Sunday, November 7, 2010

Random Romance Sunday: Werewolves of San Diego

The Book: Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks

The Particulars: Paranormal romance, first in a series, Berkley, 2004, In Print

The Blurb:
National bestselling author Eileen Wilks has thrilled countless readers with her fresh and compelling stories. Now, she has created a bold new world where the magical and the mundane co-exist in an uneasy balance--a balance that is threatened by a cold-blooded killer. And the only one who can end the threat is a cop on her own knife-edge struggling with a particularly tempting danger...

Lily Yu is a San Diego police detective investigating a series of grisly murders that appear to be the work of a werewolf. To hunt down the killer, she must infiltrate the clans. Only one man can help her--a were named Rule Turner, a prince of the lupi, whose charismatic presence disturbs Lily. Rule has his own reasons for helping the investigation--reasons he doesn't want to share with Lily. Logic and honor demand she keep her distance, but the attraction between them is immediate and devastating--and beyond human reason. Now, in a race to fend off evil, Lily finds herself in uncharted territory, tested as never before, and at her back a man she's not sure she can trust...
Is It In Wendy's TBR?: Nope, I've actually read this one. Shocker, I know.

Any Reviews?: Why yes. I was still with TRR at this time, and I handled reviewing duties on this one, giving it 3 Hearts (or a C grade).
In the hands of a less skilled writer, Tempting Danger probably would have been fairly mind numbing. The convoluted and confusing supernatural aspects did detract from the story, but Wilks’ heroine is so top notch that it’s a hard book to dismiss outright. With more books planned in this series, one can hope that as the author goes along the reader will become more familiar with the world and the characters she has created.
My whole review is worth reading because, in all modesty, I did a pretty good job on this one. In a nutshell though? Great heroine, vague hero and, while I tap dance around it in the review, I think there was some soul mate garbage that drove me slightly nutty. Seriously. Free will is sexy. Just sayin'.

Sandy handled the reviewing duties over at AAR, and while she gave it a slightly higher grade with a B-, turns out we agreed an awful lot on the content.
For some reason, though, I had difficulty connecting closely with Rule, who seemed all glam and sex appeal. This may have something to do with the fact that scenes involving his family and clan consisted of a lot of convoluted dialogue that sometimes caused me to glaze over - you know, ponderous sentences loaded with all those made-up words so beloved to authors creating their own elaborate paranormal mythology. Still, he's sexy and fun and promises to be an intriguing character to follow in upcoming books.
Anything Else?: I was thinking about this series recently and wondering why I didn't keep up with it. Rereading my review refreshed my memory. All I had remembered was that I really liked the heroine's character. A lot. What I had sort of forgotten was the convoluted mess I had found some of the paranormal "stuff" - and oh yeah, we have a werewolf so obviously there was some soul mates nonsense running amok. Then it's a paranormal, which is not a sub genre I easily gravitate towards.....and yeah. Off my radar it fell.

But.....

Wilks is still going strong with this series, with book seven due out in January. So if you like werewolves, don't mind the soul mate "stuff," and are looking for a good strong heroine? This series might be right up your alley.

9 comments:

Cathy in AK said...

I have half of a shapeshifter story waiting to be finished. I think when the heroine learns the hero is a shifter, she'll mention about that soulmate thing and he's going to give her a look and say, "You've been reading too many paranormal romances." :)

Kay Webb Harrison said...

I have kept up with this series. The first book ended with a LOT of loose threads, many of which were completed in the second book. Lily and Rule are still together, engaged to be married, and working on their relationship. Meanwhile, they have also been working to maintain the existence of the world as they know it. Another couple, Cynna and Colin have alternated with them as the main characters. Lily's grandmother and her old flame, Sam [the DRAGON], also play major parts in several of the books. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment.

Kay

A Library Girl said...

I am actually a bigger fan of Benedict, Rule's brother, than I am of Rule. The thought of how things must of been with his mate really interests me. Their relationship wouldn't have worked for a romance novel, because I don't think it ended at all well, but I like the idea that, yes, there are soulmates in Wilks's world, but the whole soulmate thing only gets the ball rolling. It's up to the people involved to really make it work so that everybody is actually happy with the relationship. In Benedict and his mate's case, things didn't work out, even though, if I remember right, his mate, at least, tried.

I like this book well enough, but I think I might have liked the short story that blossomed into the book more. I think Rule was more likable in the story.

Leslie said...

The San Diego setting is what got me to pick this one up awhile back but I couldn't get into it. The fact that the series is still going strong makes me willing to give it another try. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Marie-Thérèse said...

"Free will is sexy."

I love this statement and wish more romance authors actually understood it. The minute I get even a whiff of fated mates crap or any kind of ineluctable compulsion, I am done with the book. For me, romantic love must be freely given and fully consensual, a life-altering choice made between independent adults. Anything less is sickening.

While driving home from a friend's tonight, I listened to the final act of Bizet's opera, 'Carmen'. Carmen's words, uttered shortly before the pathetically clinging, perennially passive-aggressive Don José kills her because she no longer loves him and he cannot accept her love of another, still ring in my ears and seem apt: "Jamais Carmen ne cédera! Libre elle est née et libre elle mourra!" (loosely translated as: "Carmen will never give in! She was born free and free she will die!")

I wish romance writers would give us more Carmens, although with a happier ending, of course! (Carmen waltzing off into the sunset with a triumphant Escamillo, leaving Don José nursing his poor widdle hurt fee fees in the arena's dust would make me a very happy reader indeed!)

Wendy said...

I, admittedly, have issues with the soul mate thing - so y'all probably can't go by me :) I need the characters to have some semblance of a "choice." Even when the choices all suck. The thing with soul mates is that it seems so....final. Like destiny saying, "Sorry cupcake, this is the guy. And if you can't make it work you're destined to be a crazy old cat lady."

Uh, which just depresses me.

But yeah, I remember really digging the heroine in this one. Also, I liked the suspense stuff. But I'm a wayback mystery reader, so the darker atmosphere sort of flipped my switch....

Dr J said...

Thanks for the good review, Wendy--I have to own up to having a fairly recent liking for shifters, werewolves, and the like. Just never thought there was much to it except in the horror genre--probably too much Halloween as a kid. But this looks like a ver good series and I will be looking for Book 1 soon. So nice to see you on Saturday . . .

nath said...

Hey, I read this too :P But for some reasons, I haven't kept up with this series either. The main reason is when the narrator switched... I keep thinking I should go back, but I don't feel like picking up the books :(

Wendy said...

Dr J: It was great to see everybody on Saturday :) That, and the cheesecake! Yummers!

Nath: Yeah, as much as I loved the heroine....the other stuff just didn't quite float my boat. But I remember it being a well-written book, so it's definitely worth a look for readers who aren't curmudgeons about the soul mate theme :) Says me.