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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Whether Wolf or human, Mason Dillinger has never had to work at attracting a woman before - females have just naturally flocked to him. Now he has found his mate - however unwillingly - and he must actually woo the woman, all while keeping her fragile human body in one piece. See, there's this rogue werewolf Mason is hunting, and that rogue would like nothing better than to exact his vengeance on Mason by destroying everything he loves.

But Mason isn't new to this game. As a Blood Runner, he's old hat at tracking and killing rogue werewolves - those that have developed a penchant for killing humans. And with the beautiful Torry's pretty neck on the line, Mason will stop at nothing to ensure her safety - even if it means his own life.

When the trail of the killer points to a threat much larger than one lone rogue werewolf, it will take everything he's got to keep them both alive.

Rhyannon Byrd was one of the first authors I discovered when I began reading the romance genre almost two years ago. With captivating plotlines and engaging characters, she immediately became one of my favorite romance writers. When I heard she had finally published several books through major New York publisher Silhouette Nocturne, I was beyond ecstatic, both for her and for myself, as a fan of her work. While her eBook releases have been wonderful, this new avenue in her career can only mean good things for her fans. More exposure equals more sales, which means more books - it is a win-win for both author and fans, right? *grin*

So now that you know how much I admire Rhyannon Byrd's previous work, let me tell you that the first book in her Blood Runners series, Last Wolf Standing, more than pleased me. She has done a beautiful job of conforming to Silhouette Nocturne's standard while still retaining her own writing voice.

This series is the tale of a werewolf pack, specifically the half-breeds - part human, part shifter - and their work to ferret out the growing menace to both the human and the shifter community. The half-breeds are looked down on by the pureblood shifters, who mandate that each half-breed must serve as a Blood Runner, hunting rogue werewolves. Only once each Blood Runner has caught a certain number of rogue shifters are they accepted into the pack with full rights.

Half-breed Mason Dillinger wants no part of the pack with its myriad politics or a commitment of any kind. He hunts the rogues for his own satisfaction, out of his own sense of responsibility and justice. The life he leads is not suited to that of a man with something to lose - like a mate. Needless to say, when he accidentally finds his own mate, he is ill-prepared for the moment, leading to a hilarious scene between him and Torrance. To the readers' never-ending entertainment, Mason is at a loss concerning how to approach his mate from the get-go. Of course, when it comes to the physical part of their relationship, he more than gains the upper hand... Torry has no defense for the intense sensuality between them, or Mason's skill in this area.

Torry is a bit of a loner. She has a few very close friends, but outside them, she keeps to herself. Although she's dated in the past, nothing could prepare her for the force of nature that is Mason. Regardless, it doesn't take her long to stand up to the intimidating Blood Runner, and she proves she can more than keep him on his toes over the long haul.

Both Mason and Torry grow throughout the course of this story. Torry finds a core of inner strength she previously had no cause to call on. Mason finds it within himself to love someone else - something he didn't think possible. Watching their individual journeys alongside the one they take together is absolutely inspiring.

Throughout the book, the plot twists more and more, with new mysteries brought to light even as others are solved. While we enjoy a very happy ending for Torry and Mason's romance, Ms. Byrd leaves us with immense anticipation for the answers the next book in this fascinating trilogy will bring regarding the ongoing storyline that arcs through the Blood Runners stories.

Last Wolf Standing is sure to be an instant hit with lovers of paranormal romance, especially those with a penchant for sexy shape shifter stories! Bravo to Rhyannon Byrd for a thrilling entry in the Silhouette Nocturne line!

Series Order:
Last Wolf Standing (Silhouette Nocturne)
Last Wolf Hunting (Silhouette Nocturne)
Last Wolf Watching (Silhouette Nocturne)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2008
Well, I just finished reading the book in question last night, and my thoughts were, "I'm going to hurry up and finish this so I can put it on my shelf and never look at it again."

The book started off well, and the plot seemed interesting at first. Torrence, the likeable heroine of the book, is being stalked by an evil, insane werewolf because she is linked by a bond to Mason. Yeah, that makes sense. Torrence has thoughts and feelings that could be sympathized with, and Mason seemed human (which is funny, being that he is not).

But the book nose-dived about halfway through. At first I started thinking things like, "Wait a second, there's a crazy werewolf running around, haven't these guys got anything better to do than sit around teasing Mason about Torrence? Apparently not. Even in the middle of fight scenes Mason and Torrence are still swooning over each other? Do all werewolves have ADD?

There are also some pretty big plot holes. One question in particular I kept wondering, `If werewolves can be lifemates with a human, then why is it so frowned upon in werewolf society to be half human?' I guess maybe if I understood the bonding thing more I might figure it out, but as it stands it doesn't make sense, other than to spice up the story with the idea of forbidden love.

The book slowly progressed into, `Oh Torrence, Oh Mason' and a lot of poetic descriptions of various aspects of Torrences hair and eyes until I just stopped reading. As I said, the only reason I finished it was to get it off of my pile of books to be read and back onto the shelf where I could forget about it.

