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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review: Never Cry Wolf

Title: Never Cry Wolf
Author: Cynthia Eden
Page Count: 534 KB Kindle format; 337 pages print length
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me

Synopsis:
Running With A Dangerous Crowd
Lucas Simone is not the kind of guy you mess with. He’s big, he’s strong, and his eyes hint at a wilder side most women can’t handle. Of course, that’s because his predatory instincts are no metaphor-he’s a genuine Grade-A top-quality werewolf, tough enough to fight his way to dominance over the scariest pack on the West Coast. There’s only one chink in his armor. Unlike most alpha dogs, Lucas has a reputation for protecting the weak and innocent.

Sarah King is counting on that protective impulse-it’s the only thing standing between her and certain death. There are only two problems: one, she’s not quite as innocent as she’d like Lucas to believe. And two, if he doesn’t stop stoking Sarah’s animal lust, it’s only a matter of time before her own wild side gets unleashed…
*****

I am a sucker for a good werewolf story, no matter how similar it may be to other stories that are out there.  Some people think that this vein of paranormal romance is played out because the market is so saturated- I just say the more the merrier and happily download another one.  Once I popped, the fun did not stop.

Never Cry Wolf wasn't a bad book, and it was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning, but it didn't quite hit the spot for me.  I think that was probably because in terms of plotting and story development the book is going in a bunch of different directions.  I've read a lot of other books by this author so jumping right into the world of the Others and the rules that are in play for that world didn't really bother me, but it seemed at times that this book couldn't decide what it wanted to be about or what direction it wanted to go in and that was problematic.

Sarah King, our intrepid heroine, is a mess, and she is literally a secret wrapped in a mystery and stuck inside an enigma.  She has told so many lies and double crossed so many people that she would not know the truth if it jumped up and bit her on the hinder.  True to course, all that drama has come back to bite her in a serious way and she is now looking to Lucas Simone for protection, since apparently everyone wants to kill her.

Lucas, on the other hand, is as snarly and growly as they come, but falls fast and hard for Sarah and is willing to deal with all of her issues.  Sarah is a charmer who can talk to animals, and her animal specialty is wolf shifters when they're in wolf form.  Awkward!  She has some other abilities that she neglects to mention (for good reason from her perspective, don't get me wrong) but her lack of full disclosure poses problem after problem for the happy couple.  Admittedly, there is a big difference between not telling someone your whole life story on the first date and inconveniently forgetting to bring up your mind control abilities when begging that person to protect you from evil bad guys.

There are a ton of evil bad guys here, too, although why they happen to be evil or bad doesn't really get disclosed, they just are.  They are slavering, crazy, self-serving, and murderous, and that's all there is to it.  One of the rules of the world of the Others is that being a shifter sometimes means you're just imbalanced and that's the end of it, and that works for me for the most part, but there were just so many people in the cast of characters here that knowing people's motivation would have added some depth.

The story kind of goes through an identity crisis about half- or two thirds of the way through, with the introduction of voodoo elements and meeting a bunch of characters that definitely have the potential to appear as leading characters in future books.  For me as a reader, it was about that point that I was ready to start seeing Lucas and Sarah grow as a couple, instead of jumping through more hoops and dealing with an even wider cast of supporting characters.  I believed in their viability as a couple but didn't see a lot of scenes between the two of them that supported that.

Like I said, this wasn't a bad book, and it certainly seems like the launch of a series with other couples that will be interesting to read about.  I guess I was wishing for more relationship development and more character details and less of the running around and killing bad guys.

 
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