Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
It is funny but I like this author enough to continue to buy and read her work. And yet, each time I close a book by her, I always feel a little bit of frustration. I like her work, but she always just misses the mark on delivering a really satisfying read. There is always something a little…missing. Frustratingly I can never quite put my finger on what it is.
This book however I know exactly what keeps from really loving it. A heroine that is difficult to root for and a plot that felt too busy.
In this book we meet Janelle. She is a perfect Princess. Literally. She is a princess of a wealthy Alaskan wolf-pack. She does everything she is supposed to do. She never puts a foot wrong and always appears flawless -- her hair, make up and demeanor are always perfect. She is dutiful and knows what is expected of her. She is contracted to marry a Prince of another powerful pack in order to forge an important alliance.
However she meets and falls in love with Mag, a wolf from a nomadic tribe of wolves that would be beneath even the mere notice of her royal family if it weren’t for the fact that they were tough, vicious fighters. But even so, Mag is from a poor family. He grew up in violence and has led a hard scrabble existence.
But Janelle and Mag have a secret, brief romance before the shit hits the fan.
If the story had simply stuck with the star crossed lovers angle and cleaned up what I felt was somewhat murky and confusing world-building I think I would have been able to enjoy this more. But it felt like there was just too much. There were all these plots and counter plots, alliances being forged and broken, revenge, a secondary romance that could have been a story all it’s own, and a Grand Mis all thrown in together. I felt like something should have been left off the table. Honestly I got completely lost trying to follow all the betrayals happening amidst the political intrigue. And I usually love that kind of stuff. This is similar to a complaint I had about another book of this author's
But more problematic is the heroine. I don’t need my heroine to be all “ROAR! Look at me I am fierce!” But I need them to be more assertive. Janelle was so resigned to being consigned to a place that she was not happy to be in. She was too passive and apologetic for my taste. She had no power and despite engaging in a brief affair with Mag she didn’t even try to challenge her life or rail against it. And yet she was clearly not happy with her life. I get that this was a personality choice for the character but it was not a personality I particularly liked.
Still I liked Mag and the subplot between Alisha (Janelle's sister) and Rafe was honestly enough to keep my interest