Review: Winter's Dawn
Winter's Dawn by Kele Moon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A new exciting werewolf mythology is born! Ms. Moon brings a new world of alpha, beta, omega and rogue werewolves. This is the beginning with the first set of alpha couple coming of age. Max is the Winter king with his soul mate, Susan, is his Winter queen.
The world building is riveting. The way the werewolf world functions, comes across as an alpha male dominant patriarchy yet it's twist with service to the queen. Learning about the pressures placed upon Max is pretty intense. As a reader, I started to feel overburdened and stressed out by the weight on his shoulders. The brutal conditioning these werewolves instill into the males for their females is fascinatingly horrifying. The emotional blackmail at times made me sick to my stomach. I felt badly for Max.
Now, for those who don't like incest, this story may be a bit difficult. There is a lot of inbreeding in here but it's the way the mythology works. I found it to be just fine. It wasn't anything disgusting or depraved. It's actually done quite beautifully. Ms. Moon did an excellent job with turning something taboo into something sweet.
The characters are really what made this story great for me. The reader sees everything from Max's point of view and it's very good. Even the secondary characters: Serena and Kat are fleshed out and admirable. Ms. Moon is one of the better character building authors. The reader can feel the frustrations of Max as well as his pain. While this story is about a pair of alpha rulers, it's really Max's story. Susan is the moon he revolves around. The tale covers from when Max is three years old until he's twenty-six. It's a lot of years compacted into a tightly written timeline. There is not a single scene than can be cut from this book. Everything is there for a reason. Sometimes the reason is to ignite the reader's arousal.
In this short snippet, Ms. Moon shows just how sexy Max can be.
He tilted his head, arching an eyebrow at her, "Alpha wolves can do this for a very long time, Serena," he warned her. "They can toy with sweet beta wolves and have them moaning and sweating for hours."
"I'm not sweet," she whispered, her voice raspy in frustration.
"Yes, I know." He was still smiling and watching the way her breathing fell shallow. "That's what makes this such fun."
My breathing increased as well as my heartbeat when I read this little section. I'm sure my pupils dilated too. This entire book is filled with tidbits of sexy erotic teasings. Yet it's only a hint of sex. Ms. Moon cruelly fades to black so that the reader isn't in the front row avidly watching a rough dominant sex scene. Perhaps the next book in the series which should be featuring the Autumn alpha mates will include more graphic sex. Based on how the werewolves need to procreate, it appears Summer will be the last set and perhaps that one will be a blazing firestorm. One can only hope for more explicit sex since Ms. Moon writes some of the most exquisite kinky erotica.
The only drawback to this story is the ending. For a book dedicated to the love of a soul mate and where Max sacrifices so much for Susan, the decision on how to raise their children completely blindsided me. I felt ill and my heart broke for Max. Her solution on how to give her future sons a childhood sacrifices Max in a way that deeply sickens me. Her cavalier attitude as to how to explain Max's relationship to their future sons destroyed me. It makes me hesitant to read the next book because I'm afraid it will be an emotional train wreck. Susan didn't impress me from the beginning. In the end of the book, she revolts me. It makes me wonder if this is what having children is about - the death of lovers. Can the strong bond of soul mates survive the arrival of children? From this book and anecdotal evidence, the answer would be no. The bonds of a mother to child will annihilate all other bonds. This paranormal romance is recommended for those who enjoy books that illicit strong emotions. It is a tale for those who enjoy reading about self-sacrifice by the hero for the one he loves.
*I received this book as a review copy in return for an honest review
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