I’m a nut for Suzanne Wright. I love her stuff, and by stuff I mean sarcastic heroines and dirty talking heroes.
Still, the last few Phoenix Pack andI’m a nut for Suzanne Wright. I love her stuff, and by stuff I mean sarcastic heroines and dirty talking heroes.
Still, the last few Phoenix Pack and Mercury Pack books have frustrated and disappointed me. As much as I adore her stories, the repetitious characters and plot devices is becoming cereal-box-stale. I love characters like Jesse and Harley from Force of Temptation. However Trick and Frankie were a yawn fest. To be honest I can’t differentiate Trick from the guy with the bad pick up lines despite having read all the books. They aren’t close to being the same character but Trick wouldn’t be missed by me if he were to disappear. Lure of Oblivion wasn’t a shiner for me either. I waited excitedly for Xander’s book like a kid promised ice cream; the reality is that these later books are becoming hit and miss.
Just in time to mend my breaking heart come Bracken and Madisyn. Echoes of Fire has put me back on the happy side of life. No stale cereal in this box.
The ongoing unrest swells within the shifter community as egotistical alphas vie for territory and power. This agitation within the shifter world is running parallel with the terroristic attacks of the anti-shifter radicals. The terrorists are prepared to sacrifice lives on both sides to prove shifters are monsters. Although Nick and Shana have no desire to expand or control more territory many shifters want to be at the top of the food chain. Territory is power. Power is influence. Allies fighting for your territory means you and your allies get to devour challengers. Sometimes greedy shifters collaborate with their enemies to destroy common threats. Sometimes your enemy of your enemy is just pretending your they’re ally--dumb people do dumb things. So don’t trust bears.
The local shifter shelter where Madisyn works is the ideal soft target. Hungry Alphas are dying to put their thumbs on the pulse of Dawn’s Sanctuary. There is no better pickings for slaves and sacrifices than those who are weak, homeless, loners, and/or rogues. When hungry bears come looking for revenge they know where to strike first and strike hard. Without a place to hide those seeking help can’t disappear. So don’t trust bears.
It’s not just volatile shifters on her tail that is Madisyn’s problem; it’s the cantankerous wolf who steps up to service her front that is the obstacle. Madisyn’s contentious frenemy relationship with Bracken is more of a headache than it is a comfort. Admitting she needs help of any kind is irksome to the independent cat shifter. Pallas, Wolves, and Bears, oh my. Don’t trust the bears.
Sigh. Dearest Bracken, I want you to be my date on a date I’ve also made with Jesse; I suck at maths but you + Jesse + Ali = naughty daydreams. We can roleplay: You and Jesse could pretend you are the wolves I meet on the path to grandmother’s house. I’ll be holding a coffee cup, dressed in a sassy red hood and little else. I can ‘Oh what large teeth you have’. ...And if you should eat me all the better.
I loved this book. The character development was far more solid than that of both Lure of Oblivion and Wild Hunger. While Madisyn’s characterization is somewhat similar to Harley, or even Harper in the Darkness in You, she’s much more endearing than the overused character profile of Taryn. (I love Taryn. I just didn’t like all the Taryn’s that came after Taryn.)
The one thing I would desperately like to see in the future is another peek into a fresh shifter pack or pride. It would be great to move us into the world of the Pallas. Bring us the Devereaux’s. Please Suzanne, could we please have Tate and Luke?
I recommend this series although the Phoenix and Mercury books weave in and out of the characters of the two series within one timeline.
Other Paranormal Romances I recommend:
And this is why I want Tate and Luke:
Looking at Bracken once again, Vinnie advised, “Just stick to one kit, Slater.” “We might not have any kits,” Bracken pointed out. “We could just have pups.” “I still wouldn’t risk it,” said Vinnie. “You can tell yourself it can’t be that bad, but you’ll change your mind eight years down the line when you’re disciplining one kit for trying to kill the other in its sleep.” Luke glared at his brother. “Not a night I’ll ever forget.” Again, Tate shrugged. “That sound you made annoyed me.” Luke’s brows snapped together. “What? Snoring?” “Breathing.” As the brothers proceeded to argue, Vinnie held up a finger. “One, Slater. Just one.”...more
Natalie D. Richards’ One Was Lost is haunting and chilling; it creeped me out and I want you just as uWho do I talk to about adapting a book to film?
