So, anyhoodle - as I was saying, my cohorts have done a fab job of delivering you the entre into Christine Bell's Wolves of Pray series. That's Pray, Montana for you and me and that, dear readers, is what inspired this week's lovely eye candy! It is my honor then, to provide you with Pray, part duex, Awakening.
Awakening, Wolves of Pray book 2, by Christine Bell, Cobblestone Press, 2010.
Awakening picks up where Pray leaves off. Liam and Amalie are settled into life and live in a large house shared with many of their pack's followers. Chandra, the were from Big Sky Canyon pack who joined with Liam's after disagreeing with her own pack moral corruption at Amelie's hearing, has moved in and is settling as well. The wolf pack of Pray work and live together for society as well as security. Chandra has grown close to the widowed Sean whose wife was the white wolf murder mystery of the first novel. Unfortuntely for Sean his were's sexual nature cannot be subverted forever and he brings home a human for a late night romp one night after one of his many sorrow drowning booze binges. Chandra, both jealous and hurt, lashes out at Sean's stupidity for bringing a human into their secure home.
The intensity of heat between Chandra and Sean seems to be a bit rushed once they get past the bar girl, Amber's, departure. They burn off some sexual tension with a wild run and then explore explosive passion in the barn showers set up Liam has put into place for his pack's post hunt needs. Unfortunately that menacing mystery hunter from book one continues his hunt and, aided and abetted by the ditzy Amber, is able to capture Chandra. The evil doctor plans to study (ie torture) her and prove to the world that his allegations of paranormal were creatures are real. Fortunately for the reader, Christine Bell believes in the power of love, alpha males and kick ass heroines. Sean and Ryan are able to locate Chandra before anything too dire occurs but she has all but turned the tables on her captor by that time!
My sense overall is that, while some storyline aspects seem rushed and a little contrived, I believe that may be attributed to the fact that this is a relatively short novel. I enjoyed it more than it's opening volley, Pray, but my book club posse know's how I feel about first books in a series. It was enough to make me want more Pray wolf action and Awakening delivered. I too would like more explanation of how this were society functions and the difference in the regional packs which led to the shifting alliances in book one. I found Ms. Bell's secondary characters to be strong enough to warrent potential stories in their own rights and that is a hallmark of a good story teller. I always enjoy a strong female leading character and am pleased to find a woman owning her sexuality while maintaining that necessary emotional vulnerability that keeps her from sliding into macho hedonism - it is possible to have great sex and romance!
Way to go Ms. Bell. I look forward to more wolf-tales evolving from the folks up there in Pray! I give this guilty little indulgence 4 chocolate dipped strawberries. Bravo and keep up the good work!