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Christine Warren

REVIEW:  Hungry Like a Wolf by Christine Warren

REVIEW: Hungry Like a Wolf by Christine Warren

Dear Christine Warren:

Logan is restless. His best friend just mated with a human.  He’s feeling resentment toward his alpha, a man as close as a brother. Because his alpha has what Logan wants – his own pack and a stunning mate.  Conveniently so that Logan doesn’t have to fight his brother for dominance, The White Paw Clan in Connecticut has lost its alpha to cancer.

hungry like a wolf christine warrenI wish that there had been more in the story about Logan’s struggle for power within his own clan.  His wolf is rising up and wants to challenge Graham, the regional alpha.  It was the internal fight between Logan’s humanity that sought to hold onto his bonds of brotherhood and friendship and his wolf who sought power and dominance that was so interesting in the beginning.

But situation with the White Paw Clan was interesting because Honor, the daughter of the old alpha, becomes the alpha in fact.  Female pack members are smaller and it is commonly known that physiologically they cannot compete in alpha challenges, yet Honor is not only meeting her challenges but defeating them.

I liked the unsentimentality of the pack challenges.  Honor was challenged by one of her close friends and she had to maim him.  I would have liked to have seen her kill him. Not because I’m so bloodthirsty but because I felt like her giving her opponent grace showed weakness.  Her dad, for example, would have killed the challengers. And indeed, her failure to kill her challenger becomes problematic later in the story.  Logan also notes that the unwillingness to kill her challengers was viewed as a weakness by her pack and every other outsider.

I was also frustrated with Logan’s interference with Honor’s rule over her pack, ordering her pack while ostensibly measuring her suitability to remain the alpha of the White Paw Clan.  Every time he spoke up and gave directives in front of Honor he was diminishing her already precarious standing.  To a great extent this is a story about how a female can rule in a man’s world and the balancing of Honor’s desire to lead the pack and Logan’s desire for his own pack was a great emotional conflict.  But Logan isn’t an enlightened male.  He is off spouting mine, mine, with twenty four hours of meeting Honor.  He didn’t stand and observe. He ordered and took charge so the scenes always came off as if Logan was allowing Honor to be alpha instead of having the power and ability in her own right.

I wasn’t super enthusiastic about how the conflict was resolved but I appreciated that the subject was tackled at all.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this series. It’s not a serious book and there are some cringe worthy lines  “Logan, you need to learn that whether she’s a werewolf, a shapeshifter, a witch, or a human, women are women. They all need to be fl attered and coddled and made to feel special.” I wished the feminist issues were tackled better.    But overall, it was a pleasant read about clan politics which are a favorite part of a shapeshifter read for me. Nothing too earth shattering but sometimes that’s just the right thing at the moment. C+

Jane

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REVIEW: Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine Warren

REVIEW: Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine Warren

Dear Ms. Warren:

Robin used the word affability to describe Jill Shalvis’ writing and for me,  I would apply the same descriptor to your books.  They are generally affable with likeable characters and likeable settings, however, they’ve often felt truncated to me and this one more so than previous ones that I have read.

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale by Christine WarrenI understand that many of these stories have been reworked from their original novella forms but perhaps this one was never meant to be elongated because I sat down for a full length meal and only had an appetizer.  No matter how good the appetizer was, it wasn’t going to be fulfilling for someone who was looking for a complete dinner.

Luc Macanaw is directed by his Queen to leave the land of the fae and retrieve the Queen’s wayward nephew in  the human world. Reporter Corinne D’Allesandro is assigned a paranormal story by her editor, a story that leads her directly to the Queen’s nephew. Luc isn’t a big fan of the Queen but he’d never allow any harm to come to her and her word is law. When she sends him into the mortal world to smooth over any “ripples” caused by her nephew, Seoc’s, indiscretions, Luc goes without murmur. It is his duty.

Corinne knows all about faeries, vampires, and werewolves. Her three best friends have hooked up, married, and even been turned into an “Other” but she must keep their secret while still trying to maintain her distance from the Others. This becomes much more difficult when her newspaper editor wants her to check out a pixie or faerie sighting. Corinne wants to laugh this off as nonsense, even knowing the truth, but her editor is insistent.

Corinne doesn’t really care about most of the Others but she does worry what would happen to her friends like her Missy, a kindergarten teacher who married a werewolf, if knowledge of the Others was revealed to all humans.

Upon meeting Corinne, Luc was shocked at the surge of lust he felt. After all, he was surrounded by women who were more beautiful than any mortal woman could achieve. She was shorter, rounder, but none of that seemed to matter as Luc feels a compulsion toward Corinne. What’s this? Why yes, Corinne, the human, is his heart mate. Faeries have heart mates. OF COURSE THEY DO.

The best part of the book comes in the form of a few funny exchanges between Corinne and Luc.

“I’m Fae,” Luc repeated, then sighed. “As in Faerie.”

The blankness dissolved beneath a surprised laugh. “You’re a fairy? Sure, Tinker Bell. Pull the other leg while you’re at it.”

Luc scowled at Rafe. “You see? That’s the problem with mortals. We leave your world for a couple of thousand years and everyone either forgets all about us, or they reduce us to little glowing balls of tutu-clad good cheer.”

But while Luc might speak Ye Olde English in Fae land (“I’m sure I could find a garderobe for you to clean if you so long for variety in your work.), he drops the formal dialect upon crossing over. Maybe that’s part of the magical process?

Corinne and Luc involve themselves in a little investigating, a lot of lusting, and thinking about the urgency of their situation (find the faerie before he does more crazy things in the mortal world). However, it’s just too little of everything.  Too little of the good natured humor, too little investigating and action on their designated task, too little worldbuilding.  It just lacked in substance.  The lust and sex the two pursued with one another seemed the primary focus and while I liked Corinne’s sex positive attitude, the story telling felt unbalanced. I never felt like I knew Corinne and Luc. Luc, in particular, seemed like a standard romance hero. Manly, attractive, good in bed, and filled with the protectorate instinct.

I wanted more than just the heart mate bond to draw the two together and other than sharing good sex, I wasn’t convinced that there were deeper feelings between the two.  The affability of the story helps maintain the reader’s interest, but it’s easily forgotten and not very fulfilling.  C

Best regards,

Jane

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