Kudos to Sourcebooks for finding new, up-and-coming authors who are writing outside the box, giving readers something a little different than the usual stories we’ve been getting lately. Sara Humphreys is the latest author I’ve found who’s taken my shifters and given them a bit of a twist.
Kerry is a model who’s known as an ice princess – she never touches anyone and stays as far away from people as she can get. What only a few know is that when she touches someone, visions and pain overtake her. What she doesn’t know is her heritage of being a shapeshifter to go along with her psychic gift. She’s a hybrid – born of an Amoveo father and a human mother – and the Purists are out to eradicate hybrids from their race.
Thus we meet Dante, a security specialist, who will be acting as Kerry’s bodyguard. Until he can work in the fact she’s also his mate. That has to be a slow and gentle unveiling. The Amoveo are ancient clans of a variety of shifters from eagles to panthers and everything in between. This is what I enjoy the most about this book. We’re dealing with a fox – Dante; a wolf – Samantha, Kerry’s best friend; an eagle – Malcolm, Samantha’s husband (both of whom are featured in Book 1, Unleashed); and several other animals, along with Kerry, who is a beautiful black panther. I like the fact we have different clans mating, rather than wolves with wolves and so forth like we normally read about.
Dante is determined to keep Kerry safe, not only because she’s his mate, but also because it was his father who was a major participant in the attack on Samantha, who is also a hybrid, in the previous book. Kerry’s next modeling assignment takes them all to New Orleans and an old, rundown house on the bayou. Another element of this story is that the characters can read energy of every kind, from loving to evil. The area where they’re working eventually takes on a very evil energy, only one more thing to add to the investigation of who’s behind all the recent break-ins and attacks.
Once Kerry begins to see Dante in a different light – she initially doesn’t care much for him – she now sees his desire to protect her, his loving nature, as well as his lust for her. And these two together do sizzle. Dante has to restrain himself around Kerry, at least until she knows exactly who and what he is, as well as who and what she is. So you can imagine the sexual tension by the time she’s ready. On that score, I like the fact we don’t have to wait until the last fourth of the book to experience their pleasure in one another.
When evil finally gets its clutches into our characters and it’s revealed who is behind it all, it is a surprise. This is where I also enjoyed them in their animal shapes. We see a totally different side both during capture and after, along with those who attempt rescue. Then we’re given another surprise combined with heartache as more information about Kerry is revealed. And this doesn’t end the betrayal, there are still those who need to be found, which will continue into the next book.
I have not read the first book in this series. While it would have been nice to have done so, I don’t feel I lost anything by starting here. I’m sure I would have gotten some information that might have helped a tad more while reading this story, but Ms. Humphreys does a good job of filling you in with little muss. If you’re a paranormal fan, give this series a try. I’m looking forward to getting caught up and then continuing on with Untamed later this year.
SHE SHOULD BE SEEN, BUT NEVER TOUCHED…
Kerry Smithson’s modeling career ensures that she will be admired from afar, which is essential since mere human touch sparks blinding pain and terrifying visions.
EVERY GOOD MODEL NEEDS A HEAVENLY BODYGUARD…
Dante Coltari is hired to protect Kerry from those who know who she is—or more importantly what she is—and want her dead because of it. Nothing could have prepared him for the challenge of keeping her safe. But, strangely, his lightest touch brings her exquisite pleasure rather than pain, and Dante and Kerry have an otherwordly connection that might just pull them through.
Read an excerpt. (scroll down)
Other books in this series: