Hi and welcome to your Wednesday fix of Shapeshifter Seductions! This week I will be reviewing Hunter's Moon by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp. This is the first book in their Tales of the Sazi series and was first released in 2004. It is still commercially available but you'll probably have to order it on-line.
The story opens up with Tony, a mob hitman, meeting a prospective client. This lady looks typical at first glance: nervous, dressed well but comically in a wig and black pant suit in the sweltering heat of a summer afternoon. The catch is, she doesn't want him to knock off some husband or ex-lover. She wants him to kill her!
Tony has rules he lives by; it's what keeps him from getting caught and he's the best of the best at what he does. One of the biggies is never ask questions. The less he knew about the client the safer he was. Despite his rules and a gut feeling this dame was going to end up changing his life forever, when she demands he listen to her story- and offers to pay him for it- he finds himself taking her to his hideout, a posh hotel room in one of the new high class hotels in town.
Sue Quentin was raised whitebread American till she won the lottery to the tune of $260 million. But rather than making her life better, it just gives her abusive, selfish family millions of reasons to treat her worse than ever. She's hit the end of what she can take and wants to end it.
Sue thinks she's got no backbone but Tony suspects otherwise. She's broken but not hopeless and he feels a strange urge to keep this woman close by his side and help her learn how to deal with her spiteful, gready family. Then there's the fact that Tony accidentally let Sue see his wolf.
Not only does she not freak out- she seems to accept his furry side better than he does- Tony is finally able to remember the time he spends as a wolf. In the year since he was accidentally turned when one of the marks he was stalking stalked him back then left him for dead, Tony has no memory what so ever of what he does in wolf form. Not only can Tony now remember his time, Sue seems to be able to feel whatever Tony feels in wolf form!
As Tony and Sue explore this unusual relationship they seem to have found themselves in, Tony is forced to bring Sue into his world while they run from Tony's enemies and Sue's scheming family. Together they escape rival assassins after Tony for prestige and discover the hidden world of the Sazi.
This story is a bit slow for the first fifty pages but then picks up quickly. The action is hot, the passion is hotter and the characters are are easy to identify with. It is written entirely in first person from Tony's perspective. I found this a bit odd for a romance novel at first, but it doesn't take long before it begins to feel very natural.
Tony, for his part, is a complete, irredeemable sociopath. I have read other reviews that didn't like this aspect of his personality, but trust me, if you stick with the series, you will get to see Tony grow as a person. Same with Sue. She comes across as a bit whiny and week in this first installment, but she does heal from the trauma of a horrible, abusive childhood to become the perfect foil for Tony's ruthlessness.
C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp are what I like to think of as detail people. The first story in any given story line tends to be over heavy in details that do, over time, tie into the bigger picture. If the details start becoming a bit much, feel free to gloss over them on first reading; they don't start becoming truly important until the forth book in the series, when we start getting a better look at the whole of Sazi society.
Next week I will be reviewing book two in the series, Moon's Web, where we pick back up with Tony and Sue as they learn to live in a Sazi wolf pack. But fear not! We will get to see more of Tony's old friend, Bobby, when he finds his own mate.
Thanks and best wishes till next week!