Monday, September 28, 2015

Dance With the Devil by Angela Dennis

The Basics:
Dance With the Devil by Angela Dennis
Samhain Publishing
Book One in the Soul's Harbor Pride series
Romance, Paranormal
Published September 22, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Goodreads Kobo

Why I picked up this book:

I like a good paranormal romance. I haven't read lion shifters lately, and was intrigued. Curran from the Ilona Andrews series comes to mind, but I haven't read that series in far too long!

Born to be enemies. Destined to be lovers.

After killing one of her father’s enforcers, half-blood lion shifter Jillian Winters ran for her life, landing in an upscale bar halfway across the country. Her boss, Carrick—a pure-blood shifter—has no idea his barmaid is a fugitive.

When her father’s recklessness puts the Pride at risk, Jillian must return home and assume his place as Alpha. But not before she indulges in a taste of the attraction that’s been building for years between her and Carrick.

Carrick Granger has had a soft spot for Jillian from the moment she stepped into his bar, soaking wet and afraid of her own shadow. He knows she has secrets. So does he. He’s also the outcast son of an Alpha—and now that his father is dead, he, too, has been summoned home.

Thinking they’ll never see each other again, the simmering heat between them ignites like a match to gunpowder. But then the bullets start flying, forcing them to choose—duty to their Prides, or the one person they can’t live without.

Warning: This book contains deception, lies, betrayal, a sexy lion who is determined to claim his mate, and a mating bond that will change the landscape of the Prides forever.

My Thoughts:

Dance With the Devil had so much potential. I really liked some of the concepts here--a pair of lion shifters who connected in the 'real world,' away from their Prides, who end up tightly bound together because of those Prides, and their rules.

Ultimately, I just didn't enjoy this book very much. So much of the story happens because there are no other options. I'm not a huge fan of people being backed into corners, and especially when it comes to their love lives. There was a lot of, "Well, there's no other choice, really." or it's this choice or death for someone. 

I also didn't buy into all the bad guys and issues inherent there. So much relied on prejudices and fears and power struggles that I didn't get a big enough feel for because the story happens in this isolation away from the rest of the world. 

One of my biggest issues with Dance With the Devil has to do with the editing in the version that I was given for review. Now, when I received this book, it was scheduled for release in August, so it's entirely probable that delays were due to some of the errors and discrepancies that had me wincing were being corrected. 

But! I can really only review the book that I read. And in it, there were some details that shifted inexplicably, mostly after about the one-third point, when the characters are underground for a 'Claiming' ritual. 

I also found there were some discrepancies in terms of what magic was permitted during this ritual and what wasn't, and that drove me a bit batty as well. It seemed that the block was only for the half-breeds who had magic from their other halves, which seemed... convenient. Or inconvenient, depending on the character. But also, just, really, I don't know. Convenient.

I did like that there was a connection between Carrick and Jillian before all the stuff with the Pride started, and I liked that it carried through despite everything. Carrick had some lovely moments as the hero in this book. He could have been over-the-top obnoxious alpha, but he wasn't, and I appreciated it.

One other issue I had was with the underground space itself. It was both cramped, but also spacious enough for all these bedrooms, and prowling about. I found that confusing as well. And there was so much talk about it all turning into a big orgy, and that also never happened. Which, frankly, made me feel a little robbed. If there'd been at least one big, erotic blowout, maybe I would have been distracted enough to just roll with some of the other issues I had? 

Bottom line:

I really wanted to like this one, but... I can't recommend it. IF you're a die hard lion shifter fan, then maybe you need to check this one out, but otherwise, pass and read (reread) one of the Kate Daniels series books instead. Or recommend to me another good lion shifter book!

2.5 stars
For fans of lion shifters

Then again, maybe I was just cranky when I read this? Because I've gathered up a couple of other blog reviews, and they're not nearly as critical. Seriously, I must have missed some things. 

Please check these sites out for some other opinions!

Red Hot Books 

Rabid Reads

Ceres Books World

Book Passion for Life

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