Author: Elizabeth Coldwell
Publisher: Totally Bound
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Will he sacrifice everything for the sake of his human mate?
Thwarted in his efforts to become head of the Amsterdam pride of lion shifters, Kaspar de Wit flees to England. He finds himself in Bath, home of the biggest English pride, and begins to make a new life among friends. What he doesn’t know is that he’s moved to a city steeped in bloody ritual. Destiny seems to have drawn Kaspar to the place where he’ll meet his mate–but does something more horrifying lie in wait for him, too?
Jon Fellowes, professor of archaeology at Bath University, is obsessed with the standing stones that dominate the Somerset landscape and the people who raised them. He’s heard tales of strange creatures, half-man, half-lion, that once roamed the land, but dismisses them till he meets the beautiful Kaspar and learns the bizarre truth of his nature. As an ancient rite is revived and terror stalks the countryside, can Jon and Kaspar overcome the natural distrust between humans and shifters to find true love? Or will one of them be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of voyeurism, MM orgies and bloody violence.
This book started out at a disadvantage. Book one left me feeling disinterested in this series. I formed no connection to Kaspar so there was little to recommend me going forward with book two after the first one left me wanting. I picked this one up because I had already requested it to review.
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that book two was more cohesive than book one and held my interest. Once again it was the plot that stole the show, but this story had more character growth and I connected to this one better than the first story.
I was a bit concerned because I did not like the Kaspar that was presented to me at the start of this book. I was not given any history about him and why he felt he had a shot at becoming the next pride leader. What the author did show me made him appear lazy and rather petulant, expecting to gain leadership of the Pride, yet not displaying any traits necessary for leadership. Running away the instant things did not go his way and life seemed to be too difficult. But as the story moved forward, Kaspar became less petulant and the author revealed things about him that made my sympathetic to him. I began to like him and by the end I really enjoyed seeing him find and connect with his mate. There were still some gaps and history that was missing, but overall, Kaspar was a decent character.
Jon was a bit different for me as the author deliberately built the story as to be a bit confusing. I liked Jon, he had a bit of a history and some issues to overcome before he could love again. But I never understood why he wouldn’t share his past with Kaspar and this lead me to believe that the mystery man in the ritual killings might in fact be Jon himself. There was a time I contemplated putting this story down because I was certain Jon was a bad man and not good enough for Kasper. But then all was revealed and I was so wrong in my assumptions. And I was so happy to be wrong. I was so happy to know that Jon was a good guy and he and Kaspar really had a shot at forever.
The plot was very interesting for me. There was a bit of shifter lore thrown in and I always love that. I love mysteries that keep me guessing and this one certainly did. I like that the author kept the thread of tension going until the end before revealing the outcome to the reader. I really was worried for a bit on how things would turn out. This thread of tension and worry kept things moving forward when the relationship and mundane day to day aspects of Kaspar’s life would have stalled the story’s progress. I just wish the author would have explore some of the things she hinted at a bit more. Like Kaspar’s reading of the stones, was it just a shifter thing or did Kaspar have more gifts?
I wish the author would have done more with the actual shifter aspect of this series. Once again, the pride dynamics and interactions took a backseat to the everyday stuff. Yes, Kaspar thought about shifter things a lot, but he hid it for so much of the story that there was no time to explore it. Also, the author once again made a big deal out of human/shifter mating, but never really did anything with it. She showed that Arjan and Kees from book one were accepted but that happened in the span between books 1 and 2 and really, there could have been fallout but it was not explored. Also, Kaspar was mated to a human, but none of his pride members know about it (that will happen off page between books 2 and 3 I suppose). He spent so much time worrying over what it would mean to be mated to a human, and nothing ever comes of it other than his relationship with Jon. It just seems like it shouldn’t be such a big deal if the author was never going to show any of the results in the story itself.
There also was a bit of inconsistency. Sometimes Kaspar could smell things clear as day, but then other times he couldn’t. Like wouldn’t he have scented the bad guy at the scene of the crime if the blood and whatnot was so fresh from the sacrifice? Wouldn’t he have smelled the drugs in his drink? Also, there were times he was OK with Jon being human but then he would revert back to it being taboo. And why did he need to pray that his human mate rescued him when he was just gonna shift and do it himself? And the cover story at the end, why would you not go with the obvious animal attack??? I don’t know. Some things just didn’t add up.
But overall, there were some things that bugged me but I am glad I read book two. It redeemed this series a bit for me and was a mostly pleasant reading experience.
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,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|