The worst thing is, for a romance novel, there is very little actual sex, and a lot of Torrence and Mason mooning over each other. Yeah, pun intended.

So I end with, if you really like super-sappy romance, this book is good for you. If you were hoping for a more in-depth werewolf book, not so much. If you wanted steamy sex, skip to the last few pages at the end. No really, I'm serious. I'm giving this book two stars because it built some good characters and a good foundation for what might have been a good story. Too bad the train ran off of the tracks.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 6, 2008
The characters here are well drawn but could be better. The plot is pretty much bad guys attack good guys, good guys kill bad guys,.... There is an interesting plot twist near the end but still linear. A number of editorial errors mar the story but none really obtrusive. Some moose tracks (we went looking for Moose and found fresh tracks but none were seen there) floating anticedant.

Good erotic scenes not up to the very best but better than average. Little humor. Overall a good read that is better than average for the genre but not hugely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2008
This was my first Silhouette Nocturne...which is odd, because I really enjoy paranormal romance. I've been meaning to read one (or more!), but nearly every time I've gone to buy one, it's the middle book of a series and I refuse to read series out of order. Call it a quirk. A couple weeks back, I saw this one, and lo and behold--it was BOOK ONE!

I bought it faster than you can say "Bob's your uncle" and dove right in. I tend to prefer the more light-hearted paranormals, and have heard Nocturne can be a bit dark, so I wasn't sure what to expect. To my utter enjoyment, this book starts with our hero sensing (and scenting) his mate in a crowded cafe. He doesn't know who she is or what she looks like, just that she's there somewhere. Finally...

Time seemed to stand still as she walked toward him, his lungs burning while the top of his head felt about ready to come off. Within seconds she was in front of him, without even having glanced in his direction. With an utterly foreign sense of desperation, he did something that he'd never, in all his thirty-three years, thought he would do.

He tripped her.

So, though this book is certainly no comedy, it has several moments that made me smile. Mason and his partner, along with other half-breed werewolves, called Blood Runners, are hunting a rouge werewolf. That's their job. In order to "earn" their way into the pack of full-bloods, they have to rack up so many kills. However, this rouge wolf is different: he can fully change in daylight, mask his scent...and he's targeted our heroine, Torrance.

Mason doesn't want to fall in love. He's seen how it destroyed his brother, and how his parents literally live for one another, so he spends most of the book fighting his emotional feelings for Torry. He's just fine with "mating" with her, but don't let those pesky emotions get involved.

Torry, on the other hand, is a dreamer. She believes in, and fully expects to find, someone to love, who will love her right back, and she's not willing to settle for less. She's both soft and stubborn and I like that she's determined to save her own skin, won't take any guff from Mason, and yet she has such great compassion for people. Torry is truly a heroine to admire.

And the tension. Wow. Seriously... these two are driven to mate, yet fight it every step of the way. The author uses every one of their senses to show the depth of attraction and it twisted my gut: when will they give in to this passion and emotion that is tying them both into knots?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn't want to put it down. I read it as quickly as I've read anything lately. It's suspenseful, funny, full of interesting secondary characters, has a solid plot and is well written. I've already run to the store and grabbed the sequel to this book.

Rhyannon Byrd has a wonderful writing style. She's a new-to-me author, but not anymore. I have every intention of finding her backlist and devouring it as well.

If you enjoy a good, hot paranormal chuck full of alpha-wolves, and an intriguing plot, I highly suggest you pick up this book. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

You can read this review and others here:

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2012
Content: Explicit sex, swearing, profanity, bloody gore, references to child molestation
This book started off so good!!! I chuckled several times during the opening scenes at the café (Mason must do something drastic to catch Torrance's attention, and his friend Jeremy makes things worse). That first meeting was warm and sexy -- instant attraction, and really well done. I could feel the chemistry, and I loved it when Mason got all embarrassed. Soon, things got scary, with a psychopathic werewolf on Tor's trail and Mason and Jeremy watching her back. All good.

But it lost that fun, sexy, and adventurous flavor. Where did that fabulous humor go?! Tor, the heroine, was just too wishy-washy, alternatively brave and fear filled, frequently remembering her childhood and reflecting on whether Mason loves her (they just met!!). I started to skim past her reflections. Then, she blew hot and cold with Mason in terms of sex, which didn't feel fair. I couldn't get too excited about Mason, despite his oft-mentioned six-pack abs and heroic nature. A werewolf who smokes? That's not attractive to me. Tor and Mase think a lot -- too much -- about sex, but when the time came... it fell flat.

I guess I wasn't emotionally invested in these characters, and the plot was certainly nothing new. There were some icky bits, too -- references to child molestation, rape, eating of ....never mind. Just not my cuppa. Plus, not crazy about all the religious swearing.

Too bad. I love a good werewolf or shifter story. (Several friends have loved this series.)

