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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mating Moon by B. J. McCall

Mating Moon by B. J. McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (27 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Leigh Kendale never wanted a tame wolf and Hudson Bast is anything but tame. He's strong, handsome and her brother's partner in the Paranormal Crime Unit.

Hudson Bast lives on the edge, working a dangerous job that requires life and death decisions. He wants Leigh, but he knows making love to her beneath the moon has life changing consequences. They came together beneath a moon of misfortune. Only true love can survive the forces that tear them apart.

This little book is a condensed story in fast forward about werewolves falling in love and fate throwing a huge monkey wrench to trip them up.

The author walked a very clever thin line in writing this tale. I saw a book that really deserved to be longer because of the wonderful potential she imbued her characters with that came through even with the limited of number of pages that restricted them.

Leigh and Hudson fell in love at first sight. If readers are fans of paranormal romances like I am then they’ve seen this tactic used before. I’m glad that Ms. McCall has put a more intelligent spin on it. It’s not that they don’t explore their passion because they do. And it’s as urgent and frantic as I would expect from two wolves under the moon’s influence. It was a hot and delicious bit of writing so erotic romance fans are going to get what they are looking for.

What I liked was the conflict that erupted when I least expected it. It made sense and it showcased Hudson as a man of honor and respect. He chose the long road instead of the short road to instant gratification because he knew the cost would be too high and unwarranted otherwise. He needed to be the alpha he was and that meant seeing the reason and logic behind the tumult. He’s more the focus of the story because it’s by his actions that the plot is propelled forward until its final conclusion. I found him to be the most fleshed out of the two.

But give Leigh her due. She is not a reticent or weak female lead. She is confident, wily and yet has a very strong loyalty and love for her family. That doesn’t stop her from pursuing what she wants but it backfires on her and I felt bad for her. I saw her honor the commitment she made even when she was angry and hurt and that spoke well for her character and her acceptability to being an alpha’s mate. I felt her pain but the shortness of the story prevented the sniffles that could have been dragged from me if the author had had a chance to explore her more deeply.

The conflict is pressed upon Hudson and Leigh externally but there are some internal facts Hudson has to face for their relationship to survive and be blessed by the family that Leigh loves so much. There’s a bit of light drama that would have worked awesome in a longer romantic suspense story but the author pared it down to the essentials to make the most of its impact. She did a fine job of it and it helped to lay the foundation for the HEA’s survival. If a couple can overcome the emotional siege that Hudson and Leigh had to go through, then there’s a good shot at their having a golden wedding anniversary some day.

Mating Moon is short but rich, vibrant, hot and entertaining. I liked Hudson and Leigh and although they thought they’d be good together, I’m glad to say Ms. McCall convinced me they would be too. I liked the emotional element of the story because it gave depth and made me care. I enjoyed this book and I think other paranormal fans will too. It has that definite spark that keeps a reader flipping the pages until that final satisfying paragraph.

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