Continuing with the 2019 Alphabet Variation Challenge:
For letter “H,” I read a novella that was chosen by my book group, Talia Hibbert’s Mating the Huntress, published in 2018.
Mating the Huntress is a 136 page paranormal that has hints of the The Little Red Riding Hood/Big Bad Wolf story line. Chastity, aka Chas, works in her family’s diner, but that’s not all her family does. They are also a family of huntresses. Although it’s unclear whether her father and brothers are involved in this extracurricular activity – ergo huntresses — Chas’ mother and sisters are all fearless hunters of beings that turn into werewolves during the phase of the full moon, slaughtering innocents. At her birth, Chas’ family was warned by an Oracle that her heart would be torn out by her first kill. As such, to Chas’ dismay and frustration, her family has forbidden her from pursuing her own calling as a huntress. One day, a handsome, strangely quiet, and brooding man enters the diner. He comes back time and time again, watching Chas closely. Despite herself, Chas finds herself anticipating the man’s visits, attracted by his presence, but there’s something about him that seems unnatural and she begins to suspect he’s a werewolf.
Luke has been living a solitary life in a cottage in the woods, not far from Chas’ family’s diner. During a full moon, he finds himself being pursued by one of Chas’ sisters. Oddly, he is drawn to her, and although he manages to catch her, he is confused by his feelings. This is not the right person, but she’s wearing a garment on which his senses have picked up the scent of someone special … his fated mate. Tearing a piece off and letting the woman go, he tracks down the rightful owner of the garment at a diner in a town nearby. Somehow, he’s going to have to convince this human woman – who comes from a family of huntresses – that they are mates for life.
I don’t often read paranormal romances, nor am I too fond of novellas. I usually feel that the length of a novella is not adequate for a good story. But, in this case, Hibbert does a very good job of offering a satisfying story in a shorter amount of pages. I also enjoyed how humorous the book was, not taking itself too seriously nor being overly gruesome. It had a fairytale quality about it that kept it light, despite the horror elements. That all being said, I really wish Hibbert had done a full length novel or maybe a series. I would’ve enjoyed having Luke and Chas’ families react to their relationship and I would’ve enjoyed learning more about this world. How did Luke come to be able to tame his beastly side in comparison to other werewolves? Is *his* family special in that way? How did Chastity’s family come to be huntresses? What other types of beings inhabit this world? So many questions. Clearly, I liked this enough to have craved a bit more. I’ll give this story a “B”.
The Alphabet Variation Challenge – 5 down, 14 to go (D, G, H, M, S …)