Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book Review: Hour of the Lion

Hour of the Lion (Wild Hunt Legacy #1)
Published By: VanScoy Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Page Count: 426 pages (paperback)
Buy it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult (18+)
Genre: Paranormal Erotica (ménage)

I have been a big fan of Cherise Sinclair’s "Masters of the Shadowlands" series, so when I saw a new series by her that I hadn’t ready yet, I scooped it up immediately, purchasing all 3 available books at once. This new series is far different from what I am use to reading of hers; instead of Masters and Sirs in a world of BDSM, "The Wild Hunt Legacy" books are a whole new world of shifters. I love paranormal books, and shifters are some of my favorites. So the thought of Cherise Sinclair’s dominant, alpha males in a shifter role truly intrigued me. As I began reading, I quickly learned that this was a whole new take on the shifter theory, from how they are born/created to their language, and even their culture. 

There are two main changes from the traditional shifter world to this new shifter experience that I absolutely loved. First of all, in the world of "The Wild Hunt Legacy", there are more male shifters born than female shifters. So it is not uncommon for male littermates to share their female love interest. You can imagine how I pitied those poor females, having to suffer the affection of not one, but two strong, dominant males. (Is the sarcasm dripping from my chin?) I’m a self-proclaimed kinkster and unashamed of it, so I willingly admit that I very much enjoyed the ménage theme throughout the book(s) in this series. Secondly, in this non-traditional shifter culture, littermates can be different species. Because of the mating practices in effect due to the shortage of females, all single males are obligated to mate with all single females during the full moon in an effort to keep the shifters from dying-out. This once a month event is known as "the gathering". Species are not only able, but even expected, to inter-mate with each other, so a female bear could very well give birth to a litter containing both bears and the species of the sire, should he not be a bear. Because of this, the shifter culture is one big family in itself, and that was interesting and fun to experience… not to mention sexy as hell during the gathering.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of Hour of the Lion. When I told people what I was reading and they asked how I was liking it, my instinct was to tell them that I was enjoying it, but it wasn’t one of those “can’t put it down” books like Cherise Sinclair’s reads usually are. However… I was drawn to the book constantly and while I could set it aside to do other things, the characters and story were continuously on my mind. As lead males, Calum and Alec are sexy as hell. Calum owns the local tavern, a gathering place for the shifter community, and is also the guardian of the shifters in his territory. His littermate, Alec, is the local sheriff and also one of the guards of the shifters. While Calum is more reserved and Alec more laid back, together the pair are devastating, and it’s easy to fall for them. The men themselves don’t really have much of a story line apart from their role in Victoria’s story, but they do play central roles, especially Calum, in all of the books in the series so far.

Victoria is an ex-marine and current black ops agent, and a general bad-ass woman, who is turned shifter when she tries to rescue a young cougar shifter from human experiments. She is, as are most humans, oblivious to the shifter world before this young man, and upon his death, heads to Cold Creek, home of Calum and Alec, to investigate the shifters. The outcome is obvious. She falls in love with the men, and they with her, but their road is not an easy one and there are twists and turns that were unexpected and kept what could have been a predictable story fresh and moving. Calum’s teenage daughter adds a fun dynamic to the little family, as does the grandfather of the young shifter who changed Victoria. It was hard for me to relate to Victoria as there was very little I could identify with in her personality. I’m not a fighter and I find a tough as nails female itching for a fight to be very hard to connect with. But she was fun to read and I enjoyed watching her evolve throughout the course of the story.

Lastly, (hums the tune) Let’s Talk about Sex, Baby…. I know it’s what you’re really wanting to know about, right? Cherise Sinclair is known for her graphic, steamy, and let’s not forget somewhat taboo, BDSM sex scenes that bring us to our knees and keep us panting for more. On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d rate the scenes in her "Masters of the Shadowlands" series at a scorching 10. I was expecting more of the same from this series. The sex itself was definitely steamy, and the ménage aspect lended that edge of taboo, but it held a little less of a sizzle than what I’m use to from Cherise Sinclair. Still, there was enough sexual tension between the three lead characters to keep things hot, and my cheeks still flushed while reading. And the gathering scene… while emotional and tense, and even humorous at times… is boiling! On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d give Hour of the Lion a good, strong 8.5 in steam factor.

Overall, Hour of the Lion gets 4.5 dark little sexy birdies from me. The only thing keeping it from reaching that last half of a birdie was that it took me some time to get use to the new language and customs of Cherise Sinclair’s take on shifters. Will I re-read this one? Probably not. Would I recommend it to a friend? Already have! If you’re looking for a sexy, fresh take on shifters, this is the series you’re looking for!

First a Marine, then a black ops agent, Victoria Morgan knows the military is where she belongs...until a sniper's bullet changes her life. Trying to prove she's not washed up, she rescues a young man from kidnappers. When the dying boy transforms into a cougar--and bites her--she learns of an entire hidden society. He begs her to inform his grandfather of his death and to keep the secret of the shifters' existence. She can't refuse, but what if the creatures pose a danger to the country she swore to protect?

As guardian of the shifter territory, Calum McGregor wields the power of life and death over his people. When a pretty human female arrives in their wilderness town, he and his littermate become increasingly concerned. Not only is the little female hiding something, but she is far more appealing than any human should be.

While investigating the shifters, Victoria begins to fall in love with the werecat brothers and the town as well. For the first time in her life, she might have a real home. Her hopes are crushed when a deadly enemy follows her from the city, and the shifters discover she knows their secret. Now nobody is safe--least of all Victoria.

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