Friday, March 11, 2011

Wilder's Mate by Moira Rogers

TITLE: Wilder’s Mate
AUTHOR: Moira Rogers
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 66k)
GENRE: Steampunk paranormal erotic romance
COST: $4.50

Satira’s mentor has been kidnapped by vampires, and now the Guild has sent one of their best bloodhounds out to rescue him. Satira’s not letting Wilder Harding go without her, though. Nathaniel is the only family she has left, and if it means having to put up with a hound who’s more beast than man, so be it…

I’ve been watching this author team for a while, waiting for a new series to try after losing interest in their Southern Arcana books. With their new Bloodhounds books, I think I’ve found it.

The premise is fantastic. In this steampunk setting, Satira is an inventor’s apprentice, whose mentor has just recently been kidnapped by vampires. She is the daughter of a whore and raised in the household of the senior bloodhound in the area. With both her mother and the hound dead, she’s desperate to get Nathaniel back, so when the Guild sends another hound to rescue him, there is no way she isn’t going with him to help. Wilder Harding is the most dangerous-looking man she’s ever seen, except he’s not a man. He’s a hound, and when the full moon comes, he’ll change into the beast he is. He agrees to let her come, not only because she’s the one best capable of handling the weapons her mentor created but because she’s the one person in the world who would die to get him back.

I devoured this book. I loved how strong and resourceful Satira was, and how completely unaware of her own appeal she was. She and Wilder spark from the beginning, each underestimating the other until they both come the realization at almost the same time. It allows them to start over on equal footing, but their relationship is just as crisp as before, if not more. Wilder is as smart as he is dangerous, with a feral attraction that beats most heroes I’ve read. I raced through the first third, anticipating these two coming together in an explosion. Unfortunately, it didn’t detonate like I thought it would.

It’s one of two complaints I have about this novella. The transition from argumentative, reluctant partners to bedmates was abrupt and for me, disappointing. Oh, sure, they have a lot of sex at that point – that’s what the new moon is for – but it wasn’t nearly as animalistic as I thought it would be. In fact, the section with them in bed for those days was probably the slowest of the entire story. As soon as they got back on the road again, the invigorating pace returned, and I was swept back along, all the way to the end.

My other complaint is a minor one. While the set-up is fantastic, I kept waiting for more explanations about what exactly the bloodhounds are. It’s doled out in trickles, with the best details saved for the climax. I understand the reasoning for it – it allows the climax to be even more of a surprise – but the constant “oh he’s dangerous” comments weren’t enough to satisfy my curiosity. They frustrated me to the point where I started to feel cheated, especially after the new moon sequence. I wanted him to be dangerous. I needed that. And for most of the book, I didn’t think I would ever get it.

Neither of these two problems are enough to deter me from reading more when they’re available. I love the potential of the world that’s been created, and the writing is strong enough to encourage my trust. I’ll be there for book two, whenever it comes out.


8/10 – Swift and sparkling


8/10 – I didn’t buy the swift turnaround into bed completely, nor did I really think the new moon stuff was anything to get excited about, but I certainly understood the appeal


8/10 – Smart, resourceful, and wonderfully unaware of her own appeal

Entertainment value

8/10 – This might have been higher if I could have bought more of the falling into bed

World building

7/10 – Absolutely fantastic ideas, but too many questions were left unanswered for too long, and some never got answered at all



1 comment:

Teddy Pig said...

*sigh* Yeah like I need another ebook to read.

I guess, OK I will buy it but it's all your fault.