Where to start...first, a huge thank you Shannon for her interview with us last year and the complimentary copy of Bruno and Lily's book, Blood and Fire. It goes without saying how much I love have the ARC and someone notices and asks me when it came out and I say, not for a few months! So when this beautiful book arrived, I was ecstatic. I have been looking forward to Aaro's story for so long.
Who is Alex Aaro? Not who he says he is, not who his friends know him as, and certainly never what his family wants him to be. But what we do know, is what he looks like...his looks are described in such detail. It is hard to get a handle on whether he is handsome, ruggedly beautiful or that ugly gorgeous (like Billy Bob Thorton and Gary Oldman)...the angles, the hair, the height and severe leanness over muscle, mmm, mouth watering! But his life has been built on a lie and he continues to live because he has gone no where near New York City. But Alex finds himself flying from Seattle to NYC to visit his dying aunt, his beloved Aunt Tonya.
Nina can feel trouble, so when a strange woman stalks her down in the middle of the street, Nina freaks and runs. But the haggard woman is fast and strong. Just as Nina realizes who the woman is, Nina is plunged into darkness and a hallucinogenic world that she cannot comprehend. Scared out of her mind, running from people she doesn't even know why are chasing her, Nina calls her only friend, Lily. As the McClouds put pressure on Alex to help Nina since he is minutes away from her and they are on the other side of the continent, dark forces begin to align against these two and throw them head long onto a destructive course. Yup, a classic McCloud Cluster----event.
While I was on the edge of my seat (with my heart in the throat), I was hoping for even more crazy, risking life and limb sex. Alex has been such an enigma for me for some time, I loved seeing him break down his barriers and hunger for Nina in a way he could not understand and would not explain. Nina, quite literally burned for him. She shook with need whenever he was near, yet fought evil for the man who had her back and was a little like my girl-crush Tam.
Now speaking of Tam..what the heck? She was no where to be seen, not even a little gifty of a poisoned hair pin in the gala outfit for Nina??? So, imagine my surprise when there was also no wedding. Seriously, one of my favorite parts of any McCloud book has been the jacked up scenes unfolding at a wedding. Kind of like death at a funeral, the hijinx at a McCloud wedding has always makes me laugh and a favorite story theme. So, no wedding, no Tamara. Sad for me...but the story was still really amazing!
If you have not started the McCloud and Friends series, you seriously DO NOT KNOW what you are missing. She has truly hard, ex-military/operative, uber alpha men, with intense sexual appetites and even stronger appetites for brutality and violence (only on those who hurt those they call friend and lover). These stories are fast paced, smart and full of deeply moving, albeit sometimes terrifying, story lines. To quote another who commented on Shannon McKenna's writing, "I quite simply love the way she writes". Try "Hot Night" one of McKenna's stand alone books to get a feel for her...I loved that book. Then jump into "Behind Closed Doors", the first in the McCloud series. Seth and Raine are amazing...Enjoy!
P.S. Cindy, if I see you out and about with that Aengus fellow, I will become violent. Miles, you big, hunk of a man, I knew you were special...but that special, right on man! I do believe the next installment will be Miles and Lara's story (even though I really want Sveti and our cop)...Write faster Shannon, because I just love these guys! Enjoy!