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The Tempering

(Mackenzie Duncan #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The Mythology department at prestigious Harvard University is tiny—and Mackenzie Duncan has just been selected as one of the lucky few. Her love for myths and legends is deep, but she never thought any of it could be real.

After being attacked by a large wolf while walking home alone, Mackenzie realizes something is not right. She heals quickly, has suddenly become super s
Paperback, 322 pages
Published September 13th 2013 by Star Bound Books (first published September 11th 2013)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Justine Winans
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(Originally Posted on

There are so many books out there that involve werewolves, and since most of them follow the lore, it is hard to create a werewolf novel that is unique. But, oh my, was James able to put together a great one. I faced The Tempering head on, and I am not too proud to admit that I was bitten.

Mackenzie is a great protagonist. She is strong, funny, and completely kills the annoying whiny in-love female character stereotype. She has a temper, but this just adds to her
April Wood
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it

Mackenzie is our girl that we're following for the book.
We witness a small piece of her before she is brutally bitten in a park late at night.

A unique take on how Were's are turned and the turning process and the rules between born and bitten.
Mack (as she becomes to be known in the California Pack that take her in) still dreads her Wolf night as she cant remember it, and has done more than kill just an animal.
She does actually turn someone on
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Tempering is amazing and completely addicting! It only took me a couple of hours to read. From the very first page I was carried away into the (new-to-me) world of werewolves. I was not let down and cannot wait to read more about them! I am now a huge fan of Adrianne James and her books. Adrianne is able to captivate her readers with her amazing character, plot and scenery descriptions. She makes her reader feel the emotions and turmoil that swirl through her characters at any given minute a ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

Brief impressions: Pretty quick read, doesn't require too much brainpower to figure out what's going on and stay involved with the plot. The whole idea of the werewolves in the book is a pretty classic one as well - the author doesn't try to insert some arbitrary, unreasonable 'restrictions' into the classic werewolf myth which I appreciated. Healthy dose of both action (to some degree gore as well) and romance - I personally thought th
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Definitely
I was gifted this book for an honest review...
First off I have never read a book that made me want to go back to college to study mythology more than this book did. This book captured and held my interest and excitement from the very first chapter. I believe I learned more about lycanthropy through this author's book than any other book or movie. Following Mackenzie Duncan from the first bite and watching her learn and become more powerful with every turn was so exciting and emotional all
J.C. Emery
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Go buy this book! NOW! Mackenzie Duncan is a normal college freshman with a very abnormal interest in paranormal mythology (to the point that it's her major at Harvard!) From the get-go, she's like a little ball of fire. I love a strong female lead and The Tempering has just that! Adrianne James does a great job at showing a young woman go through a horrific change and coming out the other side as stronger, and more mature. I don't want to give anything away, but Mac is exactly the kind of heroi ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: hurryupandread
To be honest, I feel a little lost in limbo on this one. I really wanted to love it book but I just couldn’t. I think a lot of it had to do with the writing and plot line. I know that a lot of readers who’ve read this will be like, “what’s wrong with her?!” and it is really more of a taste of preference of sorts. What I feel is simply, the plot, the story line, and the way that everything was crafted wasn’t my cup of tea. It was in no means bad but rather not something that held my attention the entire ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
**Honest review ARC copy**

I really liked this book. I have to say it's rare to find a book where the leading woman isn't whiny and broken. This definitely isn't that book, you get to see it within the first few pages.

There are definitely some twists that you didn't see coming towards the end, and a triangle that's for sure (I'm rooting for Liam). Turns out there is a little royal intrigue as well. I can't wait to see what happens in the series, especially with the way it
Chantale Canadian Book Addict
I absolutely love this book. I started reading it a few nights ago and I just couldn't put it down and ended up falling asleep later than usually and just had to continue reading in the morning .

I don't often read books about werewolves but I am so happy I read this one. It is very well written and I can't wait for the next book in this series.

