Here’s my biggest reaction to this one: A publisher is actually charging $14.00 for this? Seriously?
The final installment in the Pack of St. James trilogy is a generic (and completely forgettable) shape shifter romance that takes place in a wallpaper historical setting so broad-brushed that the only way I can tell it’s supposedly the Regency is from the book’s blurb.
It all has something to do with Russian wolf shifter brothers living in London who supposedly “work for the King” (although if the book is truly Regency-set, it’s hard to imagine George III being much of a boss) doing good deeds. The book begins when Semyon Taruskin, a mysterious and much sought-after rakehell, is entranced by an enchantingly beautiful young woman working at a ball as a coat check girl – not for him, those preening society misses! Instant lust amidst the furs!
Only disaster looms! Semyon learns that the put-upon servant mysteriously disappeared soon after the ball. Our heroine, Angelica, she whose “pride and breeding showed in the way she held herself,” has been kidnapped by her e-e-e-e-e-v-i-l (and completely over the top) stepbrother who plans to debase her even further by giving her over to the e-e-e-e-e-v-i-l (and completely over the top) schemes of a man called – improbably enough – St. Sin. (Which sounds to me more like a Stephanie Laurens hero than a villain, but okay.)
Semyon rides to the rescue! He tears her from the clutches of the e-e-e-e-e-v-i-l ones and takes her to a safe haven familiar to readers of historical romance – one of those snug little houses in which aristocrats stowed their mistresses. Much sex ensues. But, considering Angelica’s track record, can danger be far behind?
Frankly, this book certainly isn’t the place to start this trilogy. As I learned. The world-building seems clumsy and heavy-handed, and, though I know this seems contradictory, sketchy at the same time. (Or maybe let’s chalk up the latter to the fact that I found myself not giving a rat’s ass.) Seymon is a shape shifter. Seymon is hot. Semyon is good. Semyon is Russian. And that’s about all I can tell you.
As for Angelica, she is in a subjugated position when we meet her and a kind of uncomfortable retro-esque aura of humility surrounded her character throughout the book. Not to even mention our perfect heroine is one of those miraculous young women alone in London with no money who somehow manages to retain her virtue despite threats from e-e-e-e-e-v-i-l masters and the many men stunned into instant lust by her breathtaking beauty.
I picked this book for review because I was intrigued by the idea of a wolf pack in Regency London, so, yep, I was interested in going there. And, on the positive side, the prose is fine, if a bit on the clichéd side. But I never cared about the characters. Or the story, for that matter. Both of which constitute the original reasons why I wanted to read about shape shifters in Regency London in the first place.
And at $14.00? Seriously? I don’t think so.