REVIEW: Born to Be Wild by Christine Warren
Dear Ms. Warren:
A reading friend initially recommended your series to me last year with the book, Big Bad Wolf. I am a big shifter fan and was looking forward to reading this release. (It crept up on me). There were two things I particularly liked in this story: the mystery and the courtship. Ironically (or not), components of those two factors also bothered me the most.
Josie Barrett is Stone Creek, Oregon’s veternarian. She took over her father’s practice upon his retirement. Her single minded focus on becoming a veternarian has left her little time for personal relationships. At least this is the excuse given for the fact that Josie has never before recognize Eli Pace as a sexual being.
Eli Pace is the sheriff of Stone Creek, a town that is comprised primarily of Others, mostly shapeshifters. Why Eli is there is a question that is raised but never really answered. He, too, has been ignorant of Josie’s charms until he barges in one night carrying a gun shot wolf.
I liked that this was a departure from the previous book which was more urban in setting and involved pack politics. This was more of a scientific whodunit. The wolf that Eli brings to Josie is really Lupine (shapeshifter) and to her surprise and dismay, the wolf does not heal nor can she shift. Worse, once the wolf’s mate is found, he, too, shows signs of a mysterious Lupine illness which is resulting in an unexplainable high white blood count.
I really enjoyed seeing Josie use her training and skill as a veterinarian as she tried to ascertain the source of her patient’s medical problems. Her employment was an integral part of the storyline. Having no medical background myself, I can only say that the medicine sounded right and added a layer of realism to the paranormal setting.
I liked their courtship which included the sudden realization of the other as a sexual and attractive being and then the banter and flirting which followed. Unfortunately, the characters move from not even knowing the other existed to true love within five days. Love is faster than a speeding bullet in this book. The rapidity of Josie and Eli’s feelings for each other were disappointing because it seemed like care had been taken to create a basis for their relationship that extended beyond the common “mate bond” that so often fills these books.
This build up and then disappointing denouement to plot points happened more than once. For example, much is made of Josie’s levelheadedness. She promises not to interfere with Eli’s investigation, after all she is human and he is preternatural. But she violates this promise to her detriment in a kind of silly way. Eli thinks about the best way to bring the villains to justice, such as considering what testimony he will need to get a conviction but then violates basic probable cause requirements (i.e., you can’t just go breaking into someone’s home to make your case). The scientific mystery held my attention for most of the book and the resolution seemed so over the top that, again, the careful planning that went into it seemed for naught.
Paranormals have a tough time catching my attention these days so that fact that I read this in one sitting, even despite some of the disappointments, means I’ll be on the look out for the next Other book. B-
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Fictionwise | Books on Board
Proviso: This is a St. Martin’s Press book thus the current ebook price is listed at $14.00. Also, no nook link because apparently BN isn’t selling the ebook even though its subsidiary, Fictionwise, has it.
Second Proviso: I have no idea what is going on with Warren’s website
My friend hooked me into this series, too. Like you, I started with Big Bad Wolf. (I’m not sure if I’m going to read her backlist.) I found myself skimming the book in some of the medical/info scenes, but I did read the book in one sitting.
Also, so weird about Amazon. Because when I bought it for my Kindle (maybe on Sunday?) it was listed as the same price for the mass market release at $7.99.
I used to like Christine Warren books when she was writing e-books, they were fun, light reads (and yeah, hot). Haven’t been able to get into her books since she changed publishers. But maybe I will try again.
I heart Christine Warren… and I’m a sucker for para shifters! I’m looking forward to this one–it’s sitting on my bedside table, just as soon as I get done with my LL book crack I’m onto the CW! ;) And I’m glad to recommend as many people to Big Bad Wolf as I can. I loved that book to no end!
I hated this book! About half way through I started skim reading and about 20ish pages to the end I just closed and deleted the file without finishing it. This was the first book I’ve tried by her but I’m not sure it’s worth taking a look at another one of her books since I hated this one so spectacularly. I’d hate to miss out on good books so I’m undecided. And I know there’s people who really love this series.
@Barbara: I am on the same boat… however, I have started reading this one (it was given to me so I didn’t spend a dime on it) and it is different. The mystery/suspense bit gives it a different tone, if you may. You may want to take a look at it. I don’t know, maybe I lowered my expectations enough to be able to enjoy this one, though I still think her earlier work was a lot more fun to read :D
//Unfortunately, the characters move from not even knowing the other existed to true love within five days. Love is faster than a speeding bullet in this book. //
Oh man, that is one of my pet peeves! It really ruins even an extremely well written romance for me when they compress the timeline like that. I can’t buy that anyone falls in love during 1 week so I never believe in their HEA. For the idea of *love* to mean something, it has to be built up and earned.
The book sounds great but being a vet in real life I tend to steer clear of any storylines involving vets as I tend to find them particularly unbelieveable. I am equivocal on whether to buy.
@Bronte I freely admit to being ignorant about medicine and so it was easy for me to buy into this story. For others, particularly someone who actually IS a vet in real life, it might be a tough sell.
Though I like the tone and style of her books, I haven’t really enjoyed one as much as I did SHE’S NO FAERIE PRINCESS. I also liked WOLF AT THE DOOR but I haven’t enjoyed her more recent books quite as much. I am liking that her early ebooks (which I missed when they were originally pub’d) are now coming out, but with the exception of FANTASY FIX/ONE BITE WITH A STRANGER, I haven’t kept up with them (BIG BAD WOLF is a reissue of FUR FACTOR) but I know more are coming and those are the ones I will likely focus on vs new stories like BtbW.
This is a series I continue to buy. There was definitely more humor in the first e-books, but I still enjoy it. I’m heading out to buy this one at lunch. (I really wanted to buy the e-book, but the lowest price I can is $10 and I can buy the paper copy at Target for $6. Why!?!?)
I’m with you. I’m feeling a little shafted, or maybe it’s ‘taken advantage of’, because Warren’s last few releases have all be RE-releases. It’s getting really hard to figure out what’s a NEW book and what’s a re-release. So…I’ve sort of been boycotting her.
I’ve got a similar thing going on with Kelley Armstrong and the whole “Men of the Otherworld” and “Tales of the Otherworld”. All those stories are available for free on her website, but you’re going to charge me for them, now? Meanwhile, her newest release which was NOT free on her website was a special edition through Sub Press. Pfft.
//end Armstrong digression
@Randi: I’m pretty sure that the majority of the stories in “Men of the Otherworld” and “Tales of the Otherworld” are no longer available on her website, and were taken down when she agreed to publish them. Also, there was at least one new story in “Men” (I haven’t read “Tales” yet)
More to the point, the royalties for these two books go to charity precisely because they were previously available for free.
I agree with you about the Sub Press release though!
“Tales” and “Men” royalties go to charity!? Huh. I had no idea. Well, that kind of puts a different spin on it, doesn’t it? ;)
I like the older books in this series more than the recent ones. I read Born to Be Wild over the weekend and, like Jane, the science mystery appealed to me.
The end where they get the bad guy was complete awful. Firstly, the heroine was almost TSTL in how she behaved–not the logical medical professional she was in the rest of the book but some sort of emotional dingbat, and then the book just … ends. One minute they are getting the bad guy and the next the book is over, without any sort of wrap-up. It was almost like Ms. Warren’s publisher said, you must turn this book in now, so she just sent it off as is.
Do you have a Facebook page I can like?