by Eileen Wilks
Pros: Strong character development
Cons: Typical paranormal pattern
I think werewolves come in behind only vampires in popularity in the paranormal romance department, so there are many to choose from. I’ve only read a few myself, though, and this one ranks near the very top among them.
Ms. Wilks has created a solid and believable setting in her World of the Lupi, with shapeshifters having been “outted” at some point in the near past and thereafter having been integrated into regular society.
Naturally, this presents some challenges to a completely non-magical civilization – laws must be changed, allowances must be made for things like a citizen with two different forms – one human and one furry. For instance, is killing a werewolf in wolf form murder, or is it just putting down a dog?
These are some of the issues that the heroine, Lily Yu, must deal with in her job as a homicide detective. Lily has an advantage over other cops, though, because she’s a Sensitive. She can feel magic by touch, and this same ability renders her immune to magic as well. This author has done an excellent job of portraying Lily as a strong, capable woman, as you would expect from a police officer, but which not all romance novels accomplish.
Enter Rule Turner, celebrity werewolf prince and her prime murder suspect. Lily and Rule must overcome not only the suspicions being cast against Rule’s innocence and discover the true murderer, but also deal with an intense and unreasoning physical attraction between themselves.
The author has a very down to earth and credible writing style that makes it easy for the reader to immerse herself in this well designed and detailed world. About the only complaint I can make about this title is that it follows an increasingly prevalent pattern among paranormal romances – everybody seems to have some irresistible compulsion that brings them together – mate bonds, soul mates – whatever you call it, everyone seems to have it these days. I’d love to see some authors break away from this easy out.
Nonetheless, this novel is still a very good, satisfying read with a well developed plot, sympathetic characters and interesting settings. Side characters give promise of welcome sequels to come. Lily, Rule and their families and friends are strong, interesting and clearly have more stories to tell.
I look forward to picking up the next novel in this series soon. I have some catching up to do before Book 4 comes out in January, 2008!