Natalie D. Richards’ One Was Lost is haunting and chilling; it creeped me out and I want you just as unsettled by it. This story is every parents’ nightmare and no kid would dream this possibility. The eerie mystery of who and what is wrong in the remote West Virginia Appalachia forest is a page turner for which sleep can wait.
A senior experience week is fraught with inclement weather and plagued by a roguish bad boy that Sera Khoury has been desperately trying forget for months. Bad choices and poor judgement is something she has inherited from her mom and she is not going to travel down the road to ruin with a guy famous for a poor temperament and sexy smirk. Avoiding Lucas is key to a healthy state of mind. However, stranded in a wilderness Garden of Eden with people she doesn’t know, suddenly the boy she has denied is the only one she knows would never betray her.
Waking up next to a near stranger far from civilization is uncomfortable but the misgivings of the wilds are nothing when Sera realizes that she is muddy-headed from being drugged and she and her fellow campers have been marked by an unknown predator in the night. Being labeled is a normal high school roadblock but whispers behind your back is different than marker on your skin. More ominous is deciphering the nuance of words inked on their bodies beyond its most obvious definition. Is Lucas Dangerous in ways more nefarious than a couple schoolyard fights? Is Jude’s Deceptiveness pathological? Should the others fear the Damage ascribed to Emily? And is being the Darling of the group supposed to save Sera or does it make her a target.
My creeper old lady self is anxiously awaiting Lucas Crane to turn eighteen so it won’t be so awkward when I let my book boyfriend flag fly. Lucas is not only Sera’s crushnotcrush but he is well needed comic relief during the most tense portions of the novel. I highlighted his comebacks all through the book but one of my favorites being, about 65% through the book when Lucas and Sera find a vehicle to get them out of the woods.
“Can you hotwire it?” “You mean from my stint in Grand Theft Auto: The Reality Show?” He smirks up at me, holding something long and metal. “A few fights does not make me a car thief.”
One thing I love about this book is that it revels in the diversity we face in present-day society. Sera, Lucas, and their schoolmates Jude and Emily are gorgeously created characters deeply affected by real life teen issues and fears. The coming of age evolution of the main characters from innocent victims to battleworn comrades is couched in race, culture, trauma, stigma, pressure, self-awareness, and compassion. This ordeal stitches these people together instead of pulling them apart. It’s a great parallel to witness the horror they are facing in the woods and the terror of daily high school life. It’s never easy trusting someone and harder yet to trust yourself when you see a broken reflection of who you are in the judgements of others.
Possibly one of the most poignant moments of the book comes from Jude as he makes himself vulnerable to these new friends. As the sensitive, musical son of two gay dads he feels justifiably pinned down by the speculations of others. This being the first time Sera is forced to understand the consequences of her actions she becomes more and more aware of the way Jude’s personal boundaries are being crossed with every whisper and rumour. The invasion he feels is all the more real to her as she experiences their tormentor violating her sense of self at every level. Natalie D. Richards harshly awakens the reader with revealing dialogue between the characters.
“Is it hard?” This from Lucas. His soft sincerity surprises me. “Not always. Lots of people want to be supportive, and most people try. But there’s always this moment when they hesitate. They’re thinking about it, trying to sort it all out. Should Pop go in the dentist box or the gay father box?” “More labels,” I whisper. He shrugs. “I was born into a stack of them. Cello prodigy. Person of color. Gay dads. I just want this part of me to be mine for now.”
Natalie D. Richards message, that it’s okay for a young person to respect themselves enough to keep some things private, is vital in our social-media-centric lives. It’s far too easy to over share, and impossible to take back once it’s out there. It’s acceptable to get comfortable with who you are before you share it openly. Circumspection is healthy. Jude is a great character because he is more interested in being okay with himself than trying to be something he isn’t ready to be for the sake of others.
One Was Lost is a story for a mature Young Adult audience; Natalie D. Richards touches on trigger issues looking at domestic abuse, bullying, sexuality, manipulation, abandonment, and the travails of class/social warfare. If you are a teacher this might be a book you want to add to your curriculum; this novel is an opportunity to open dialogue pertinent to current events and identify pervasive social myths.