August 18, 2019 04:06 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
Overall, July was a really good reading month for me. Nearly everything I read rated four stars and up, and I even had two five-star reads. Both of them were so good, they ended up in a virtual tie, making it extremely difficult to choose between them. After a great deal of nail-biting indecision, I finally decided that one edged out the other by a mere hair’s breadth. It’s a paranormal romance that’s part of a long-running series, one that I recently became hooked on. In it, we have a couple who were best friends in childhood, but after she witnessed him tearing her abusive foster father apart in his beast form, she basically ran, leaving him believing she was dead. Now, twenty years later, she’s returned needing his help finding a street kid she’s been working with who’s been kidnapped before he suffers the same brutal fate as several others who’ve been found murdered. Unsure if they can trust one another, they form an uneasy alliance that gradually heats up into a passionate romantic relationship. But meanwhile, she finds herself a target of the killer who wants her to stop investigating the murders.
Talin was an orphan who became friends with Clay when she was only three years old and he was nine. They both lived in the same slum neighborhood, and although she was afraid of him at first, she came to his rescue when he broke his leg. After that, they were nearly inseparable, but several years later, when Clay found out that Tally’s foster father was abusing her, his inner beast came out, brutally killing the man. Afterward, Clay went to juvie while Tally was adopted by a good family who lived far away. However, after witnessing Clay’s savage nature that day, Tally feared that he might someday turn on her, so she asked her social worker to tell Clay she was dead. Two decades later, she is now a social worker herself, helping street kids. Several of her kids have gone missing and some have turned up dead, so Tally seeks out the one man she knows is strong enough to take on the murderer. Although she’s still fearful of the man she used to call her friend, at the same time, he stirs emotions and desires in her that she’s never experienced before. Tally is a very complex heroine, and the threads of her characterization are masterfully woven throughout the story as she gradually comes to trust Clay again and accept that they were always meant for one another. I love how she and Clay managed to work through all the problems she brought with her. I also admired her dedication to the kids in her care and her willingness to risk everything for them. She was a wonderful heroine who exhibited the perfect mix of vulnerability and strength.
Clay grew up with a single human mother and never knew his changeling father. Although he loved his mother, she was never able to accept his animal nature. He tried to suppress it, but living within four walls inside a city was difficult for the predator in him. Everything combined made him an angry loner who had no real friends until little Tally came along. She became a beacon of light to him and he became her protector. He doesn’t regret killing her foster father, but he does blame himself for not realizing what was happening sooner. Then after being released from prison, he was told she was dead, and his world imploded. Luckily a leopard pack found him and took him in, but he’s continued to mostly keep to himself and many times has felt like he might end up going rogue. When Tally suddenly reappears in his life, he’s angry with her for lying to him and staying away so long, but at the same time, he feels compelled to help her. After all she is his Tally, the one woman his beast has known belonged to him for most of his life. It takes some time for him to work through her fear and all the bombshells she drops on him, as well as his own anger. Although he had a couple of jerk moments early on, I understood where his frustration was coming from and was able to forgive his conduct. He also proves to be surprisingly patient for a changeling male, taking time to help Tally overcome her issues. As the story progressed, he became the perfect mix of alpha protector and passionate lover, who ends up wearing his heart on his sleeve for Tally.
Overall, this book was an awesome read that didn’t disappoint in the least. I loved Clay and Tally both as individual characters, while the romance between them is deep and heartfelt. I’m a sucker for both friends-to-lovers stories and reunion romances, both of which are strong tropes in this book. Their long-time bond, while a little battered from time apart, had survived, and with a little care and nurturing, flared back to life. It also made their emotional connection a very strong one. The mystery of who was kidnapping and murdering the kids was woven seamlessly throughout and completely engaged my attention as I waited for it all to unravel. Perhaps best of all was the advancement of the overall story arc. That’s why I’m naming Nalini Singh’s Mine to Possess as my July Book of the Month. If you enjoy a deeply emotional and sexy, friends-to-lovers, second-chance romance, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
Cover Blurb -
Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.
Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.
Read my complete review of Mine to Possess.
If you would like to win a copy of Mine to Possess to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Nalini Singh