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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mate Set by Laurann Dohner

Mate Set by Laurann Dohner
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (139 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

It’s werewolf mating season. All the males are in heat and the driving, sexual lust of their beasts is almost uncontrollable. Mika is human, in an alley, surrounded by four horny werewolves. She knows she’s in deep shit. A tall, handsome werewolf rescues her then demands payment. Hot, sweaty, intimate payment.

Grady is a half breed whose his human mother abandoned him to his werewolf father, so he knows human women just aren’t safe to fall in love with. The wolf within him wants Mika as his mate, but Grady will not give in. Never. Ever. He’s willing to fight his emotions and his beast, no matter how much sexy Mika tempts him.

But neither of them expected her Uncle Omar to assign Grady to protect her from other males—24/7, in her home, sleeping just down the hall. Mika decides to make the best of her vacation and keep the hot wolf in her bed. Grady can’t resist the scorching sex, but he is determined to resist the bond.

If you’re in the mood for a sexy werewolf, a sassy human female, and a whole lot of angst, Mate Set is just the book you’re looking for. As a fan of Laurann Dohner’s Cyborg series, I couldn’t wait to meet her shifters. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Her alpha heroes are just that - alpha - while her heroines are the perfect foil to bring them to their knees.

Mika and Grady are not a conventional couple. She’s a human who was adopted into a werewolf family and, though she knows of their existence, is off limits to them. He’s a half-breed who has seen the adverse effects of being born in between the two worlds and is determined not to mate with a human as a result. When a brawl forces Grady to mark Mika for her protection, things quickly go downhill. While their chemistry is off the charts, their emotions and fear to connect with each other make this story one hell of a roller coaster ride.

At first, the tension worked for me. Although Grady is alpha to the core and refuses to be swayed in his thinking, he also has moments of tenderness. Likewise, while Mika can be soft and nurturing, she can also be tough as nails and refuses to back down. Unfortunately, after a while, their relationship began to border on toxic. As a lover of an unrelenting alpha, Grady’s treatment became too much for even me. I felt this was due to the fact that the story is told from Mika’s point of view, which doesn’t give the reader the opportunity to understand Grady, his feelings, or his motivations. There were several scenes I had difficulty finishing, forcing me to push through to the end. While there is a happily-ever-after, I wasn’t convinced of it, and questioned Mika’s reasoning for staying with a man who treated her so cruelly, without any regard for her as an equal.

On a positive note, the sex scenes are burn-your-fingers hot. Ms. Dohner knows how to create and stoke sexual tension, and she uses her talent to the fullest here. I might not have cared for Grady all that much, but I can’t deny that when he and Mika get together they certainly know how to turn up the heat. I did enjoy the dialogue and the world Ms. Dohner has created, and feel this could be the start of a very promising series. There are several interesting secondary characters, and I hope to see more of them in the future.

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