Werewolf romances I have enjoyed and recommend:

Kristen Callihan's Moonglow (Darkest London)

Patricia Briggs' urban fantasy Alpha & Omega series, especially Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Book 2)

Illone Andrews' urban fantasy Bayou Moon (The Edge)

Molly Harper's How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf

Nalini Singh's changeling series, especially Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling Series)

Susan Krinard's Prince of Shadows

For something different, I also liked the dystopian Nightfall (A Dark Age Dawning Novel), by Ellen Connor and the witty steam punk Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate), by Gail Carriger.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2008
Well, the hero senses his heroine on page one. Halfway through the book they finally kiss. The whole story was set in 4 days with a jump to day 8 for the final scene. Book had so much potential but was dragged out by constant wishy washy thoughts from the 2 characters (will I, won't I, will he, won't she, etc.) that consumed half the book. They should have been politicians. The bad guy in the book was more interesting but we never found out what he was so pissed about.

The characters were not well developed, very little background provided for the whole premise considering this was the first in a series and should have been the groundstone for the rest of the books to come.

Hope Byrd's other books get better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2008
I wish I could agree with the other reviewers who loved this book. Because of it's high marks, I purchased this and the other two in the series. I couldn't even finish this one, it was so boring. Every conversation seemed stilted. I just couldn't get through it, and ended up tossing it on my bookshelf as a loss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 10, 2008
Rhyannon Byrd's Last Wolf Standing stars Torrance Wilson and werewolf Mason Dillinger. Torrance is minding her own business, getting lunch at a cafe when she meets Mason. Their eyes meet and it's instant magic. Mason is busy trying to feed his friend and catch a rogue werewolf at the time but when he catches the delicious scent of his mate he's instantly on the prowl. Desperate to get to her but unsure of how to approach her, he does the only thing he can think of to get her to stay and talk with him. Thinking fast, he employs a foolproof plan and trips her. Gallantly he comes to her aid but his intensity unnerves Torrance and pretty soon she's fleeing him. Unfortunately, the rogue werewolf Mason was tracking caught the whole spectacle and follows Torrance to her home and attacks her. Luckily for her, Mason was hot on his mate's heels and was able to thwart the attack. He takes her up to the mountains to protect her and to also hopefully lay claim to the woman nature has decreed as his mate. Due to the hierarchy within the werewolf clan, Mason and his family have dealt with prejudice all his life and because of it he's afraid to love and to trust, believing it will make him vulnerable. Torrance is willing to mate with Mason and accept the strange and frightening new world she's been thrust into, but she won't do it without his love. Mason is going to have to learn to let go of his own pride and let his little mate into his heart if he's going to win her.

The introduction of Mason and Torrance was extremely fun. I've never read about the hero grabbing his heroine's attention by tripping her. His near frantic attempts to make Torrance believe that he was harmless was so funny to read about, especially after he starts freaking her out with his intensity. Unfortunately, once the fun of their first meeting passes, it all goes downhill. The rogue werewolf that attacks Torrance is a barely fleshed out, one dimensional bad guy. He's angry that Mason killed his brother 5 years ago and has just now found a way to get his revenge. After that we don't see the villain again until the end, but he does pop up every now and again through lame phone calls, where he passes along his dire threats.

The worldbuilding of the werewolf clan and their hierarchy was not very informative or imaginative and the whole pace of the book was slow. Rhyannon Byrd really doesn't do anything with the story except have the the hero and heroine go back and forth on why they can't love each other. The villain pops up every now and again with his telephone tough guy act, while the heroine bemoans the fact that the love of her life won't love her back and the hero stresses that his mate can't get past the fact that he's a werewolf.

The sex was also boring, I thought. I was surprised that a Rhyannon Byrd novel would have such tepid, lukewarm love scenes. There was only two sex scenes in the book and they were pretty yawn worthy.

All in all, I was disappointed with the Last Wolf Standing and can't recommend it. It didn't have any interesting characters that I would want to revisit, the sex was nothing to write home about and the pace of the book was as riveting as watching paint dry. :(
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2013
Mason and his Bloodrunner partner walk into a crowed coffee shop to get a bite to eat before continuing their hunt of a rogue werewolf. All of a sudden he smells her, his true mate. Once he finds her in the crowd coffee cafe he is so determine not to let her leave that he trips her.

While Mason is hot and yummy, Torrance has had nothing but trouble since meeting him. Not only does he trip her and makes her spill her soup all over herself but he has accidently led a dangerous rogue werewolf to her. Mason is trying to protect her from the rogue while protecting his heart from loving Tory.

A great start to an intriguing and yet humorous paranormal romance series! I quite enjoyed the story and found it to be not to short or too long. Looking forward to reading more about the Bloodrunners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2009
As others have mentioned this book had a very promising opening. Jeremy, our hero's sidekick, is entertaining, and I really didn't mind the instant "mating"call. But what a thin plot. (which others have summarized - so I won't) And worse, at least for me, was the agonizing about "is this love?" pages and pages of it. I kept skimming ahead. After all, they have known each other for 3 days, so how could it be ? Why bother belaboring the point, when we have already suspended our disbelief by buying into the whole "life mate" premise. I probably should have read some of the reviews more carefully.
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