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Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Wildcats #1
Published on: February 23, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Format: 270 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased
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Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.
Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.
Jace Hammond has a big problem.
A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.
As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.
As a long-standing fan of Rachel Vincent’s SHIFTERS series, I was through the roof with enthusiasm when I discovered this spin-off five years later. I recommend reading the prequel / bridge novella, HUNT, prior to this one because it sets the tone for LION’S SHARE, and its events are referenced throughout this story. As fired up as I was about WILDCATS book 1, the author’s switch from Urban Fantasy to New Adult Paranormal Romance did worry me, and my trepidations turned out to not be entirely false because I did in fact have issues with the heroine’s foolhardiness, Jace’s backsliding, the questionable set-up for subsequent installments, and… RANT TIME!
The world-building and recap aspects fell a bit short in my opinion; fortunately I already had all of the essentials given my existing familiarity with the other novels, however if you opted to skip the five originals you might be left scratching your head for a bit. Same thing goes for the reappearance of a handful of the previous series’ characters; without former knowledge, you may find yourself wondering who some of them are, and won’t be immediately starstruck by Jace Hammond. Neither were a problem for me, yet I felt that it was worth the mention for newcomers who are considering using this title as a primer to Vincent’s SHIFTERS.
I gave Abby way more chances than I would have a normal heroine given her age, and everything that she’s been through in her short life. Her secret and refusal to confide in anyone including readers drove me up the wall, and made following her POV a hair pulling experience. I think a little extra insight would have helped make her more likable, and by the time the big reveal rolled around I’d already reached a similar conclusion, so the twist wasn’t an uber shocker anyway, and the trade-off was an obnoxious female protagonist. The author chose an extreme approach instead of a happy middle which permanently damaged Abby’s character in my eyes. I mean, after all of the lengths she goes to in order to protect Robyn, only to hand her over to the very people she was hiding her from after a rushed explanation, and then hightail it to the free zone. She undermined all of her earlier actions in one fell swoop.
My first thought when I saw this book’s blurb was that it was about time that Jace got his HEA. He’s been Alpha for 4 1/2 years now, held his territory against numerous threats, and earned the respect of his enforcers. Based on this, I expected a man, but what I got was a child. You’d think that he’d want to avoid a Faythe-type repeat at all costs, yet his resistance caved faster than a house of cards; all of his discipline and hard work went the way of the dodo because of a red-haired tabby. I was annoyed by how quickly he lost control of the situation, and quite frankly he deserved every bit of the council’s harsh sentence. This novel destroyed my previously high view of Hammond and did little to convince me of WILDCATS’ shelf life.
I can’t help but wonder how the author is going to make a romance series out of strays given the rarity of female cats. And, after this, I’m not sure that I care. To paraphrase Rachel Vincent: “nothing that felt this good could ever be wrong…” (Loc 1896) except where LION’S SHARE was concerned.
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