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Monday, August 10, 2009

Moonlight Hero by Jessica Coulter Smith

Moonlight Hero by Jessica Coulter Smith
Publisher: Wild Horse Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (161 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Alpha werewolf Gabriel Andrews is stunned when his mate comes bursting through the door of his garage. Running from a ravenous vampire, Kiera is happy to see the hot mechanic. A confrontation between the couple and the vampire forces Gabriel to announce Kiera as his mate. When the vampire throws down the gauntlet, demanding that Gabriel and Kiera marry in order to prove that she's really the alpha's mate, Gabriel is only too happy to agree. Kiera on the other hand has her doubts. Coming from a small town in Tennessee where werewolves do not associate with other shifters, the little werefox can't believe that Gabriel could really want her in his life.

Will these two have a happily ever after? Or will Kiera's past life and an angry vampire keep them apart?

Moonlight Hero takes an unusual path to romance, mixing it up with a bad guy who seems unstoppable against a happy-go-lucky alpha who shows his strengths in a less than usual way.

Kiera is the heroine and right away the reader is aware she’s a good girl who only wants to stay out of trouble. Little does she know that trouble, in the form of a vampire, is only the beginning of her journey to discovery. What she learns about herself, her strengths and the lengths she’ll go to grab onto and keep her happiness is what made me enjoy this story so much. Another point in this book’s favor is the author didn’t constantly dwell on the typical internal angst that easily could have taken over this story as its conflict. Rather, she concentrated on the joy of it and I found that even the pursuit of happiness requires a diligent commitment to the earning and giving trust. Without it, there can’t be emotional growth.

Gabriel is the hero and alpha of his pack. He’s not the typical political and heavy-handed “I’m the alpha, that’s why” kind of character. He’s a bit more laid back, mostly because of where he lives, his environment and his ignorance that werewolves aren’t the only thing that goes bump in the night. In fact, he finds out the hard way that movies are so, so wrong on a lot of things. Gabriel is an alpha for a reason, however, and that becomes excitingly apparent when the tension and suspense picks up. Another thing I like is that he’s not a know-it-all. Gabriel makes some misjudgments which, though at first glance I felt were a character flaw, I then realized that he is fallible, like everyone else. Just because he is a paranormal creature doesn’t mean he’s not going to act like a typical guy – clueless. I had real sympathy for this character from that point on because he really does love Kiera and he’s so ‘guy’ about expressing it.

The villain is, of course, the vampire. He’s a jerk. A warped, twisted, arrogant being of whom I thought the author depicted quite well. I had no sympathy for him at all so he’s the perfect bad guy.

Other secondary characters populated this story, some sounded a bit too good to be true, some were endearing and two made my interest spike. It was a good balance all around. The dialogue was fast paced and moved the plot along.

Moonlight Hero is not only romantic, but it’s exciting and captures the joys of being a couple who know how to heat the sheets (and do something else that I’ll not tell you about). They show by example how to live in the moment and grab onto the future with both hands while making no apologies for doing so. Gabriel and Kiera’s story is one you are going to enjoy.