By Sharla Rae
This fall, I wanted a great escape book for my long return trip from Singapore and Hong Kong. I picked one from Lori Handeland’s Nightcreature series, Marked by the Moon. The story filled the bill and then some.
At first glance, Marked by the Moon appears to be another hunter vs para-creature story, but Lori puts her own imaginative spin on the subject. I was so caught up in the story that instead of catching some Zs over the ocean, I read the entire trip.
The heroine, Alexander Trevalyn is a werewolf hunter who believes all weres are evil, savage killing machines. She has good reason. A werewolf killed her father, the only family she had left.
The hero Julian Barlow is no ordinary werewolf. He’s probably one of the oldest in the breed and possesses a magic not inherent to the run-of-mill were. He’s hunted the hunter, Alex Trevalyn for years, as she’s the one who killed his beloved wife. Now there’s a great conflict if ever I saw one!
His revenge when he catches Alex is not a quick death as he’d originally planned. Instead, he chooses a more sinister revenge. He turns her into the very creature she hates. Strangely, when he tries to abandon her to her fate, he becomes physically ill and is forced to return for her. Before he gets to her, Alex’s were-hunter boss finds her and promises her a cure for her new condition. All she has to do is spy on Julian and his unusual pack. To sweeten the pot, her boss tells her that a member of Julian’s pack is responsible for killing her father.
As Alex comes to know Julian and his clan, she falls hard for him, and the idea of betraying him and his people becomes harder and harder. But when a were in his clan turns evil, they both must work together to put an end to the gruesome murders as well as deal with their personal demons. Alex is torn between betraying Julian and reclaiming her humanity, or giving into her attraction to the kind and generous were she’s come to love. Julian must come to terms with falling in love with wife’s murderer. Sounds impossible but Handeland handles it beautifully.
Handeland’s werewolf world is intriguing in itself, but it’s the personal character conflicts that keeps the reader turning the pages. Right up until the end, the reader isn’t totally sure these two unlikely lovers can find a common ground beyond the hot sex.
You may think you’ve already read too many werewolf books, but Marked by the Moon stands out not only in its own genre but among all romances.
Visit Lori’s website at: http://www.lorihandeland.com/night_creature.php