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Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 428 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
The book centers on a group of shifters, people who have an "inner wolf" into which they can shift. The primary protagonists are Taryn, an alpha female who is latent, meaning she has her inner wolf, but she can't actually shift, and Trey, an alpha male who has her kidnapped, then convinces her to act as his bonded mate for political reasons. Predictably, this mating of convenience does not stay that way as real feelings between the two emerge.
For most of the story, Taryn is a very aggressive, very confident, very alpha character. She makes her will known, and she fights off the dominance attempts of Trey, also an extremely strong alpha. Accepted initially only as a political expediency by the rest of Trey's pack, she quickly wins over most of the pack's members.
The author's version of lycanthropy is a different view than most. The inner wolf is essentially a separate being, one who can come forward when needed into the physical form, but who also roils beneath the surface, making feelings and emotions known. This leads to one problem I have with the setup. If the person and the wolf are separate, and the people are mostly "normal" when not in wolf mode, then how do the people versions get some supposedly wolf-like powers? How can an alpha somehow projects waves of "alphaness," for lack of a better term, to cow strangers? How can a person smell a pregnancy, especially given a human's comparative lack of scenting ability?
And while this book was purportedly about shifters, very little of the book had them actually shifting. And when they did shift, they weren't particularly wolf-like. In a fight scene, for example, the wolves used their claws rather like cats, something real wolves do not do.
Initially, I rather liked Taryn's characterization. I like a strong, female protagonist. However, as things progressed, I found her sarcasm getting old, her threats against other's genitals boring, and her back-and-forth with Greta, Trey's grandmother, inane. But the final orgy scene destroyed most of whatever remaining respect I had for her.
And therein is the white elephant in the room. Sex. A rather large portion of this book is very graphic, very in-your-face sex. For me, it went beyond simple erotica and more into porn. I am not castigating porn here, but the heavy dominance theme, where men are masters and women sexual chattel, bothered me, especially as Taryn was created as such a strong character.
The dialogue between Taryn and Trey read more like a cheap porn movie. I hope I am not just naïve, but I don't know if people really continually speak to each other like that. Maybe there are Trey's out there who do, but a Taryn, as characterized, probably would not accept that.
Trey's continual erections, even over innocuous statements, did not ring true to me, either. His recuperative powers were pretty impressive as well.
Frankly, I got tired and bored with the constant "I am going to do this to you and you are going to like it" and "No you wont or I will bite it off" (written in much cruder terms in the book). I realize that the main component of the literary tension in the book is Trey's attempt to dominate and break Taryn, but I never felt comfortable with the blatant violence and domination. It was celebrated in the storyline, but when Roscoe, to whom Taryn's father promised her, expressed his desire to break Taryn, it was obviously written about in a critical manner.
My biggest problem with the sex was the orgy scene. Trey is pathologically jealous, telling Taryn in no uncertain terms just what is allowed, and more importantly what is not allowed, into her orifices. Wolves do exhibit this type of behavior when a female wolf is in estrous, so I can accept that characterization. Yet he invites the male members of the pack to come in and essentially force themselves orally on her, to relieve themselves on her? This scene was so out-of-place, so gratuitous, that it completely destroyed much of what the author had tried to do in building up just who Taryn was.
I enjoy werewolf stories, and I can enjoy well-written erotica. But this story was basically an adult novel first, a lycanthropic story second. And as an adult novel, it bothered me. The heavy dominance theme will undoubtedly appeal to some readers, and I understand that. But putting aside my personal predilections, I feel that there are some craftsmanship weaknesses which would preclude this book from being really considered a great read, even for people who can appreciate the sexual tone.
The pretend mating goes as planned, and she joins Trey's pack as the alpha female. As time goes on, through many difficulties, they become close. Ultimately, we have a great happy ever after.
Some of the things I loved about this book are the ideas of a latent female alpha wolf, the descriptions of healing, the way our hero's wolf goes feral, but can be calmed by his mate, the fighting, the dynamics of the interactions within the pack and between packs, and many other very original ways of describing life as a wolf shifter. There is also the development of the hero into a more balanced wolf shifter who is more open to the softer feelings, and in better control of his wolf.
The thing is, that sounds a bit dry as I write it, but everyone should realize the story is spiced up by the heroine's sarcastic sense of humor, and great, funny dialogue-sometimes for no particular reason. Also, there is sex. Lots and lots of sex (in a variety of ways) between two people who are mated (though temporarily at first) and coming to care about each other.
I strongly recommend this book.
The version I read was quite good. Reminded me very much of Shelley Laurentson's work. It has the same type of crazy violet alpha female characters and similar possesive uber-alpha men who love them. And that is high praise from me. The female lead,Taryn has some seriously hilarious one liners. Her dialogs with Gerta are priceless. I would have re-read the book just for that because it was so funny. But fortunately the rest of the book is strong enough that I want to re-read for its entirety.
When I first got the sample, the first few pages made me think I was going to reject it. But it quickly got better and stayed that way by the end of the sample.
I enjoy books about shifters. And this one didn't cover any new ground really with respect to the skills or society of shifters. But the world building was consistent if not original or comprehensive. The focus of this is very much on the relationship of Taryn and Trey. But the plot line was strong and enjoyable.
I did go on to read the rest of the books of the series and I do feel this is the strongest of them. It is a rollicking good time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First, she is not an alpha female. She is just a w.h.o.r.e. who let's men use and abuse her. She takes it.Read more
The characters are interesting and complex.
There's also a good amount of humor.Read more