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I Belong


Review: Hunting Human by Amanda E. Alvarez

Title: Hunting Human

Author: Amanda E. Alvarez

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Prime Legacy (Book 1)

Publication Date: March 28, 2011

Format: eBook, 310 Pages

ASIN: B004MPRZGQ (Carina Press)

Reviewed by: Sheila

Synopsis

For two years, Beth Williams has run from the past, and the beast that dwells inside her. She is haunted by memories of being kidnapped and the savage attack that killed her best friend. Now Beth finally thinks she’s ready to move on…with Braden Edwards, a charming, irresistibly sexy man who tempts Beth to embrace the present.

But the past lurks closer than Beth realizes. Markko Bolvek, one of the werewolves who kidnapped her, has tracked her to Portland, Oregon, his pursuit fueled by a hunger for vengeance. Only Braden, a werewolf himself, senses the danger shadowing her steps. The Edwards and Bolveks have been enemies for centuries—and despite the instant connection he feels with Beth, Braden isn’t sure which side of the war she’s on.

With suspicion at odds with their attraction, Beth and Braden must learn to trust one another to stop Markko for good. Can Beth accept the wolf within—and love a man who embodies everything she fears?

Quick & Dirty: Family loyalty with werewolf tendencies and one woman looking from the outside in.

Opening Sentence“Just pick one.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The paranormal genre has plenty of werewolf stories.  What is it that draws us to them?  Sexy alpha males perhaps?  Definitely on MY list of requirements, but I don’t think that is it.  Well, not entirely (it certainly doesn’t hurt).  I believe the draw lies not in the individual, but the pack.  A family unit, not necessary blood related, that bands together for mutual survival.  Our main character, Beth Williams, is a soul alone in this world.  Braden Edwards comes along and offers all she is missing, a place to belong.  I think that we all look for such a place in our own lives.  It also makes for a good story.

Beth is a survivor.  Grief-stricken over the murder of best friend and sister-of-her-heart, Rachel, and the apparent loss of her humanity, she restlessly moves around the country until finally settling down in Portland.  She is looking for a new start but is she ready to accept it?  Beth comes with a lot of unresolved issues that prevent her from moving forward in her life.  Dealing with her werewolf side is just one of many problems she refuses to acknowledge.  She is a little stubborn and comes off as a pain in the butt for most of the novel.  Can she come to terms with her past before it catches up to her?  Will she learn to trust someone with her fears and insecurities?  Can she accept love when it is offered, or will she let it pass her by?  Can she embrace her new life as a werewolf or will she let it dictate her actions from here on out?

Braden Edwards is hot.  He’s smart, wealthy, and has a loving family.  And what a family.  Mom wielding a spoon like she’s brandishing a club, smart and reliable Dad, perky little sis that is noisy and lovable, brothers that don’t let an opportunity pass when there is teasing to be done.  They’re like the Brady Bunch with fur.  That’s all I’m going to say about that, the rest you have to read about on your own.  What on Earth possessed someone like Braden to pursue a woman that clearly has something to hide?  Werewolf pheromones!  It’s kind of corny the way they hook up but that’s okay.  Ms. Alvarez, the author, makes them work for it.  I like that their relationship hits lots of snags, like a normal one would.   They fight, they say hurtful things to one another, they brood over it, and then they make up. *smile*  The “Fated Lovers” stories are everywhere.  This one is like a breath of fresh air in that regard.

The only one standing in their way, besides each other, is Markko Bolvek.  He is one sick puppy.  The bad guy’s family that is responsible for the kidnapping and brutal murder of Beth’s best friend, Rachel, is now out looking for her.  Markko has come for Beth and nothing will stand in his way, including his long time rival, Braden.  Suspense, suspense, and a little dismemberment follow this guy around.  He likes to play with his “dinner” after all.  Can the good guys prevail or shall the bad guys win this time?  Will love triumph over evil?  I know, more than a little cliché but it still applies.

If you are looking for a book without many twists, turns, not much in the way of depth, but still left you happy, then this is the book to read.  I have no idea how this will work out as an ongoing series.  Mostly because there is not much of an emphasis on the world building as much as there is on the character development.  The series title, Prime Legacy, refers to the mythological beginnings of both the Edwards and Bolveks clans.  Those that carry the prime mantle, special markings on a wolf’s fur, show proof that the werewolf is part of the direct descendants from their legends.  I am curious as to what is in store for us for the next book.

Notable Scene:

“You call the family doctor for all the people you kidnap?”  Beth let the full force of anger consume her face when Braden opened his mouth.  “I’m sure that’s simple to explain.  Sorry to call you out here doc, but we Tasered a girl, then tossed her in the trunk of the car yesterday.  We just want to make sure she’ll live.”

“Nobody said anything to me about a Taser!”  Anna’s irate voice broke through most of Beth’s anger.  “A Taser, Braden?  How could you?”

Braden jerked away from his mother.  “That was Chase!”

Anna rounded on Chase.  “Apologize.  Now.”

“But…”

“Both of you.  Now.”

“Sorry.”  They muttered at the same time, obviously unwilling to ignore their mother’s edict.  Braden wouldn’t look at her and Chase suddenly took a ravenous interest in his breakfast.  Anna pushd a plate of freshly scrambled eggs and steaming bacon in front of her.

“What would you like to drink?”

“Uh…”

“We’ve got orange juice, milk, water, coffee…”

“Orange juice is fine.”

Anna turned away and pulled a glass out of the cabinet.

“That was awesome!”  Lucy leaned across the two empty chairs between them, a huge smile broadcasting perfect teeth.  “No one can make them cower like Mom.”  Her eyes danced with amusement.  “I bet if you squeeze out a few tears she’ll actually hit them with her spatula.”

The Prime Legacy Series:

1. Hunting Human

FTC Advisory: The author provided me with a copy of Hunting HumanNo goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  I only get paid in hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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