Dear Ms. Palmer
I admit that I read this because I had heard, early on, that this book had similarities to the JR Ward brotherhood series. I can’t help but think that pre publicity buzz was intentional. Ward’s Brotherhood series is hot, hot, hot, and anything that sounds like/looks like The Black Dagger Brotherhood is going to get some attention.
It wasn’t the similarities to the Ward series (and there are a few) that made the story drag for me, it was actually the lack of emulation. Ward series excels, in part, because it is completely over the top. If you are going to have silly names and a somewhat silly storyline, you really have to bring it as an author. Instead, first installment of the Feral Warrior series came in with an emo sigh instead of a roar.
The Feral Warrior series is based on a band of shapeshifters who protect a Radiant, a woman through whom the power of nature is funneled (this imagery tends to remind me of the Angel of Death in the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie). The Radiant ascends and then through living and sexual energy derived through congress with her mate, Radiant sends power to the shifters.
The shapeshifters names are all based on their creature: Lyon, Jag, Vhyper, Foxx, Tighe, Hawke, Paenther, Wulfe, Kougar. Excuse me while I giggle for a moment…. Okay, back. Why do paranormal creatures have such a hard time spelling? Do they require extra vowels and consonants in their names so that we can distinguish them from other, ah, Panthers? Like if there is more than one panther in the tribe is one Paenther and another Phanther and still another Pantherr? (also, Lyon’s nickname? Roar.)
Feral Warriors have “lost” their old Radiant to death and can’t locate their knew one so their finder, Lyon, calls for a Feral Circle (all proper nouns taken from the book itself) wherein the Warriors all cut themselves with a special blade and through their blended blood call for the aid of Mother Nature to aid in “finding” the new Radiant, marked with the four inch claw marks on her breast.
Kara MacAllister is stunned to find a tall, good looking stranger in her house. Initially, after his demand that she bare her right breast, she is scared and fights back but once she is drawn into his arms, her “senses swam in his nearness, in the elemental scent of wind and earth and pure, raw male. The intoxicating blend teased and tantalized, sending the blood rushing to the surface of her skin in a hot flush of awareness.” And when this stranger brushes back her t-shirt, tracing the “odd stretch marks” she becomes overwhelmed with “Lust. Delicious fire skimmed over her skin, burrowing deep into her bones and blood, rushing straight down to her core.”
As for Lyon, he has the same blood problem “He tried to focus, tried to escape the awareness, but even through the rain the scent of her, a sweet smell, almost of peaches, pumped the blood straight to his groin.”
Kara is not human. She is a Therian, the chosen one. Lyon must protect her from the dradens, threads of Daemon, who seek to destroy Therians and humans alike. Lyon takes Kara to the home where all the Feral Warriors live, which is, of course, called Feral House. Only one woman is there, named Pink, who is, of course, pink.
I’m not certain what the character arcs are for these two. Kara easily slips into the role of the Radiant despite the fact that there are motherf-ing shapeshifters who think she is their goddess. Ordinary women may freak out about this but no, Kara, aided (I guess) by her “blossoming arousal” to Lyon accepts that getting nude and having oil placed on seven areas of her body by some stranger who can shift into a lion and subsequently paraded nearly nude in front of 8 other strange men is completely normal behavior.
The problem is that all the warriors are going “feral” (that’s the term used despite the fact that they call themselves Feral Warriors as if going feral is a bad thing) and there is infighting, and misunderstandings, and danger.
The story does take a unique turn here and there but the source of the problems for Kara and the Feral Warriors seemed obvious and no one guessed it until the VERY END. Additionally, the fact that sex was used almost at every juncture to SAVE THE DAY seemed a bit ridiculous.
Only the barest amongst of worldbuilding is given purposely, I felt, in order for the story to take shape that best suited the plot. In other words, if someone needed to be a Mage then he or she was without much of any explanation. Or if someone needed to be healed, someone else had that power.
What little worldbuilding there was read inconsistently. At one time the warriors were going at each other with claws and in another part we are told that they can’t shift until the Radiant is ascended.
The sex scenes are hot and there is just enough worldbuilding to satisfy those who like a little spice in their romance stories. I feel that this story and series will become pretty successful even if its not for me. C-