Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon
A long time ago, when I first discovered romantic fiction, I found a Sherrilyn Kenyon book and was instantly hooked. What an imagination! The heady combination of intense, sexy, truly "heroic" heroes, her fascinating twist on mythology, and lots of lusty sex, fanned the flames of my romance addiction. Kenyon and Christine Feehan were my introduction to paranormal romance, and I could not get enough of their stuff.
Two of her books really stand out for me. Dance with the Devil, which is Zarek's story, is sort of a precursor in my mind to JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Zarek is the original tortured paranormal hero. This book is astoundingly good. The other one, which inspired me to start writing myself, is Vane's story, Night Play. I adore this book. How brave of Sherrilyn Kenyon to create a "plus-size" heroine who is beautiful, sexy and courageous enough for her alpha werewolf mate. Love it! I attempted to write my own werewolf romance after reading her book...let's just say it wasn't quite as good as Night Play!
Unfortunately, as we all know, it's extremely difficult to keep the magic flowing in these long-winded series. And Kenyon's is longer than many. She has 19 books in the Dark Hunter series, which probably jumped the shark a long time ago. I stopped reading when I noticed sentences being repeated, a lack of intensity in the story line, and the biggest disappointment of all...her heroes were starting to seem eerily similar to me. I didn't get mad the way I did with JR Ward and the Vishous/Phury debacle. The series just sort of fizzled out for me, and I stopped reading.
So, after taking a lengthy hiatus with her series, I decided to check out Bad Moon Rising and see if I could reinvigorate my interest in her work. Since Fang plays an important role in Night Play and we were first introduced to the intriguing romance budding between him (werewolf) and Aimee, a were-bear!--I thought it would be great to see how their love affair finally played out. Unfortunately, although the story started out strong for me, I didn't fall in love with this book.
First of all, Fang is sort of an ass. He is the equivalent of the snarky, first person heroines who are all the rage lately. He is sarcastic, irritating, sort of juvenile, difficult to like. I honestly couldn't understand why Aimee was so attracted to him. However, Aimee is awesome! She is the high light of this story. Strong willed, beautiful, intensely loyal and courageous. She is a wonderful heroine. But this story lacked the "magic" for me of Kenyon's earlier works. I wasn't feeling the romance, and there was hardly any sex. HARDLY ANY SEX? What the....???? Where was the hot, lusty, emotional love scenes I used to adore in SK's books? It certainly wasn't happening here.
And finally, there is usually a real sense of anticipation with her story lines, but not in BMR. Since we already know a lot of what happens with the Dark Hunters (this takes place in the past, long before the newest releases), it was lacking that on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense.
I am definitely disappointed. I was hoping to rediscover the old magic of Sherrilyn Kenyon, and that certainly did not happen with Bad Moon Rising. However, I'm not ready to give up yet. I am going to check out her next release and see if a new couple might reignite my interest.
I will always have a soft spot for SK since she inspired my own writing career. And I highly recommend reading the beginning of this series if you haven't checked it out. The first 6 books (Night Pleasures, Night Embrace, Dance with the Devil, Kiss of the Night, Night Play, and Seize the Night) are outstanding examples of paranormal romance. Give them a try!