I highly recommend
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW!!! could not put it down in the end... slow start in the beginning but quickly got to the really juicy bits in the middle and end, love Liam but you know the nice guy never never wins cant wait to read book 2... great start on this new werewolf series.
DelAnne Frazee
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Title: The Tempering - MacKenzie Duncan Series Book 1
Author: Adrianne James
Publisher: Star Bound Books
Published: 9-11-2013
ISBN: 9780615879741
Pages: 322
Genre: Romance
Tags: Paranormal, Werewolves & Shifters
Overall Rating: 4.5 Great

All Mackenzie Duncan wanted was to leave her former life and family far behind. She managed to get a scholarship to Harvard and obtain a job at the local coffee shop. Decid
This was a free book and was a good introduction to this author. I'm not too keen on the author's style of writing and I struggled somewhat until about half way through the book because I didn't know where the story was going to take us.

Mackenzie is a student at Harvard and when walking through the park alone one night, she is attacked by a lone wolf. She manages to survive the attack and make her way home where she is taken ill because of the werewolf virus and sleeps for 2 day thro
Laveda  Kasch
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Mackenzie Duncan is a Harvard student majoring in paranormal mythology. No real relationship with her parents, father in prison and mother she's not on speaking terms with, she works hard to pay for school and tries her best to keep her grades up. Mackenzie is a little spitfire right from the beginning. She gets into a heated argument with one of the schools "final club" boys at the football game and leaves alone soon after. On her way back to her apartment she cuts through the wooded park in ho
This was an OK start to what seems like it may become an interesting series. Unfortunately, being the first book, it had its rough moments.

Mackenzie Duncan is a student at Harvard who finds herself the victim of an unfortunate (and unheard of, to her) accident. She is attacked while walking home from a football game and the events that follow leave her in a state of both panic and shock. Turns out, she was attacked by a werewolf. Being a student of mythology, she knows all about lyca
Kimber Wheaton
Sep 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-adult
*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The Tempering is a new adult paranormal romance that begins with an innocent walk home from a football game. I love the fact that the heroine is studying mythology at Harvard. That's what drew me to this book in the first place. How ironic to have to give up your dreams because the very things you were studying as mythology are actually real, and you are now one of them.

Mackenzie is a very strong female protagonist./>The
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mackenzie Duncan landed the opportunity of a lifetime when she was selected to become a part of Harvard University's Mythology department. In her mind, she can now follow her passion, and delve into lore's of old. She's been fascinated by myths and legends from an early age, always wondering if there is truth behind the tales she's heard. To be able to debunk such mysteries is mind-boggling. So much so, that's she willing to do everything necessary to see how far her new path in life takes her.< ...more
Michelle Willms
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paranormal
The Tempering by Adrienne James
The Tempering is about a young woman, Mackenzie Duncan, who managed to rise above her poor upbringing and leave her nay-saying mother and inmate father behind to attend Harvard. She majored in Mythology and Folklore and had great dreams for what she planned to do with her degree. Then, she decided to walk through the park on her way home from a football game that she wasn’t even enjoying and didn’t want to go to in the first place. A wolf attacked her and her
Tnt Reviews
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! I loved this book. A definite MUST have! I can't wait to read the next one!

Mackenzie Duncan walks away from a confrontation, she knows it's irresponsible to wander around, at night, by herself. What she doesn't expect though, is being viciously attacked by a wolf and left to endure the consequences alone.

As days pass, she realizes that something is significantly wrong with her. A doctors cons
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review and others can be found on

I thought this was a fantastic NA paranormal romance novel. Adrianne James has managed to take a somewhat over used paranormal creature – werewolves – and create something that is wonderfully unique.

