Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Charming the Beast by Cynthia Eden

The Basics:
Charming the Beast by Cynthia Eden
Hocus Pocus Publishing, Inc.
Book Three in the Purgatory series
Romance, Paranormal
Published October 23, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo

Why I picked up this book:

I was in the mood for some werewolf books.


He’s a man with a beast inside… 

Connor Marrok never intended to work for the Seattle Para Unit. He’s not one of the good guys—he’s a real monster, and the beast he carries doesn’t exactly play nicely. But now he finds himself being blackmailed into a new assignment. It’s supposed to be his last gig. His mission? Protect the beautiful Chloe Quick. Keep her alive. Destroy her enemies. Easy enough…until he starts to fall for Chloe. 

She just wants to escape. 

Chloe is tired of being a prisoner. She wants to get away from her Para Unit guard and run fast into the night. So what if Connor is the sexiest guy she’s ever met? Chloe knows trouble when she sees it, and Connor is one big, dangerous package of trouble. But, when an obsessed werewolf begins stalking Chloe, she realizes that her paranormal bodyguard may just be the one man she needs the most. 

Their attraction is primal. 

Every moment that Chloe and Connor spend together increases their attraction. Chloe has never felt a need so strong or a desire so dark. The beast that Chloe carries inside has always been silent, but Connor is stirring up her animal instincts. And as the danger and desire begin to twist together, Chloe wonders just how far she’d be willing to go…in order to spend one more night in Connor’s arms. 

My thoughts:

Charming the Beast starts in the middle of the action - Chloe's on the run, trying to evade the people who have been holding her in a safe house. She's quickly recaptured by Connor, a hybrid of sorts whose attraction to Chloe isn't only because of the mysteriously alluring scent she has. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get enough of a feel for how Chloe and Connor related prior to this escape attempt. She refers to him as her jailer several times, but it's hard to tell if they really had that very limited engagement or not. As such, the transition to becoming lovers, with the sudden explosion of chemistry, wasn't as... explosive as it could have been. I didn't have that need to see them finally cross that line, so when they do cross it, I was kind of meh about it.

I had some issues with the details of Chloe's, ah, unique physiology. I don't want to spoil any plot points, but I felt that there's one changeable element that just wasn't explained to my satisfaction. Otherwise, I wonder how Chloe was portrayed in earlier books in the series as I suspect that might have helped me click more with her story. The back story that she does reveal in Charming the Beast as well as the way she feels now at the hands of the Para Uni did make me care for her. She's had a rough time of it, and I wanted her to be able to make some of her own decisions for once.

There's also an extended cast of characters that, because I hadn't read earlier books in the series, I didn't know and didn't care as much about as I might have. The leader of the group, Eric, just struck me as being cold rather than... driven? Protective? I don't know. I didn't care for him though and it made it hard to feel that any of the decisions he was making were good ones.

Bottom line:

Ultimately, I was rather entertained by Charming the Beast. The book isn't terribly long and the story moves quickly. There's lots of action and an appropriately badass villain to rally against. It wasn't without its problems but I found lots of redeeming points.

I recommend it if you've already started the series and enjoyed it, or if you're looking for a paranormal-romance-action book that you can zone out with for an evening.

3.5 stars
For fans of werewolves and vampires, mad scientists, badass heroes/heroines

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