Personally, I have always been a fan of Ambrielle Kirk’s. Her books tend to be spicy with a kick of sweet to make the reading more fun. She is well known for her sense of adventure with her plots and characters. So when I was given the chance to read the Caedmon series books one through three, I jumped on it faster than my morning latte with extra foam. (To be fair, I have previously read the first novel as a free offering a few weeks ago and loved it.)
Since this was a three book omnibus, I’m going to do a mini dissection of the books and the series as a whole thus far. So forgive me in advance if I’m a bit wordy.
The first book, Caedmon Wolves, has the hero and heroine, Devin and Tamara, meeting at a gallery after dark. The heroine is a thief, due to an abusive fiancé and bad circumstances. She had made plans with the aid of a counselor to escape the situation the night of the heist, but finds herself trapped with no way to escape due to a twelve foot fence and an ankle injury.
She is saved by of all things, a wolf with emerald eyes. But this is no ordinary wolf, this a man who has found his mate, even if he believes he is not ready for the challenge. The couple are striking together, and there is an immediate and obsessive type of protectiveness of each other. There are typical elements in the read, boy meets girl, girl is in need of saving, etc. But the take on those concepts is very fresh and erotic.
But the re-read of part one was even better this time, I think mainly because I was able to jump immediately into book two, Wolf’s Promise. This story takes two characters from the first book, Nick and Selene, and gives them a chance at love. Remember the counselor mentioned in book one? Well, Selene is the social worker that set up an opportunity for Tamara to run away from her abusive fiancé. Nick is the friend Devin chose as his second in command.
When Selene gets a shady phone call from Tamara in the first tale, she can’t leave well enough alone and rides out with only a map and her gut instincts to go to the last place she knew Tamara to be at. The caregiver in her won’t allow her to use her vacation time to take an actual vacation.
(That left me with a lingering thought. Would I be willing to use my coveted two weeks holiday to check on a person that I don’t even really know? Dare I be honest? Probably not. Don’t judge me, at least I’ll admit it out loud just how selfish I can be.)
But in this case, Selene’s selfless nature earns her a car accident in the backwoods of Virginia in Caedmon territory, stay in a dungeon and a near forced breeding. But it also earns her Nick, a wary man and wolf, with unknown hang-ups and baggage along with eternal love.
Just as well written as the first, and with a poignancy that deliberately tugs the heartstrings, this book was a splendid follow up!
Wolf’s Touch is the third book in the series and was almost as good as the first two. The only reason I say that is because the characters involved were mostly unknowns, so I didn’t get the chance to care for them as much before starting, though it mattered very little by chapter two. Our hero, Jayson, was given a not so honorable mention in book two for being tardy for the party (really, a council meeting, but I couldn’t resist the reference).
But his intended, Arianna doesn’t want to have a mate. In fact, she doesn’t want to believe she has one, or should I say pretends she doesn’t. The two of them are a fiery couple in bed and out of it. Actually, they have been on and off again lovers for years, and that only makes the romance aspects even better.
Jayson and her father have a joint business venture, inherited son to son over the years, but the men really despise working together. Both of them want out, but at what cost? Arianna cares for Jayson, but she doesn’t realize just how much until she is forced to sacrifice her right to choose the roads she will walk in life.
This is a fluid series that is well thought out, with a simplified structure and tiny twists in plot that leave you wondering where the time went after reading. I personally read the entire omnibus from start to finish overnight as the volume wasn’t burdensomely large, but peppered with enough meat to complete the tale and enough spice to make you wish for more.
The interracial aspects are present, but not obnoxious and the couples never seem to even truly notice their physical differences.
The stories can stand alone, which is awesome, as I personally hate to be coerced into serials. On the whole? Splendid! I only noticed two errors in the entire volume. But they were minimal afterthoughts as I was so wrapped into the story. This is a must read for any lover of shifter paranormal genre in general and a great start for those who haven’t jumped on that particular bandwagon yet, but want to try one on for size.
And to boot, there is a fourth book that I will be certain to pick up.
Brava Ms. Kirk!
-Reviewed by Jennifer