I really enjoyed the portrayal of werewolves in this book, it seemed really believable and allowed me to get sucked into the story. I was expecting this book to have more of a college setting and be about someone juggling college whilst beco
Mackenzie may know a lot about the mythology of werewolves, but she has no clue they actaully exist until she gets bitten and goes through the change herself. Terrified of what she may do when she turns on the full moon, she runs. When the female alpha of a very large pack finds her and invites her to stay with them so they can guide her through the transition, she jumps at the chance. It doesn't hurt that the very cute and charming Geoff will be with her every step of the way either. But someth ...more
Elizabeth Horbaczek
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

So I take a break from my romance novels and jump into this werewolf book. OMG, what a welcome surprise. I thought it was going to be a book that I would read and well forget. I was totally thrown. The characters, absolutely great. Even though I would think Mackenzie is the main character, everyone has a role to play in this book. There is power, love, and suspense in the book that makes it that good. I like how it is not one of those frilly books and that you can actual
Nora Black
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy from the author free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Originally posted on

I've read a lot of paranormal fiction. This read, however, puts a spin on the werewolf fable that makes it resonate with a sense of reality often absent in similar books. I did not like Mackenzie to begin with, but as the story grew and the character gained depth, I found myself warming to her. Indeed, I began to worry for her and hope for some equatable solution to her horrifyin
Amber Garr
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

I haven't read a true werewolf book in a while, and my how I missed them. The Tempering was just what I was in the mood for. A feisty, tough protagonist. Turned against her will. And of course, the steamy, hot guys. Mackenzie's had a rough life and has made the most of it on her own, which makes her a little jaded. And while she was sassy and maybe a little hotheaded, I enjoyed her character. I felt like her emotions were real - I mean who wouldn't be upset over what they c
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is not your typical boy bites girl werewolf story :) Mackenzie is also not your typical girl. Her father is a convict and her mother pushes her to be an underachiever but she will have none of that. Mack is a mythology major at Harvard and she works really hard to keep up her grades and pay for school. She will be an ivy league success no matter what anyone thinks! Little does she expect her whole life to be turned upside down by standing up to some rich bullies at a football game.... Next ...more
Jennifer Moody
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the author for my honest review
We all read books about werewolves and how they stick the the same old myths about them but not this book. I think that's why I actually like this book and I don't like reading werewolves because they basically the same someone gets bite n blah blah but this one goes into detail and the main character Mackenzie you could say is the perfect person to get bitten. Why do you ask because she is a freshman in college and is actually study
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a pleasant surprise! There are a lot of werewolf books floating around right now but this one took an interesting approach and I rather enjoyed it. We are introduced to Mackenzie who is a freshman at Harvard when she is bit by a werewolf and left to pick up the pieces alone. We watch Mackenzie struggle with the truth and then stumble upon Margret, Geoff and Analise who are part of a pack led by Margret. Geoff and Mackenzie have an instant attraction and we get to watch that bloom...well ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-kindle
For the first 25% of this book, I found that it didn't really capture my attention very well, I'm not quite sure why as the storyline is quite different from other werewolf stories and all the more interesting for it, I just couldn't really get in to it. But when I hit about quarter way through, I found myself more engrossed in the story and actually by halfway through I was tearing through the pages.
This is not your average shifter story, where it romanticizes werewolves and the way the c
Romance Readers Retreat
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
For the first 25% of this book, I found that it didn't really capture my attention very well, I'm not quite sure why as the storyline is quite different from other werewolf stories and all the more interesting for it, I just couldn't really get in to it. But when I hit about quarter way through, I found myself more engrossed in the story and actually by halfway through I was tearing through the pages.
This is not your average shifter story, where it romanticizes werewolves and the way the c
Dec 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
**I received this book free for a review**
I would like to start by stating that paranormal romance is my favorite genre of books to read. I love getting wrapped up in a good horror/romance book. Even though I do have a passion for the paranormal world; this book did not do it for me. The book is narrated, which I absolutely HATE. I don’t understand why the author felt the need to narrate the book; Mackenzie remained the main character and I couldn’t connect with her feeling throughout this
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Growing up, Adrianne couldn't get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn't have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.

During the day, Adrianne u

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Mackenzie Duncan (2 books)
  • The Enlightening (Mackenzie Duncan Series, #2)