Howling For You
Jeff Christopher is a shapeshifter and ally of Chicago’s Cadogan House of vampires—he’s also a tech whiz and mostly-legal hacker. And the only protective shields he’s never been able to find a way around are those of the powerful Keene Family.
For a long time, Jeff has only had eyes for the beautiful Fallon Keene. Unfortunately, she is the only sister of the lethal North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene. The intricate balances of power and politics make it all but impossible for Fallon to trust her feelings.
But fate takes a hand when the Pack’s totem is stolen—threatening the Keene family’s rule—and Fallon enlists Jeff’s help to retrieve it before the Pack is thrown into chaos. Can she and Jeff find the totem, and restore order, before it’s too late? And will Jeff finally be able to prove himself to the only person he truly loves? http://www.us.penguingroup.com
ISBN 9780698144286 |e-book format, 128 pages | 07 Jan 2014 | Penguin/NAL
Disclosure: Blogger Purchased
Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series is on my list of must reads. I can’t really remember how I came across this series; it’s possible I was on my way to Chicago and looking for related fiction. In any event, what I found was totally absorbing and I immediately fell in love with Merrit and Ethan and the entire Chicagoland Vampire world created by Chloe Neill. As an aside, the series offers amazing insights into the food and neighborhoods of Chicago. Chloe wisely allows her vampires the ability to eat and enjoy food.
This novella won’t take long to read but it will expand your series horizon. It’s the first story I have read in the series that doesn’t really have anything to do with the Cadogan House vampires. It’s all about Jeff Christopher and the woman he is in love with, Fallon. When Jeff first came into the series as a member of Merrit’s Grandfather’s staff he seemed a bit nerdy, but sweet. I still thought of him in nerd terms: physically clumsy, super smart, all those 1980s nerd stereotypes.
Well, let me tell you, Jeff is the nerds’ great leap forward (literally – he is a tiger shifter). He may be a brilliant computer nerd, super hacker dude, but he is also a shifter and a fighter. He’s been pretty impressive since his first shifter action in the series and he gets even more so herein as he stands up for what he wants: Fallon.
The theme in this story is all about love and duty. It’s the story of the princess who loves the commoner. Actually, it is one trope in my paranormal reading that is not overdone. It’s presented interestingly and I could very honestly envision this particular story as a graphic novel — especially the villain. We’ve met Fallon, but haven’t really gotten to know her, so this being from her point of view is really a fresh peek into her head. She’s pretty cool — with “ink” and piercings.
The love story is quite low key, although I found the couple’s despair palpable, and I was mildly outraged by the pack rules that would allow a non-wolf shifter to be a pack member but not be an equal member. In other words, I was quite engaged in the story. There’s a switch up, a fillip, that is a lot of fun and strengthens the young, current vibe these characters bring to the series.
As a great big plus a two chapter excerpt of the next novel, WILD THINGS, is included at the end of the novella. For the current $2.99 price tag you get a short story and the WILD THING chapters. If you haven’t read anything by Chloe before it’s a reasonable test drive. This is high quality writing and fiction, so though it is not ninety nine cents, it’s still a good value.
I have read into the excerpt from WILD THINGS and Chloe deftly provides enough back-story so you can understand the situation, but not enough to bog the story down. I wouldn’t say that would be my favorite way to introduce you to the series but it does help, and you might want to go back to the beginning to catch up on all of the bone-melting moments and spine-chilling twists Chloe has engineered throughout the earlier books in the series.
Chloe’s Chicagoland Vampire Series is a MUST READ for any lover of paranormal romance or urban fantasy. There’s quite a bit of both sub-genres to make it sit right on the line of demarcation. I will be part of the tour for WILD THINGS on January 28 so be sure to come on back then for all that fun!
To read a teaser for the novella click HEREwww.chloeneill.com/ Penguin’s Book Page