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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: Cynful

Title: Cynful
Author: Dana Marie Bell
Page Count: 253 pages
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me

To save the woman he loves, he must push his gifts to the brink.

Halle Shifters, Book 2

Julian DuCharme, a rare Spirit Bear with legendary healing powers, is finally free from the threat of death, finally free to claim his mate—but she’s not having it. While his Bear screams it’s time to mate, the love of his life wants to date.

Holding his Bear in check while convincing her he’s not out to control her won’t be easy. She’s stubborn and a closeted geek—in other words, perfect for him.

Cynthia “Cyn” Reyes, owner of Living Art Tattoos, thinks Julian is the hottest thing on two legs. That doesn’t mean she’s going to roll over for his masculine charm. She watched her mother flounder when her father passed away, and she’s determined to never lose herself to someone else. Not even a man who would jump the moon for her, if she asked that of him.

When the women of Living Art are targeted by a killer, Julian doesn’t think twice about pouring out his last drop of power to keep Cyn safe. But it’s Cyn who’ll give up everything—her independence, even her humanity—to keep a terrifying vision
from coming true.

One of his death.

Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, graphic language, a tattooed heroine and the Bear who loves her. Maybe he’ll finally convince her to tattoo him with “Property of Cyn”.

I was super excited to finally get a release date for this book since it's been awhile since book 1 (Bear Necessities) came out and the pump was definitely primed for Cyn and Julian's story. I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed- I approached this book with a sense of fun and was willing to roll with the punches and was, I think, rewarded for my efforts.

Julian is an unusual character in that he's already head over heels in love with Cyn, and just needs to convince her that he's the real deal.  He's in it for the long haul and is frustrated because Cyn wants to take their relationship at a glacial pace, but interprets her reluctance as an indicator that he needs to try harder.  He's a sweet guy whose powers aren't the rock 'em sock 'em type- he's a healer and has, logically, chosen nursing as his career.

Cyn is the rebel here- she's the free spirit who's fought tooth and nail for her friends and her successful tattoo shop, and is afraid to have all that eclipsed because she's suddenly half of a couple.  She has to work up to the leap of faith of being in a permanent thing with Julian; lucky for her, Julian is a patient guy.

This would have been an okay story if the only plot elements had been the development of the relationship between Cyn and Julian and the good-natured ribbing and the pop culture references that get thrown around between the caste of characters in Halle.  I would have enjoyed the story anyway, but there were other elements at work here that will hopefully get a little more page time in future books.  There's a shooter on the loose that's targeting the girls that work at the tattoo shop, and my big criticism of the book is probably that the resolution of that plot line seemed kind of thrown in at the last minute, like all of a sudden it dawned on the characters that there was a maniac on the loose and they should probably do something about it.

My favorite element of the story? It's a tie between Cyn's journey to determine what kind of bear she's going to shift into and the last few pages of the book.  As a side note, I actually want to watch Sailor Moon now despite having never seen a single episode before.  Go figure.

Overall Rating:

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