missing pieces of information. The story felt choppy and full of holes that left me feeling cheated. I never felt the emotions that the characters talked about. I never got to see Arjan becoming a member of the pride again, and I never got to see the outcome of his introducing a human as his mate. This was a big deal in this story, yet there was never any resolution. Also, there really was no “fight” for Arjan to protect his pack or his mate. He ran around appearing paranoid and telling everyone about the hunter, but never actually did more than argue about it until the end, when the “fight” lasted a few paragraphs and was over easily and as predicted.
I hate reviews like this, but I think this story was missing some vital developmental elements and I cannot recommend this to anyone.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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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