Fangs for the Fantasy's Reviews > Kept

Kept by Shawntelle Madison
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Nov 08, 2012

really liked it

At the end of Coveted, Natalya Stravinsky had battled alongside her friends and fellow pack members to protect their hunting land from invasion. Through therapy, she was working through her issues with OCD and hoarding. When a flood had wrecked most of her precious Christmas ornaments, her family came together and for the first time since having a serious panic attack at a clan event, the Stravinsky family embraced Natalya. All in all, things were looking up. Though Coveted ended in a happy place, it was clear that Natalya still had a lot of issues to deal with.

At the beginning of Kept, we see that the family bond between Natalya and the other Stravinskys has only grown stronger. The question is, has she grown strong enough to deal with the trials awaiting her? Natalya is determined to get back into the pack, though all of the werewolves still see her as strange. When she takes on her father's blood debt, the task assigned is much more difficult than she could have imagined. Being banned from taking any aid from another werewolf, Natalya is once again forced to rely on her friends from her therapy group, thus bringing herself closer to Nick the wizard. Something sparks between them, but she is not sure if she can let go of her feelings for Throne, the alpha apparent of the pack. If nothing else, the completion of this task will ensure that the Stravinsky clan will be able to remain in the pack with honour. As Natalya tries to work out her feelings for the two men that she loves, Thornes betrothed is not the least bit pleased that such a low ranking wolf still occupies his heart.

Having an ass kicking protagonist is not new in urban fantasy. In fact, it happens so often that it's almost a cliche. Natalya has a touch of the spunky agent in her, in that she rushes off without thinking things through clearly. Her motivations are good and she is most certainly honourable, but rushing into action without any plans whatsoever is ridiculous. It puts her in a position to call for help because she is overwhelmed and not because she has wisely decided that she needs it.

One of the things that I loved about this series from the very beginning, is the myriad of disabled characters. I said it in the last review but it bears repeating, this is something rare for urban fantasy and I absolutely love it. Madison could have taken the opportunity in this book to show growth of Natalya's character by erasing her disability. We have too often seen disability cast aside in the media, when it become inconvenient because it is time to see a character grow and change. While Natalya does not spend as much time caressing and loving her ornaments in this book, it's clear that her OCD is in full swing, even as she battles the bad guys and takes on difficult challenges. Natalya just doesn't play "super crip" and rise above, she still performs acts like obsessive hand washing and wiping everything down with antibacterial wipes, as she fights for her family and her place.

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