I’ve never read a book by Sarah McCarty before, but she’s been an author I’ve been meaning to try. I have to say, I’m glad I got the chance and that I read this book. I love anthologies, because they’re fun, interesting, and pack a lot of punch. Generally, I find myself wanting more. In Running Wild, however, the stories are perfectly written and you’re not left hanging at all – the stories feel complete.
Donovan and Lisa’s story came first, and I have to say Donovan was my favorite hero. The story was lighthearted and fun, and I found it amusing how Lisa couldn’t deal with Donovan being a werewolf. (With good reason.) Their interaction was enjoyable to observe, and I liked how both characters had a larger than life personality. It was also nice how Donovan knew Lisa was his mate, and didn’t fight it – his struggle was convincing Lisa to not only take a chance on him, but to stay with him forever. One thing I would have liked (in all three stories) was a slightly better explanation of the word “seelie” – which the werewolves used as a term of endearment. I did enjoy where the main focus and purpose of the story was the developing relationship between Lisa and Donovan – it was nice to not have a lot of distracting, outside factors.
Kelon and Robin’s story was my favorite in this anthology. There was an added layer to this story because of Robin’s condition. I liked the vulnerability that Robin exhibited, and Kelon’s subsequent reaction to her feelings. Robin wasn’t needy, or annoying – it was more that neither of them had any real experience with relationships, and they had to face some issues to put them on the same page.
There was also a nice twist, with the threat to Robin (which is why Donovan asked Kelon to come in the first place). I also liked that Robin began to gain confidence, and come into her own. The way she was “introduced” to the fact that Kelon was a werewolf was also interesting, and believable. Their affection for one another was intense, and well written.
Wyatt’s story had the most aspects of the werewolf culture, and a lot of that has to do with who Wyatt is. Heather is also an interesting character because she has depth, and strength, and has a brain. She knows when to back down, and when to hold her ground. It was so nice – refreshing, really, to have a “kick ass” heroine, who didn’t put herself and others in danger just to “be strong.”
Their different personalities also gave this story a more pragmatic quality. Wyatt is an alpha, and he was much more take charge, and a little less tentative in his interaction with Heather. The story ended nicely, and I’m that Wyatt is going off to start his own pack. I’m glad that these characters are getting their happy ending – with a fresh beginning thrown in as well.
I really enjoyed reading these stories about werewolves and their mates that were rather lighthearted and straightforward. Donovan, Kelon, and Wyatt were satisfying, had depth and creative plots, but no convoluted story or too much unnecessary angst. The stories were all hot, and the chemistry between the characters was palpable. Personally, one thing I could have done without, was the sex being pushed to “the next level” – I felt that Ms. McCarty wrote it just to make the book edgier, but I didn’t feel that it did much for the story itself, or the relationship of the characters. Overall, I very much enjoyed this anthology and look forward to reading more books by Ms. McCarty.
Overall Grade: A-
Donovan—A Protector, Donovan’s directive is to bring the Pack Alpha home and nothing more. But when Donovan catches the sexy human scent of Lisa Delaney, he’s hers, body and soul—and ready to risk both on an erotic desire that will shatter all boundaries.
Kelon—Kelon likes his life as the biggest, baddest Protector of his pack. He fully intends to go back to his pack after he helps Donovan out, but he never counted on the voluptuous distraction of Robin Delaney. Soft, sweet, and sexy, Robin is the one woman that can make him forget duty and make him contemplate a choice no werewolf should ever have to make.
Wyatt—In a pack where only the strong can lead, and any weakness is exploited, Wyatt can’t afford to be attracted to the ever practical, completely human Heather Delaney. But with her trim body, fiery temper, and lush mouth, Heather isn’t a woman a man ignores— no matter what the cost.
Read an excerpt here.