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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vulfen Alpha’s Mate by Laina Kenney

Vulfen Alpha’s Mate by Laina Kenney
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (116 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

After a disastrous blind date, Ellie Bradley enjoys dessert and hot kisses with a mysterious waiter, who turns out to be wealthy Russian businessman Rylek Sidarov.

Rylek, Alpha of three vulfen clans, was waiting tables as a favor to his chef uncle. He never thought he would find his fated mate in the human world, but there is no mistaking Ellie’s intoxicating scent. At the end of a blazing encounter, danger looms and Rylek goes against his strong vulfen instinct to send Ellie away unclaimed for her own safety. Unable to give her up, Rylek offers Ellie a choice to accept him and be his beloved mate—or never see him again.

Discovering a mate is a gift for Ellie and Rylek both, but human hunters, a vulfen traitor and the complications of navigating a new culture all conspire to threaten their new mating bond and their lives.

This story has the perfect balance of emotion, personal drama and delightful surprises to make this a romance worth spending time with.

I really could get into this story because of the author’s voice. I liked her personable style of writing as well as how she blended the cultures of her world building. Some might say the conflict is kind of predictable because there are always traditionalists and prejudice that refuse change, but I liked how the author handled it by introducing surprise twists for the characters. It wasn’t that huge of a shock for me because I caught a few hints but I sure enjoyed suspecting something the heroine didn’t. Not only that but its revelation made the dramatic confrontation all the more entertaining and interesting because of how Ms. Kenney had the heroine react to it.

Another thing I was impressed with was the author’s maximizing each chapter with just what I needed to make keep me committed to the story. Even though the hero and heroine fall in love fast, there were enough details and depth shared in every section to make each step believable. In addition, the ending of one chapter teased me with enough new information that I couldn’t help but keep reading so I could find out more. With momentum like that, it didn’t take me long to read this book at all.

I adored the heroine, Ellie. She’s sweet and personable yet she’s lonely. Her heart is searching for it knows not what but it certainly knew it wasn’t the dweeb in the beginning of the book. I got the greatest kick out of how Ms. Kenney had Ellie meeting her future love. How I wish hunky waiters abounded at my local eateries. I also like the light resistance that she posed to the changes in her life. She didn’t let them overwhelm her or let them take on lives of their own. The heroine had her doubts, thought about them, tested the waters, adjusted and considered her options, and then stuck with what she believed was the right thing to do. All good qualities in a heroine. I also enjoyed her giving nature and how important that was to the story. In fact, her natural instincts are key in how the happily ever after gets played out.

Rylek is way cool. Here’s this tough alpha shifter who basically holds the weight of the world on his shoulders and pretty much accepted he’d never find love, and in walks Ellie. Again, Ms. Kenney’s writing brought it all to life. I swooned over his growly nature, his viewpoints on the heroine’s Marilyn Monroe-like figure, and his view on the relationship of women and food. I thought his stilted and formal method of speech very old world and telling. It made his character unique and rounded because it was Rylek. No one else could pull it off as well as he could. It also showed me just how much he needed Ellie in his life. Nothing illustrated that best as when he reacted to whenever he thought his mate was in danger. His dialogue, his vows, his very being was oh, so romantic that I just melted. Rylek is a wonderful hero.

Secondary characters abound and are really cool in and of themselves. I liked his cousins, all of them. I liked his aunt and uncle and how pivotal they were at one point. There’s one scene with hands that is powerful and beautiful and it gave me happy goose bumps. It worked for me.

The villain acting out was expected but I didn’t know when or how. Ms. Kenney presented an interesting and diabolical plot against the heroine and hero and I was thrilled with how it was resolved.

I sigh in satisfaction with well written growly heroes who bite, nibble and make a heroine nearly pass out from expert and enthusiastic love making and Rylek is all that and more. I liked every single one of those hot and passionate scenes and the author placed them at strategic positions throughout the book. There are well described emotions and sentiments that hook a reader as well, which enhanced my reading experience and kept me involved in the story.

Vulfen Alpha’s Mate hit all my happy buttons by delivering a truly romantic story with characters I enjoyed watching fall in love. The overall sense of this story is upbeat and positive and when it ended, I was feeling relaxed and satisfied. I had a great time reading this book and thank Ms. Kenney for a charming experience. Okay, so I needed an ice cube or two – what’s a little melted water when the writing is that fun? Check out Vulfen Alpha’s Mate and see.

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