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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Honored Vow by Mary Calmes

Honored Vow by Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Full Length (285 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Sex in shifted form
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

Jin Rayne is still growing into his frightening new powers as a nekhene cat and his place as reah of Logan Church’s tribe when he learns that a sepat, an honor challenge, has been called. Logan, who has never wanted to do anything but lead his small-town tribe, must travel around the world to Mongolia and fight to become the most powerful leader in the werepanther world.

Logan won’t be the only one making the journey. As his mate, Jin must fight with him to honor his commitment to Logan, his culture, and his tribe. But the trial is long, involving a prolonged separation between the two men, and Logan’s humanity is at stake. In order to make it through the nightmarish sepat, Jin and Logan must accept their fates, trust each other, and honor the vows between them no matter the cost.

Jin and Logan are back but their love is about to be tested in ways they never could have imagined. Jin and Logan are a rare true-mated pair of werepanthers. Their bond is extremely unique, as is their love. After going through so much already in the two years they’ve been together, Jin and Logan deserve some peace and quiet. Unfortunately they don’t get that yet as someone has kidnapped Jin’s best friend which leads to a deadly and incredibly vicious ancient ritual among the werepanthers. Logan, Jin, and their people are about to be tested in so many ways with only their bonds of love, friendship, and loyalty to see them through.

Honored Vow is the third book in the Jin/Logan relationship. You technically don’t need to read the previous two books as there is so much background thrown into this one the average reader will be able to pick up the plot without much trouble. I wouldn’t suggest it though as the world building is chaotic and very confusing. There are so many random terms and concepts thrown in at a breakneck speed it’s easy to become confused by the werepanther world. There’s a lack of cohesive logic to this fantasy world that would likely bother sticklers for detail. However the action happens along the same speed so those readers who enjoy a lot of lightening fast action may be able to overlook any world building issues.

The real highlight of the book is Jin, as always. He’s a bit of a perfect character – the most rare, most powerful, most caring – but in this book he actually learns just how much his inflated ego can harm those around him. It’s nice to see him actually grow and mature from the spoiled brat he is to understanding the ramifications of his actions. One note of caution is that there is a lot of violence in this book. The werepanther world is incredibly brutal and vicious and death/maiming/torture is pretty common. Most of it happens off page and considering they are panthers, most can heal any major damage. No character seems permanently harmed by their torture or maiming. Combined with the high-speed action, all the violence isn’t necessarily something that would turn readers off.

Honored Vow is a very quick and mostly entertaining read. It has some questionable plot points due to the messy world building but the characters are adorable and fun to read. Overall this was a fun read. The characters and situations are over the top but the quiet moments of connection and real bonding are what make up the heart of the story. Anyone who’s read the series so far will want to continue and although this is Jin and Logan’s final book, there are numerous secondary characters who are set up and shine, obviously on the road to their own books.

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