I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I heard that Kelly Meding was writing a PNR series under the name Kelly Meade I KNEW I had to read it. I love Kelly’s UF books.She never saw this coming…
Brynn Atwood is a low-level Magus whose unpredictable precognitive powers have made her an outcast among her people—and an embarrassment to her highly-regarded father. After a frightening vision in which her father is murdered by a loup garou man, Brynn decides to prove herself by finding the killer, and stopping them at any cost.
Her target is Rook McQueen, the son of a small-town loup garou Alpha. Despite being the youngest of three, Rook is first in line to inherit the role of Alpha, a duty he isn't sure he's capable of fulfilling. When Brynn finally meets Rook, she doesn't expect the attraction that draws her to him—and him to her.
No longer believing him a murderer, Brynn and Rook strike an alliance to find her father's real killer. But when his older brother is targeted by an unknown enemy, Rook will have to choose between his growing feelings for Brynn and his duty as the future Alpha of his community.
In a genre that’s full of great novels and authors Kelly stands out wither she using Meade or Meding as her last night. She writes great characters and builds some outstanding worlds. And this time she’s doing it with loups garous (werewolves).
And yes werewolf PNR novels are a dime a dozen but Kelly puts her own spin on the mythology that I’ve not read before keeping the idea fresh. You have three kinds of loups garous; Gray (common), Black (alphas, protectors) and the rare White. I think of the Wolf wolves as the Omegas, taking on the pack’s (or run in this case) emotional welfare.
Our hero, Rook is a Black wolf which means he should be the next in line of his run to take over his father’s place as Alpha one day. But because he is the youngest son it’s not so simple. The oldest son, Bishop is Gray but he has been groomed to take over as Alpha then came Rook. So there’s a little awkwardness. Rook has never really shown interest in being Alpha. He left home to go to college and had promising music career but since humans do not know about loups garous he had to give up his music and come home.
That’s when he meets Brynn, a Magus. The Magus are magic users and think of the loups garous as animals. Brynn’s father is part of the Magus Congress. Magus aren’t as caring with their offspring as the loups garous. Their first-born are usually the strongest of their children and must marry another strong Magus to make a “good match” in order to produce more powerful Magus.
Brynn was the second daughter born out of twin girls and therefore seen as lesser and no Magus male will want her as a wife. Brynn has been talked down to her whole life. But when she has a vision about Rook she must meet him.
That’s where the “star crossed lovers” find that their groups might hate one another but they don’t feel the same towards each other.
With BLACK ROOK being labeled PNR I thought there would be more sexy times just because most of the PNR I read has more steamy scenes than your average UF book. But that was not the case here. I think the PNR comes into play because each book is about a different brother instead of sticking with one as the main character for each installment like a traditional UF does. But don’t get me wrong. The romance between Rook and Brynn was steamy but on a scaled back level.
BLACK ROOK is full of mystery and twists with just enough romance thrown in. I have a few ideas for what’s to come next for the Cornerstone Run and I can’t wait to read Grey Bishop to see if I’m right.
Raised on a steady diet of Star Wars, Freddy Krueger and “Fear Street” novels, Kelly Meade developed a love for all things paranormal at a very young age. The stealthy adolescent theft of a tattered paperback from her grandmother’s collection of Harlequins sparked an interest in romance that has continued to this day.
Black Rook is the first novel in her Cornerstone Run series, a paranormal romance trilogy from Berkley Intermix that also includes Gray Bishop and White Knight. It follows three loup garou brothers who will do anything to protect their town, their family, and the secret of their existence—and maybe fall in love in the process.
Writing as Kelly Meding, Three Days to Dead is the first book in her Dreg City urban fantasy series. The series follows Evangeline Stone, a paranormal hunter who is resurrected into the body of a stranger and has only three days to solve her own murder and stop a war between the city’s goblins and vampires. Additional books in the series, As Lie the Dead, Another Kind of Dead, and Wrong Side of Dead, are available in both digital format and mass market paperback from Bantam. Book five, Requiem for the Dead, is available digitally through all platforms.
Trance begins the story of the grown-up children of the world’s slaughtered superheroes who receive their superpowers back after a mysterious fifteen-year absence, and who now face not only a fearful public, but also a vengeful villain who wants all of them dead. Trance and Changeling are available now in both digital format and mass market paperback from Pocket Books. Tempest and Chimera are available in digital format only via Pocket Star. All four MetaWars books can also be purchased as a digital bundle.