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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Winter Tale: With Marshmallows by Stephanie Beck

A Winter Tale: With Marshmallows by Stephanie Beck
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (54 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

No winter night is complete without marshmallows.

Pregnant and on the run, Mona Renalds is a werewolf with trouble nipping at her heals. She wants a new life for herself and the twins she’s carrying. Embracing the future can’t happen until she finds an alpha male strong enough to take on her former pack leader.

Chris Meyters is alpha of Haven Pack. Mild mannered and progressive, he tries to reverse the archaic methods of his pack’s previous leaders. When Mona comes into his diner requesting sanctuary, his primitive instinct to claim her nearly consumes him, but he fights himself to give her the choices she was denied in her former pack.

Surrounded by the Pennsylvania winter of snow, sledding parties and creamy cups of hot chocolate, Chris and Mona are prepared to do whatever it takes in order to maintain the domestic bliss they’ve found with each other.

On the run, and pregnant with twins, former pack enforcer Mona Renalds is tired of all the violence. She just wants peace, and a place to raise her daughters where they will never know the violence and pain she was raised with. When she seeks sanctuary with the alpha of the Haven pack, it ignites a longing in both of them. But the alpha, Chris Meyters, is determined to let Mona have choices she’s never been offered, even if he wants nothing more than to claim her as his mate, and protect her and her babies. But with the threat her father poses, is she ready to force a showdown? Is Chris strong enough to defeat her father, and stop his outmoded ways once and for all? Can he accept her, knowing it’s a package deal?

This is a delightful romance. I enjoyed the world that Stephanie Beck has created in her Pennsylvania locale. The character development was realistic and they are people I want to know better. I sincerely hope Ms. Beck writes more in this world, as I would like to see what happens with some of the secondary characters, as well as with Chris and Mona.

Mona is such a contradiction in this world. The strongest enforcer of her pack, she wants nothing more than to live in peace and raise her babies away from all the violence and trouble of her father’s pack. I love her strength and determination, and laughed at her impatience with Chris. I liked that she knew long before he admitted it that she was going to be his mate.

Chris is one of the new breed of alphas. He wants his people to have choices, and not follow archaic, old-fashioned ideals. Of course, he is strong, handsome and considerate of Mona’s feelings. I liked that, although he wanted her as his mate, he was willing to give her time and space to choose.

There are a couple of comic moments in this one, mostly provided by the enforcer for the Haven pack, and I giggled out loud a few times with what was happening. But this is a sweet and romantic story, even with the small amount of violence inherent with a wolf shifter book. The sense of new beginnings and true love make this all the better for it. Oh and the marshmallows? You will have to read this one to find out, but I promise it is well worth it.