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I Belong

Review: Kept by Shawntelle Madison

Title: Kept

Author: Shawntelle Madison

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Coveted (Book 2)

Publication Date: November 27, 2012

Format: Paperback, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0345529170 (Ballentine)

ISBN-13: 978-0345529176 (Ballentine)

Reviewed by: Michelle


Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she’s now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door.

Nat’s father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss’s deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected . . . or else risk losing everything.  

Quick & Dirty: An amazing sequel that is much more engaging that the first.

Opening Sentence: Of all the things I had to face that day, the prospect of sticking my hand down someone else’s pants as part of my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, just didn’t seem right.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I was surprised when I finished Kept by Shawntelle Madison. A sequel in the Coveted series, Kept has allowed me to appreciate this world in the way that book 1 should have. I was engaged and the story kept me interested throughout the book. Sometimes that happens in book series, and that’s okay. I’m glad that I gave Kept a chance, or else I would have missed out on an enjoyable read.

Natalysa Stravinsky is a part of the New Jersey pack of werewolves. Once an outcast, this intelligent Russian werewolf comes with a neurotic streak. And all she wants? A little rest and relaxation. Kept begins where Coveted ends and Natalya is struggling with her OCD tendencies. Therapy has done wonders for her stress, alongside the friends that she has made through it. But problems do not disappear forever. When her father disappears, Natalya and her friends assist her in locating him. Danger leads them to Atlantic City, where it’s more than just a simple game of chance.

Natalya has changed since the pages of Coveted. What downfalls I may have had before have been turned into attributes that I adore. The new Natalya is someone who has accepted who she is and has taken the steps to control it. I was interested in her character, her personality, and what she wanted to do throughout the book. I appreciate that Madison wrote Natalya with flaws. The struggle is easy to relate to and makes her a realistic and relatable character.

Sometimes, it’s hard to say certain things in a book review. I never want to seem unappreciative of an author’s work. In the case of Kept, I really appreciated how Madison seemed to re-evaluate her characters and her world, giving a new light to them all. The main character seemed to gain a more engaging persona, allowing me to relate to her much more than I did before.

The plot is complicated, and that’s okay. At times, I felt that there was a lot going on, but I think it allowed the reader to fully understand why Natalya longed for so much control. Madison wrote a strong heroine, with some delicious supporting characters and it made for an enjoyable read.

I urge you to pick up Kept by Shawntelle Madison and give it a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Notable Scene:

“After I check on your dad, I’ll be there.”

But that wasn’t what happened.

“Stay out of trouble, Natalya.”

“I will,” I said softly.

Then he hung up.

Thorn wasn’t behind me. A flash of disappointment hit my gut. I guess I’d gotten used to him protecting me. But he’d done a great deal for my family by delivering Dad to the healer. It was a damn shame Erica played tagalong to watch him while he waited for news.

Which brought another question to mind. Who the hell was driving behind me?

A second later, whoever it was rammed into the dump truck.

Coveted Series:

0.4 Bitter Disenchantment

0.5 Collected

1. Coveted

2. Kept

3. Compelled (2014)

FTC Advisory: Ballentine/Random House provided me with a copy of Kept.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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