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Police Officer Jessie McQuade is called to the scene of a traffic accident where a woman has hit a wolf and has been bitten by it after checking to see if it is ok. The wolf has disappeared into the nearby forest and when Jessie tries to find it, she meets a very naked Will Cadotte. When Jessie goes to visit the vitcim of the accident, she finds that the woman has ripped out the throat of the principal of the school where she works, and is just about to do the same to one of her students. The woman is promptly shot. Jessie discovers that the woman had contracted some form of 'super rabies' from the wolf bite, so a specialist hunter is called in to try to kill any wolves that may be infected with this strain.
At the scene of the car accident, Jessie finds a carved Onyx figure of a wolf, what the local Ojibwe tribe refer to as a totem. She thinks it is weird that a carved wolf is at the scene of an accident where a wolf was hurt, so she finds an Ojibwe totem expert. This expert turns out to be none other than Will Cadotte. Jessie and Will then have to work together, whilst dealing with their very strong attraction for one another, to find out what is happening with the local wolf community.
I really liked the character of Jessie McQuade. She is incredibly strong and independent (maybe even a bit of a loner) and is a tomboy who loves to hunt in the woods. She obviously has a lot of baggage to deal with from past experiences but she never lets that hold her back. When she first meets Will she fall in lust at first sight, but she doesn't trust him as she knows nothing about him and she is not sure just how involved he is with the case she is working on. As it happens, we don't ever really get to find out much at all about Will during the novel, other than how sexy he is and how great he is in bed. I would have liked to have found out a little bit more about the leading man.
The storyline was great and full of intrigue and suspense. It moved along at a fast pace and made for nice easy reading (I finished it in a day!). I also found the Native American history to be really interesting too. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for the other books in the series.
This is the first book in Lori Handeland's paranormal romance series, Nightcreatures. The book is set in Miniwa, a small and usually quiet American town, but of course things don't stay quiet for long.
Jessie McQuade is a police officer and narrator of this novel. She is called to the scene of a car accident one night and discovers that a local teacher has been bitten by a wolf. Intent on catching and killing the wolf who she fears may have rabies she runs into the forest but instead of finding the wolf she stumbles accross Will Cadotte, a Native American activist and professor who also happens to be very hot and very naked.
Of course nothing is quite what it seems and Jessie finds herself in the middle of a werewolf epidemic. Can she save her town from the werewolves? Can she trust Cadotte who she has fallen in love with?
When I first started reading this book I let out a mental sigh of frustration because while I had been looking forward to reading what promised to be an interesting paranormal romance, it was written in first person, a style that I often do not like. There are a few notable exceptions, two of my favourites series of books are written in first person and I'm pleased to announce that this book is being added to that list of exceptions.
I think the main thing with this style of writing is that you have to like the main character. Reading a book that has been written in first person does have it's benefits, you can get to know a character much better when you're reading from their point of view but if you don't like that character it makes the book impossible to enjoy, in my experience.
I absolutely loved Jessie. I found that I could really relate to her. She wasn't your typical girly girl and was very much an independent woman struggling to get by in a male dominated career. So often in romance novels I want to strangle the heroine when she does really stupid things, like the stereotypical female things like getting hung up over a man not calling or constantly over analysing everything. Jessie doesn't do this at all but Cadotte does. In some ways I thought it was interesting to have the gender roles reversed in this way and to have the man being very insecure and needy. However, although it was somewhat refreshing it still annoyed me. I dislike it when female characters do those things and it doesn't make it any better just because it's a man. They're annoying traits regardless of gender. It wasn't a huge thing in this book because the majority of the book does focus on Jessie so it didn't really have a huge impact on my enjoyment of the book.
Although this book is a paranormal romance there was a good balance between the romance and the plot. The plot actually took up more reading time than the romance which I'm sure that some people won't like but personally I prefer books that way. There was enough time dedicated to the romance to build up the relationship and to make it plausible but the werewolf plot was the part of the storyline that needed the most development. It wasn't an overly complicated plot, in fact in many ways it was quite simple. Lycanthropy is spreading through the town and Jessie doesn't know who has it or who she can trust. Throughout the book we are given clues about who may be infected and who is potentially their leader and I loved trying to guess who they were.
Early in the book we are given two explanations for werewolves, one very vague explanation involves Native American's and the other explanation is that the nazi's created werewolves as part of an army of monsters. I wasn't sure and I'm still not sure how I feel about the nazi part of the explanation. Generally I like for history to be included in the explanations for these kind of things to add realism but the nazi's experimenting on people seems like a very sensitive issue and it's still relatively recent so I'm not sure if it's very tasteful to have included it in this way in the novel.
Early on in the book I was curious about how Handeland would link Native American's and the nazi's to explain the werewolves and to be honest I didn't think it would be done well. I don't want to give away the ending so all I will say is that I do think she pulled it off quite well. Of course it stretches the imagination but then so does the idea of werewolves.
I found the book to be very enjoyable and a very nice easy read. It was exactly what I was looking for at the time. The chapters are short and the writing style is very simple. What sets it apart from other paranormal romance novels for me is that while in most books in this genre you will find the supernatural being taking the role of the hero in this book they are the bad guys. Good and evil are very firmly seperated and this also contributed towards it being a very easy read because in my opinion it just makes it easier to follow. I don't want to say that it was mindless reading, because I feel that would be an insult to the author who I like very much but it was pretty close to it. It took very little thought or effort.
For fans of both paranormal romance and urban fantasy I would recommend this book.