Monday, June 16, 2014

Predator's Claim by Rosanna Leo

For years, wolf shifter Bart Cairo has harbored secret feelings for his co-worker, Charlotte Moffatt. Even though he thinks he’s been discreet with his affections, everyone at Gemini Island’s Ursa Fishing Lodge knows he and Charlotte, a fellow wolf shifter, are meant to be mates. Everyone but Charlotte.

Charlotte couldn’t be less interested in mating. A free spirit, she wants nothing more than to succeed at her new career in the big city and leave small-town Gemini Island behind. However, she can’t deny Bart stirs up unwanted emotions inside her. Emotions she swore she’d never feel again.

The occasion of Bart’s family reunion compels him to assume new responsibilities, and to consider a role he never envisioned for himself. Family tensions rise to the surface as a new Alpha is proclaimed in his pack. And when old grudges escalate, Bart must stake his claim.

Charlotte resists as he stakes a claim on her as well. But when he begins to employ sexual tactics of temptation, she wonders if the only solution is submission to the enticing wolf man. Can she trust her heart again? And can they find their happy ending before an enemy cuts their story short?

Where to Buy

Warning: This review contains a few mild spoilers.

Fans of the Gemini Island series know that Bart and Charlotte's story was inevitable. They've been fighting/flirting with each other since book one, and it's clear that such had been the case for them for some time even then. What I found most interesting in this one was the revelation that they aren't really the people we thought they were from previous books, for we really only ever saw that one facet of their personalities -- the way they interacted with one another.

Charlotte is a very independent and accomplished woman who's had a long history of sleeping around with whomever she wanted to. Everyone except the one man she's been not-so-secretly most attracted to the whole time. With a potty mouth that would put a sailor to shame, and a take-no-nonsense attitude, she's very forthright in her dealings with those around her. Again, everyone except Bart, whom she can't help but keep playing evasive, defensive games with even as she begins to admit her attraction to him at long last. It's very interesting getting to know the intelligent scholar and compassionate heart that resides behind all the surface bluster, and equally captivating and inspiring to see how she evolves even further over the course of the story to become a modern woman who's strong in every sense of the word.

Bart has heretofore been presented as the carefree playboy type who enjoyed teasing Charlotte and trying to get under her skin. We have seen glimpses of the more serious, responsible, deadly Bart though, such as when Charlotte was attacked in Predator's Refuge. He's apparently already lost much of his devil-may-care attitude by the start of this book, and it's a far more serious -- and grumpy -- Bart that we meet in the first scene. When huge pack responsibilities are suddenly dumped in his lap at the beginning of the family reunion he's forced to mature even more and step up to the plate as it were to take charge of things. Including his relationship with Charlotte.

I enjoyed reading about the interplay between these two and getting to know them as unique personalities more and not just as interesting background characters. I'd really had no inkling from the previous books that Charlotte was so scholarly, especially in such an esoteric subject -- esoteric for a shifter at least since it's been noted in the past that few of them are very religious minded. I was also somewhat surprised at the relative ease with which she begins to acknowledge her attraction to Bart, though to be fair it seemed pretty evident that she was rather surprised by it herself. I did think that she persisted in her reluctance to commit to him a bit too long even given the reasoning behind it. There is a point at which the lady doth protest too much after all, as well as a point at which you can reasonably expect that someone as intelligent as Charlotte would just get over it already and give in to what she and her wolf want so badly.

My main quibbles with this book had to do with the exterior threats they had to deal with, some of which seemed a bit overdone or outright unneeded. In particular, I was puzzled by the whole business with the escaped convict that Bart gets so worried about since that never seems to amount to anything other than some mild misdirection. Perhaps it's something that will become relevant again in the future and its inclusion here was just by way of laying some groundwork for future plots. By the end I could see why most of these plot bits were handled the way they were, though ultimately I felt as though there was so much going on around them that it somewhat detracted from their personal story. Still, I have to give the author props for managing to surprise me a bit with how one of the conflicts turned out for it did take a slightly unexpected turn at the end. This was a pleasant surprise after the fairly predictable nature of the whodunnit in the last book.

All in all, this is another highly laudable entry in a series that continues to get better as it goes along. 4½ stars easily for this one, as well as a definite recommendation. If you like shifters and haven't read this series yet, do so (but start with book one ;)).

Note: I received a free copy of this from the author via a Goodreads R2R program in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment: