DDS REVIEW: Red Rock Pass by Moira RogersSaturday, May 11, 2013 0:00
If you read romance and particularly paranormal, you can’t help but have seen the name Moira Rogers around the internet. I was amazed to realise I hadn’t tried any of her books, and when the opportunity came up to win and hopefully read this set, I plunked my name down and crossed my fingers. Each book is bite size, slightly shorter than category length, so great when you want something a little short and a little different.
Cry Sanctuary, Book 1
21 Oct 08
When Abigail Adler is in a restaurant with some friends, a man called Alan Matthews approaches her and asks for a date. She is flattered but turns him down, as her longstanding friend Dylan Gennaro seems a little uneasy. Two days later she is attacked in the parking lot of her building. Turns out Dylan is a werewolf and Alan Matthews is the abusive Alpha of the local pack and he wants Abby. Since the attack Dylan has been awkwardly trying to help Abby assimilate with her new situation. Dylan realises that he can’t help Abby – he is a beta werewolf and she is too strong and so he arranges for Abby and himself to go to a neighbouring pack – Red Rock Pass – a place where the leader, Gavin Hamilton, offers sanctuary from the violence of other packs.
This book starts right out of the gate with Abby and Dylan on the run, trying to get to Red Rock Pass. Their car has a flat, though, and they are frantically trying to change it before they are caught by Matthews’ Enforcers. I really like Abby, when the headlights are approaching, even though I could feel her panic and fear, and with Dylan telling her to run, she stands her ground and refuses to leave him. Then Keith Winston arrives from Red Rock and helps to finish things. He is one of Hamilton’s Enforcer’s who has just returned from the war against the Wizards. Oooh Wizards! Haven’t seen those in paranormals before. I live a sheltered paranormal life!
It turns out that Abby’s werewolf is a dominant, and in this society she needs a Guide to help her through the adjustment period of getting to know her wolf – so Dylan is unsuitable. Abby gets to choose who her guide is. It doesn’t have to be a male and it doesn’t have to involve sex – that is their choice. At the end of the transition period they can continue or end the relationship too. Keith is Dominant. And she asks if he will be her Guide.
The attraction between Keith and Abby is immediate and their story is introduced very quickly – but it works well. As Abby is settling in and trying to adjust, Matthews contacts her and lets her know he has her sister Brynn and is willing to do an exchange for Abby. Keith and Abby, along with Keith’s friend and fellow enforcer Joe, set out to extract Brynn. More kick-butt action and then some sexy times on their return. A good balance for a shorter book.
There isn’t an overabundance of world building – a downside to the category length, and I do have quite a few questions at the end. Would also have liked to have seen some wolfy shifting. Abby would ask about things that are mentioned and she would be told “someone else can tell you about that” or “we can touch on that tomorrow.” But as this is a four-part connected series, hopefully things will be fleshed out a little more as the books progress.
Grade : B-
Keith Winston is tired of fighting. The war between werewolves and wizards rages on in Europe, but he’s come home to Red Rock, Montana in hopes of finding a bit of peace. Instead he finds more strife as he struggles against the pack’s dictates that he resume his place as the alpha’s right-hand man.
When he rescues a new wolf on the run, he knows his instant attraction to her could cause trouble. What he doesn’t expect is to find himself embroiled in another battle that goes against all his instincts—and his heart.
Abigail Adler learned about the existence of werewolves only when she became one. With her life threatened by a corrupt alpha, she flees to the only sanctuary she knows: Red Rock. While she’s grateful for the pack’s protection, she chafes under its unbreakable rules of conduct—except when it comes to submitting to the passion Keith stirs in her.
Then her tormentor kidnaps her sister in an attempt to lure her out of hiding. To save her, Abby and Keith must be willing to do the very thing that could get them all killed—break all of the rules.
Read an excerpt.
Sanctuary Lost, Book 2
9 Jun 09
Book 2 in the Red Rock series follows Brynn, Abby’s sister, and Joe, Keith’s friend, who we met in Book 1. Brynn has been traumatised by Alan Matthews’ treatment of her and is very aware of how defenceless she is in this new Shifter world she finds herself in. She is frightened that Matthews will find her again – and as Matthews launches attacks on Red Rock Pass, her vulnerability is heightened even more. She wants to stay with Abby in Sanctuary and to facilitate that, she proposes that she become a werewolf too and be willingly transformed.
I hadn’t read about a willing supplicant before in the paranormal genre and was really drawn in by this aspect of the story. It is a good twist. But the choice isn’t just hers to make – she is told it has to be approved by the leader, Gavin Hamilton, and at least a six-month waiting period observed. and this left a period of page time when Brynn steps close to the “whiny ledge” about her vulnerabilities and what she wants. On the plus side, it gives time for her and Joe to become close. We also find out that Joe has been a Guide previously for other werewolves, which is interesting, although one of these experiences ended unhappily and made him reluctant to take on the role for someone he’s coming to care about.
Then Brynn’s desire for transformation is suddenly taken away from her when she is attacked and bitten by one of Matthews’ wolves and she desperately needs Joe’s help, because it is a full moon and not many wolves survive the transformation then. Brynn’s new wolf is a submissive and so this leads to some great scenes of Brynn adjusting to accepting this and how to merge this new form inside herself. I love shifting scenes in paranormals and feel that if a book is based on that, I should get at least one! Couple this with the deepening relationship between her and Joe and it is an enjoyable read.
Again, the world building isn’t very layered, but I feel it isn’t as noticeable in this book. It does, in many ways, feel like a fuller read for the word count. Next up is the gorgeous Beta Dylan who helped Abby escape.
If there’s one thing that Brynn Adler hates, it’s feeling helpless and vulnerable in unfamiliar territory. Three weeks ago, life tossed her into just such a world. A world of werewolves she never knew existed—until she found out her sister was one of them.
The pack seems determined to hurry her back to the normal world of humans. But after everything she’s witnessed, she’s not sure she wants to go—especially if it means leaving not only her sister behind, but the one man who makes her forget her life is falling apart.
Now all she has to do is convince him to agree to a plan to force the pack to let her stay.
Joe Mitchell has been battling his protective instincts since he rescued Brynn from her kidnapper. Getting involved with her is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. She’s on shaky emotional ground, and a supernatural war is no place for a human woman. He’s not about to let her make a hasty decision, one that will only bring her pain and regret.
Now all he has to do is let her go.
Read an excerpt.
Sanctuary’s Price, Book 3
27 Oct 09
The character of Dylan caught my attention right from the start of Cry Sanctuary. A gentle, caring Beta he had suffered for many years under the brutal leadership of Alan Matthews, before making his escape with Abby. Now, finally, he has a home, an Alpha whom he respects and a new pack.
There is another newcomer too in the Pack – a human witch, Sasha Wallace. The trouble is that werewolves and witches don’t really mix, and she is greeted with suspicion by the pack members. Her goal is to repay a debt and then hightail it out of there. This chance appears when a wolf is found with vampire bites and will almost certainly succumb to them. Sasha is determined to use her magic to help – even though she is not a fully trained witch, because her mentor was killed, so she turns to the books in the Pack’s library to try to find some answers. Dylan offers to help – and a shared love of books and lore begins a friendship which builds into a relationship, as they work together to save the wolf. They find out that together they can channel Sasha’s magic into a healing force.
Gavin then requests that both of them go on some business to visit another pack and a friend of his – Adam, who happens to be a Vampire. And so we have a little road trip with Joe and Brynn along for the ride. Brynn is still struggling to control her wolf and is very aggressive towards other pack members, and Gavin hopes this will give her and the pack some much needed space. I really like that Brynn is still getting a handle on things, controlling her “moon” wolf – it seems much more realistic after you have undergone such a transformation and that it is all not wrapped up neatly at the end of their book.
After all the dramatic action of the previous two books, this book is a much calmer ride . . . it feels like I had time to catch my breath and watch the relationship between Dylan and Sasha unfold. Their relationship is layered and thoughtful, and the times when Sasha channels her magic with Dylan brings them closer together too. I really rooted for this pair to get their HEA. Individually they are both beta, but together each one made the other more.
Before Sasha, Dylan’s wolf had been a quiet companion, a silent part of himself that gave him the strength to endure. His wolf knew how to suffer in silence and rebel quietly. He crouched in the leaves and closed his eyes, preparing himself to call on the wolf. But the power teased at him instead, that wild magic that felt like Sasha, and he sucked in a breath and gave in to it.
After a decade under a corrupt alpha’s thumb, Dylan Gennaro is still reeling from the changes in his life: a new home, a new alpha, a pack at war. Even normal things like an ending relationship. Still, when he’s asked to work with an outcast witch, he agrees without hesitation. Maybe by protecting her, he’ll rediscover his own inner strength. If, indeed, it exists.
Sasha Wallace lost her mentor in a vicious attack that left her scarred in spirit as well as body. While she’s grateful for the refuge offered by the Red Rock alpha, it’s tough living with the pack’s suspicion. Even though—or maybe because—she’s willing to use her powers to help them fight their war. Except for Dylan. When she’s finally free to find a new home, he’ll be the only one she regrets leaving behind.
Their attraction is a balm to their wounded hearts, until their journey for knowledge brings them face to face with a terrifying vampire. Neither has the strength for this fight—but if they can let go of their pasts and trust each other, they might just be able to do it. Together.
Read an excerpt.
Sanctuary Unbound, Book 4
1 Jun 10
This book is busy. Right from the start events happen that can and do change the face of Red Rock forever. A real roller coaster ride. Adam the Vampire, who we met in the previous book, has returned to Red Rock with Dylan and Sasha to meet with his old friend Gavin to help him out. Red Rock has been under attack from a Vampire feeding off the wolf pack’s energy and Adam may be able to assist.
As soon as Adam arrives in Red Rock, he spots Cindy and is immediately attracted to her, despite being warned off by Gavin. Cindy, though, feels the attraction too, and so pretty early on, they decide to enter into a just-sex-no-feelings arrangement, both being wary from past hurts and Adam being determined to return to Maine. I liked Cindy in the previous books, and in this one she really comes into her own as a dominant werewolf – more than a match for a 19th Century Vampire. And from that start comes so much more as they discover they had each met their mate.
This book is full of action, spells, magic and smexing. Moira Rogers does ramp up the tension really well and writes very good fight scenes, where I am not trying to work out what arm is where and who is doing what to who, and the world building stays true throughout the books. Overall, a very entertaining series although I do miss not having any Wizards!
It had been years since Adam had driven a car more than fifteen miles, long enough to admit that he wasn’t very good at handling modern vehicles. They’d made it out of New England before he’d stopped trying to shift gears with the emergency brake.
New England is ideal for vampire Adam Dubois. His cozy home in the Great North Woods reminds him of a happier time when werewolves and witches were stuff of legends, and he was a simple lumberjack.
Hiding from past failures has worked for over eighty years, but a life debt owed to the Red Rock alpha has forced him to leave his retreat—and come face to face with a woman who challenges and tempts him on every level.
Hiding secrets is a lonely business, and Cindy Shepherd is lonely with a capital L. Red Rock isn’t exactly crawling with available men, but her interest in the mystery-shrouded new vampire in town seems mutual. After all, it’s only sex—there’s no danger he’ll dig deep enough to unleash the demons of her past.
Casual flirtation turns deadly serious when Adam discovers that the vampire plaguing Red Rock is using his mistakes as a road map. When it comes to his life, he knows Cindy has his back. But in order to secure the future, they both must trust each other with more—even if it means sacrificing themselves to save everything they hold dear.
Read an excerpt.
Even though the overall world building isn’t heavily layered, a downside to the smaller word count of each book, it is consistent throughout – something I really appreciate. The plus side is that you can snack on these books without having to remember all manner of layers! Combine that with four hot romances, each with their own challenges and, in some cases, uncertain futures and it makes a good set.
Overall Grade: B-
Other books in this series: