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Monday, September 13, 2010

Moon Craving by Lucy Monroe

Moon Craving by Lucy Monroe
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (293 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When Talorc-laird of the Sinclair clan and leader of his werewolf pack- must wed an Englishwoman, he's shocked to find that she is his mate. Deaf since childhood, Abigail hopes to keep her affliction from Talorc as long as possible, just as he has no intention of telling her that he's a werewolf. But when Abigail learns that the husband she's begun to love has deceived her, it will take all his warrior's strength-and his wolf's cunning-to win his wife back.

A Scottish werewolf who doesn’t want to marry gets more than he bargained for with the wife chosen for him and his well ordered life gets a lot more complicated.

This tale is one I’d been waiting to read for many months, ever since Moon Awakening, the first in the series. I loved the idea of Scottish Highland werewolves and how Ms. Monroe always seems to find a way to twist my heart, and this book delivers that too. I am not sure how the author does it but she has a way of making me want to cry with sadness and abandonment at some point during her stories. Then her heroines reach down deep inside themselves to find the courage, bravery and sheer stubborn attitude they need to make a decision that takes destiny into their own hands. Ms. Monroe certainly succeeded in continuing that tradition of quality writing. It always makes the happily ever afters more powerful and memorable.

Abigail is a smart and clever woman whose life should have ended years ago. It was love that tended and healed her and it’s love that eventually will bring a completeness to her life. However, she has a lot of explaining to do before that happens and it certainly isn’t easy. Her handicap was considered a death sentence back in the day and it was a rare thing I guess for anyone to take the time to help someone survive and flourish, yet Abigail was fortunate enough to have her sister, who played a starring role in the first book in the series. It was nice to see some old familiar characters again, and some were not so welcome. However, Ms. Monroe’s books always seem to celebrate the optimism of life even towards those to whom all you really want to do is boot them in their bums. The author has imbued Abigail with an understanding and nurturing nature that serves her well even when times get rough for her, and they do.

The main conflicts between the hero and heroine are internal and they both involve trust. For reasons that become obvious to the reader, both have secrets that evade a normal conversation. No one wants to make themselves vulnerable and that makes earning each others’ trust almost an insurmountable obstacle. It’s not helped when there are a couple of external influences that really don’t want their marriage to work out either. And for all their nastiness, the author had Abigail handle it with class and respect. Ms. Monroe certainly takes the higher road with her characters when she can.

Talorc is the hero who is a really yummy sounding guy. He’s tall, grumpy and adorably confused when he starts realizing that he’s not averse to having Abigail as his wife after all. He is always aware that his clan’s safety is of paramount concern so he’s never quite free to be fully honest with Abigail which makes for some interesting reading. He does love being with her and those scenes are well written and sensual. I was a bit miffed with Talorc however. What is good for the goose is good for the gander and that man certainly needed to be taught that lesson. How dare he judge her! He’s certainly no ‘chatty Cathy’ but he needed to be taken down a peg or two. Sure, he’s the laird and the guy in charge but that doesn’t mean he makes all the right decisions all the time. A part of him knows but he’s not listening too well and I guess that means Talorc is a typical man, no matter that he gets furry at times.

Secondary characters abound and there’s even a subplot/romance between two frustrated characters. Because they play roles intrinsic to Abigail’s happiness and safety in the keep, I got to know and care for them as well. So it was really nice to see that relationship being resolved in this story. It was beautiful and the friendship they give to Abigail made the reading experience that much fuller and special. Then there is the cranky character and the witchy character; both are thorns in Abigail’s side and no one seems to believe that they pose any risk to her. That provided additional drama to the tale.

Moon Craving< provided me with everything I look forward to in a book written by Ms. Monroe. My emotions were involved; I was committed and cared about Abigail and Talorc’s happiness, I feared for them, rooted for them and even sighed in satisfaction when they expressed their physical love. I thought the premise of Abigail’s handicap to be unique and I was fascinated at how the author handled it. The ending provided a wonderful and complete wrap up and a very romantic happily ever after to appease and delight discerning romance readers. Moon Craving is a fun, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable read and I totally look forward to reading more in this very exciting world Ms. Monroe has created. I love her werewolves!