I love used book stores. Not only can I find books that are on my ‘need to get’ list but by browsing the shelves I find unexpected treasures. When searching the paranormal section several months ago, I came across Killing Moon, the first in a series by Rebecca York. The synopsis on the back was intriguing – private investigator who is a wolf, genetic researcher female lead, serial killer, secrets, forces beyond their control. It all sounded like it was made for me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
The high level story is fine. Standard but fine. One of my biggest issues was that it felt so dated. I believe it was originally published in 2003. But it read like it was from the 1980s. Our female lead, Megan, wears stockings on a day-to-day basis. Early on she mentions cell phones and it’s a big deal that she has one that isn’t part of the car itself but is actually a mobile. Huh? In 2003, most of the people I knew had personal cell phones. Some of the phrase-ology also felt out of touch – “ample breasts”? I’m sorry but that sounds like the old school Harlequins and not a modern paranormal romance.
I also had a problem with the world building and some of the explanations of the mating process. Ross, our male lead and Megan’s love interest, is a werewolf. Members of his family have an extra chromosome which causes all female babies to die (don’t get me started on the number of times the phrase ‘girl child’ was used by almost everyone in this book). Male children survive into adolescence and then, during their first shift around the age of 15-16, only about half survive the process. All of this is told and not shown to the reader. And, there’s so little information given about the specifics of the transformation that we cannot easily picture the man turning into the wolf. Ross is worried when he meets Megan and she begins to tend to his wounds. Apparently once he reaches 30-years old, his wolf wants a mate and any female who takes care of him will do. Ok…she’s a doctor! So, he can only see male physicians?
Once they are ‘bonded’ by her touching him (oh, the horror), he aches for her and she aches for him. All the aching and wanting are leading to….some pretty vanilla sex if you ask me. Poor Ross tries to engage Megan in some phone sex when he becomes lonely after sending her away. She believes that only perverts (and, read between the lines, sluts) would do that. Oh, Ross, you lucky, lucky man.
Lastly, I cannot enjoy a book where the female author writes the female lead as an idiot. Megan is a doctor. Great. But, she is pretty stupid when it comes to making common sense decisions. After being told by Ross where the serial killer works, she goes there (without thinking, but still!!!) She also shares secrets about Ross when they aren’t hers to give away. When explaining this flub to Ross, she says that she was tricked into it. No, I’m sorry, Megan, you just need to learn to keep your trap shut. Ross just grimaces and then in the next breath forgives her. No way.
My hopes were high that I had found another paranormal series to add to my must-read list. Sorry to say, I won’t be reading the rest of this one. 2/5 stars.