Wednesday, April 25, 2012

REVIEW: A Taste for a Mate by Carrie Ann Ryan

Recap:

As Pack Beta, Jasper Jamenson’s only duty is to protect the pack, and he’s been selflessly devoted to that duty for a century. Meeting Willow Delton has driven him to distraction, and that distraction could prove fatal for the woman he’s only barely begun to know. Forced into a mating neither of them were yet prepared for, can they overcome the obstacles that presents, and save each other from the evil they now know hunts them?

Title:  A Taste for a Mate
Series:  Redwood Pack
Book #: 2
Author:  Carrie Ann Ryan
Approximate Book Length:  189 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

This book brings you all of the things missing from the first, as well an atmosphere that’s a bit darker than the before. There’s more character development and depth, more exposition about the wolves and their culture, and we now have a long term conflict that I expect will span over at least one more sequel, if not more.

The prologue presents a twisted rival that ushers in an evil that will threaten to end the Redwood Pack entirely. Then we meet Willow, just as Jasper gets the nerve to ask her out after going in to her bakery every day to see her. On that very same day, Jasper’s enemies take Willow just to spite him. She has a traumatic entry into their world, one Jasper hopes they can overcome, especially since in rescuing her, he was forced to mark her as his mate. This only provides a whole new level of obstacles for them to overcome.

Jasper introduces Willow to his family, and they all do their best to acclimate her to the Pack and their ways. She fits in surprisingly well and everything seems so good for a while, until the looming threat shows its ugly head again. When Jasper says something stupid, Willow ends up hurt and walks out on him – straight into evil hands.

Surviving leads to a new life, but one filled with war and fear. She needs to learn a lot, including how to trust again. Her new family eventually makes her feel safe again, just in time for that war to catch up with them again. Betrayal, death, and the loss of one of their own lead to a heartbreaking cliffhanger ending.

I enjoyed this story more than Kade’s, even with the darker undertones. We get to see more of Kade and Melanie, and meet Jasper’s entire family. We learn more about werewolf culture, as well as how a person may become a werewolf. We also learn that, despite their long life and animal instincts, they’re also human and make mistakes. When Adam stands up for Willow after Jasper behaves rashly, I was rooting for him, despite my ties to Jasper as the hero of this book. Have tissues, because I cried at a few points in this book, particularly when we learn of Adam’s history, and Willow’s future.

I felt this needed some more editing, but other than that my only real problem with this one was that I felt the Pack was too lenient after everything the Central Pack had done. Security didn’t seem as tight as I would’ve thought and regardless of technicalities, I would have expected some retribution, or at least for them to try to be more proactive when the war really began.

In Conclusion:

Everything I felt was missing from the first book was present here, including some follow-up on our original couple. Carrie Ann Ryan takes you on an emotional and sexy ride, and I can’t wait to see Reed’s story in the next installment!

Rating:



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