Synopsis from goodreads.com:
Keri Arthur, the New York Times bestselling author of the Riley Jenson Guardian series, takes readers to the werewolf reservation of Ripple Creek—where moon fever runs high and a savage murderer runs rampant.
There’s no turning back for Neva Grant. To find a killer, she must seduce the boldest male in the Sinclair pack. Her twin sister lies in a hospital bed, fighting for her life, the fourth and only surviving victim of a vicious attacker. The werewolf rangers suspect the Sinclair pack, and the only way Neva can infiltrate their close-knit ranks is to unleash the wildness within and offer herself to Duncan Sinclair.
Duncan’s appetite for women is legendary on the reservation. But when this new woman stirs his hunger, he finds his desire for her goes deeper than anything he’s ever felt before. When he realizes that she’s playing a game and he’s taken the bait, he is determined to push her to the breaking point. As Duncan and Neva engage in a dangerous dance, they must somehow find a way to join forces—before a cornered killer bites back.
My thoughts on the book:
Beneath a Rising Moon is an excellent start to a new series.The characters are complex and interesting. The plot has a lot of depth and is intriguing. My only two complaints about this novel are that the mystery wasn't that mysterious. I had it figured out when I was about 50% through the book. Also, at times Duncan was a giant ass, and I don't think that it was really illustrated how not okay some of the things he did were. Basically, if you're looking for a story with a strong, independent heroine, this is not a book for you. But if you're looking for a romance with political undertones, then you have found the right book.
This series is set in Colorado, and is about werewolves who live on a reservation, much like American Indians do today. However, the wolves on these reservations also have to undergo a bit of forced birth control. Once a month, the men must take a sterilization vaccine before participating in the "moon dance," which is the mating practice of the wolves. It obviously occurs on the full moon, like most werewolf things do. The cool thing about this whole werewolf reservation situation is that Arthur doesn't attempt to capitalize off of indigenous rights issues. She doesn't offer any comparisons, and she does not once talk about what she may or may not understand. She avoids the American Indian reservation system all together. Also, I do not feel that she was making light of the wrongs done to American Indians. She shows the werewolf reservation for what it was. There is always an undercurrent of oppression because of the reservation system, though. Also, this story shows the dangers of extremely conservative viewpoints and how they can do irreparable harm to those around you. Another topic touched on is conservative hypocrisy.
While I really enjoyed the political and moral elements to this story, there were times when I really did not like Duncan very much. He had a habit of forcing things on Neva, with or without her knowing and/or permission. I don't really mean sex (the mating ritual is very complex in this werewolf society), but there is a certain point when he does something that I would not be okay with, and she is perfectly fine with it. She doesn't even seem to notice the problem. However, part of her "growth" is supposed to come from her making her own decisions and learning to think for herself. She is supposed to be able to stand up for herself and what she wants by the end of the novel, but because this issue wasn't addressed in the manner I felt it should have been, I feel as if she is still co-dependent and a bit weak. Others may see it differently, but there was one part that just really did not set well with me.
My problems with a couple of the plot points aside, I really did enjoy this book. The characters are complex and three dimensional. They are flawed and realistic. I was able to both love and hate most of them. I felt bad for them when they suffered, and I was happy for them when something good happened. I fully connected with the primary and secondary characters of this novel. Furthermore. I enjoyed learning about the new world Arthur has created. It's a unique idea and one that I look forward to explore more thoroughly in the following installments. Additionally, the romance was super hot! The chemistry between Neva and Duncan was off the charts. In all, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a romance story with some substance.
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