I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.
Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…
How do you keep the romantic tension in a series where the two lovers have come together? Well, make them doubt each other, that’s how. Plus, introduce Hugh to the mix—plausibly a much better match for Kate than Curran. Still with the arrogant, overbearing thing going on, but as long as she’s being strategic about things, why not go with the more powerful guy?
This whole dominance/submissiveness dichotomy that so much UF & PNR seems to retread endlessly still baffles me. Perhaps because modern women (at least here in North America) have much more responsibility for their own lives now (going to jobs, paying for mortgages, buying groceries, raising children on their own), we like to fantasize about not having to make all the difficult decisions every damn day? I know that’s why I take tour-type vacations. The tour leader will tell me when & where to meet him/her each day, what we will do, where we will eat, and where we’re going to stay. I get a vacation from all of those decisions plus I get to visit a new country & see great new birds. Win-win.
Reading books like these make me glad that I’m hooked up with one of the anti-alpha males, who just wants a peaceful existence and whose worst fault is that he maybe doesn’t pay quite enough attention. But I suspect if he started paying more attention, I’d be the one smiling the large psycho smile, fingering a weapon, and plotting where to dispose of his body, so it’s all good.