I can say with some reserve that I had a fun time reading Eternal Hunter. Reserve, because the plot was interesting enough for me to keep turning the pages, but I ultimately felt like all the characters were ones I’ve seen many times before.
Assistant DA Erin Jerome is not human – she’s Other. She has shifter blood in her veins, but most of the ability is lost to her; she has some highly tuned senses, but is unable to physically shift. For the past few months, a killer has been stalking her, sending her “love letters” of bloody messages and mangled corpses. In an attempt to outrun her stalker, she’s started a new life in Baton Rouge, trying to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, her past quickly catches up to her, and the murders and blood scrawled messages begin once again. This time, the first murdered man happens to be a criminal that bounty hunter Jude Donovan helped put in jail. When Jude arrives on scene and sees Erin, he immediately knows she isn’t human. Jude is a Shifter, and the animal in him feels an immediate connection to her. Now he’s determined to keep Erin safe and make her acknowledge her need for him, and she’s just as determined to keep him at arm’s length and prevent her dark secrets from being exposed.
The thing that immediately bothered me was the choppy prose style that the author employs to indicate intensity. Many sentences are paragraphs on their own, and there are a lot of Sentences. That. Are. Chopped. Up. Like. This. There’s also a ton of repetition, especially italicized repetition, for example: “She wasn’t going to escape him. She wasn’t going to escape him.” This problem somewhat lessens as the book progresses, but the short phrasing style was still jarring.
Jude is a much more simple character than Erin, rather stereotypical in his alpha male brawniness. All the “you’re mine” possessive looks and growls are there in full force, very familiar and unremarkable. Erin is extremely tormented, and rightfully so; abandoned by her wolf shifting mother at puberty because of her inability to shift, she’s lived with her human father ever since, suppressing the beast within her.
Erin’s gradual acceptance of her shifter blood is an interesting journey, more so than her relationship with Jude. In fact, the mystery of the crazy obsessed stalker is also a lot more interesting than Erin’s romance with Jude. The romance is simply so by-the-book that the lines and scenes between them were practically by rote. This also goes for the love scenes, which were fine, but rather lacking the chemistry I was expecting. The pair also makes an unnecessarily huge deal about the “love” word, considering the ease with which they become attached to one another. They are incredibly territorial and possessive with from the beginning, practically finishing the other’s sentences by their second meeting. So when they each realize their love (which happens very late), their respective epiphanies were more of an “um, duh” moment for me.
Barring all this, the plot moves quickly and smoothly, albeit with some stereotypical curve-balls. Still, the author has a gift for making action scenes actually exciting, and I enjoyed watching Erin confront her painful past, which was a highlight of the book for me. I’m also a sucker for family reconciliation scenes, so I liked the parts between Erin and her errant mother.
Eternal Hunter is a solid book, and one I can recommend if you aren’t expecting a story that will surprise you. There’s nothing earth shattering in its paranormal world, nothing too thrilling about the alpha male characters, but an interesting read nonetheless.