Monday, September 30, 2013

Predator's Serenade by Rosanna Leo

There are three things that make bear shifter Soren Snow’s skin crawl: mothers, their children, and the great outdoors. Soren is a famed musician and playboy, and he would rather spend his days pressing the flesh with the women in his fan club than developing meaningful relationships. When his brother calls in a favor, forcing Soren to revisit the Ursa Fishing Lodge in Northern Ontario, he couldn’t be more displeased. However, he owes his brother big time.

Gioia Clementine would rather not meet Soren, her drummer son’s rock idol. But when tragedy strikes her home, it seems the only one the boy might respond to is Soren. Gioia begrudgingly agrees to let her son meet him, hoping the rock star won’t turn her tween into a musical misogynist.

When Gioia and Soren meet, the sexual chemistry threatens to set the Ontario woodland ablaze. Can these two opposites find a common ground? And can they manage to resolve their unwanted feelings, even when a mysterious stranger arrives at the lodge, threatening everything?

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An absolutely wonderful story and a perfect sequel to Leo's Predator's Kiss. After reading the first book it was hard to see how the notorious playboy Soren would fall for a woman, but when it happens here it seems perfectly natural. Never once did I doubt the sincerity of his feelings for Gioia, and it's wonderful to see how he takes to her son Gunnar as well, discovering a paternal side to his character that even he never knew existed.

Gioia is like many single mothers - hard working, independent, and absolutely devoted to her son and willing to go to any lengths necessary to ensure his happiness and to get him whatever help he needs when he needs it. She's even willing to put up with a man she considers to be a useless womanizer simply because he's her son's idol and she is hoping beyond hope that meeting him will help bring her son out of the shell he's been in since his father's death. Unprepared for the way Soren affects her, she still doesn't let desire cloud her reason and doesn't hesitate to tell him to take a hike when something he does irritates her beyond tolerating.

As noted above, we first met Soren in book one of the Gemini Island Shifters series, and while it was obvious even then that he was a good man at heart, still he came off as being very much the playboy and confirmed bachelor type. As the saying goes, however, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and when Soren falls he does it in spectacular fashion. What is most interesting is that he doesn't even try to deny it much the way his brother had. As the book progresses, it's easy to have an ever-increasing respect for Soren and the way he handles the various challenges that are presented to him in his courtship of Gioia.

Overall I found this to be a highly enjoyable and rather quick read. Emotions run high throughout it, but there are plenty of moments of levity and the overall tone of the book is lighthearted rather than dramatic. Yes, there is a fair bit of real drama in here as well, both in the challenges that Gioia and Soren face within themselves and each other as they come to terms with their attraction and learn to accept and embrace it, as well as external threats that challenge them on several occasions. While much of it is relatively predictable, still there is a twist introduced in the last 30% or so that I didn't see coming and which made things even more interesting than they already were for awhile.

I'd highly recommend this to anyone that likes paranormal romance, particular fans of shifters and those who prefer their romance to be on the lighter side. Fans of contemporary romance or romantic comedies will find much to like here as well, so long as they don't mind that the main characters get a bit furry from time to time. Personally I'm not a huge shifter fan really, but I'm loving Ms. Leo's shifters, and will be looking forward to see where she takes this series next. 5 glowing stars to this one.

I received a free copy of this book from the author through a Goodreads Author/Reader Exchange in exchange for an honest review.