Introduced in Edge of Hunger, Book One in the Primal Instincts series, Kellan Scott was your quintessential bad boy then. While he is still bad where it counts, he has finally grown up and is attempting to be the hero readers have always known he could be. Now the gorgeous shape-shifter is taking control of his life, trying to move beyond thoughtless living and moving from mess to another mess. He is now willing to do absolutely anything for the passionate little witch who has stolen his heart, and who is now awakening the passions of the possessive wolf who lives within him.
Cloe Harcourt has struggled all her life, intentionally living alone and away from people, trying to keep her unusual powers over other people's emotions in check, never trusting that any man could love her for herself. That is, until her mesmerizing rescuer awakens a craving for his touch. Their all-consuming passion is their most effective weapon against their sadistic captor. But Kellan's greatest challenge may be to convince Chloe that he is worthy of her undying love, or die in the process.
Ryannon Byrd has established herself as a writer of note in several literary fiction genre's and this sixth book in her Primal Instincts features characters that have walked through the five previous books. This is a world of vampires, Death Walkers, shape-shifters, witches--of territories and Wastelands and sadistic individuals who want to capture the special abilities of gifted persons to use in their push for absolute power. Thus Chloe Harcourt has been taken prisoner. She is a witch who has newly awakened powers, whose family has lived under an ancient curse that has bound her powers, making it nearly impossible for her to live around others. She has now gradually discovering her sexual powers are expanding as another entity who lives within her has become more powerful, one which needs regular feedings of blood--the Merrick--and which can give her great physical strength.
Kellan Scott has been in love with Chloe since he saw her picture, almost struck dumb by her pristine beauty. His wolf has been nearly out of control in believing that Chloe is his mate. Kellan's long personal history of liasons with all the wrong people at the wrong time have made his new efforts to do right suspect to those who know him well. Yet he is determined to prove his new-found maturity, and he is determined to find and rescue Chloe. He must travel the
Wastelands, using all his keen senses and all he had learned about living to succeed. The journey is fraught with danger and Kellan encounters life-threatening difficulties, having been poisoned by a vampired bite. Yet while he has his strength he is bent on bringing Chloe to freedom.
This is, in many ways, a suspense and action thriller, paired with a tender and winsome love story. Chloe needs what Kellan has to offer--his blood and his sexual energy--but he wants her love to be his even as he belongs to her. He refuses to mark her because he believes he is slowly dying from the progressive effects of the vampire poison. He is even willing to go after Chloe's captor at the cost of his own life, believing that his former life choices have made him unworthy of Chloe's love and a life with her.
This story embraces a bad boy who finally grows up, one who finally becomes willing to take responsibility for his choices and who wants to do what is right for those he loves, even if it means he must give his life to do so. It is the story of a lonely lady who must face her own power, make some decisions about how she is willing to live out her future, and learn to accept the loving presence of friends and family in her life. It is also the story of an uneasy truce between species who have been formerly at odds, who now share a common enemy and must learn to fight side by side to win the day. There is family loyalty, betrayal, wounds and hurt, disappointment, and great heroism in this tale and the reader meets some strong characters that are good people. The bad guys are here, too, yet all are metaphors for all that we have come to know about the timeless battle between good and evil.
Romance fiction fans and paranormal readers will all find good reading here. Ms Byrd has a wonderful way with words and she has used her considerable talent to write an engaging tale that will keep the reader involved from start to finish. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.
This novel is scheduled for release in November, 2010.