Title: Tranquility [Otherkin 2]
Author: Anya Bast
Genre: Novella, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Were-Wolves, Erotica
Rating: 3 Stars
Roane leaves the Fury werewolf pack to make room for his brother, Merrick, and his new mate. A natural alpha, there’s nowhere Roane can go in wolf country and not stir up trouble. He settles in a town called Tranquility and immediately raises the hackles of the local pack leader.
Even worse, Roane gets one look at Scarlet, the pack leader’s sister, and will do anything to possess her. Scarlet tries to resist him, but his touch inflames desire she can barely control. And that means heaps of trouble for both of them.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I almost gave this 4 stars. For a novella, it’s a decent read—and if you’ve read my reviews before, you’ll realize how hard it is for me to say that. I don’t like novellas. They tend to be rushed as a whole, and because I like to sink into books and not come up for air, this makes it very hard for me to enjoy them. I did enjoy this story—but it certainly had some issues I need to point out.
First of all, the premise is a good one. This is a story of an alpha werewolf, Roane, who has no desire to be the alpha of a pack. Being an all around good guy, when it came down to leading his home pack or giving the pack over to his brother, he stepped aside. (A point which endeared him to me fairly quickly) From there the story tumbles along as Roane attempts to join a new pack, and quickly finds himself being pushed around by the pack’s leader, Marcus, who wants nothing to do with another alpha in his territory-even if Roane assures him that he’s not interested in taking over. The trouble begins when Roane finds himself attracted to Marcus’ sister, Scarlet. You can imagine how well that went over.
The storyline, though familiar, was done fairly well. I liked Roane as a character, and the world building was easy to sink into. Unfortunately, the execution left a little to be desired. This book was plagued with misspelled/missing words and incomplete sentences. It was sadly in need of a good editor, and coming from an author that reportedly has quite a few books under her belt, it was disappointing to see so little care taken in editing the book.
The narrative itself was quick-paced and an easy read. There was just the right balance of detail, action, and dialogue—which for a novella, is fairly rare. Unfortunately, the characters lacked consistency. One minute Roane and Scarlet were lusting after each other, and the next they were professing their undying love. The switch between the two was instantaneous and I couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t genuine.
Marcus too seemed to have a split personality. At the beginning of the story he seemed like a decent brother. He went looking for help from his sister, and being his sister, she agreed (against her better instincts). I thought to myself: this shows loyalty. They must be really close. A short while later, Marcus was abusing his sister physically and acting like a spiteful, nasty person. I was surprised at his sudden change of character, and again, I couldn’t help but feel that this aspect of the story no longer seemed believable. I can understand a brother getting frustrated and angry with his sister because of her betrayal. I can even understand that he’d want to, or even have to punish her… but this wasn’t just frustration and anger. It felt malicious and evil. I don’t think the author maintained the character’s integrity as she should have.
Another thing that stuck out to me was the cheesy, and downright crude dialogue. The story started out all right, but as things progressed into the romance aspect of the relationship between Roane and Scarlet, the dialogue became extremely crude, and Roane slipped into cheesy cliché lines, calling scarlet “baby” and “little one” and repeated all the things he wanted to do to her. It made me roll my eyes. Look, I know that this sort of thing is much more common in erotica where the goal of the sexy bits is to tickle the reader’s fancy (literally), and sometimes that’s accomplished through dirty talk in the sexy bits, but when the bedroom language is so vastly different than the normal dialogue, it just comes across as cheesy and trashy.
That being said, the sex scenes were steamy, but there was a slight undertone of aggression that wasn’t all together pleasant. I can deal with the growling, the biting, even the hair yanking, but generally you want to avoid scenes in a romance/erotica where a guy repeatedly “forces” a girl’s legs apart. I’m just saying: Nudging is a word that exists.
Overall? It wasn’t a bad read. I liked 80% of it. Some things, like the voice/personality of the narrative were done exceptionally well. Other things, like the abrupt changes in character personality and lack of editing, made it obvious that more time should have been spent ironing out this draft of the novella. Would I read it again? Sure. My overall feelings toward the story were that I liked it. Would I recommend it to others? Maybe. I think if the story were ironed out a little more it would be a better read, but it’s decent enough to waste half an hour on as is, and it’s free on Amazon.
P.S. There is an annoying lack of paragraph breaks when POV/Time/Location shifts occur. It’s still pretty easy to pick out when these shifts occur—I never felt lost—but they are somewhat irritating. You were forewarned.