I am a huge fan of the Feral Warrior series by Pamela Palmer, I admit it! I have read every book and novella in this series. I recommend them to anyone who asks and so when I got the chance to read an eARC of the newest release, A LOVE UNTAMED, I leaped at it like I'd come into my own animal.
***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Blurb for A LOVE UNTAMED:
The newest member of the elite Feral Warriors brotherhood, Fox is eager to prove himself on the frontlines of battle against the Daemons. When paired with the legendary Ilina warrior, Melisande, he expects the fierce beauty to quickly fall under the spell of his quite considerable charm. Instead, he finds himself spellbound by a woman who's his match in every way.
Beneath Melisande's brittle exterior lies centuries of pain and a violent hatred of all shape-shifters—a hatred that slowly crumbles after they're caught in a deadly and cunning Mage trap and she glimpses a surprising depth in her far-too-seductive partner. Their survival demands unconditional trust—and their salvation surrender to a wild, untamed love.
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Kara, Lyon's mate and the Radiant, is missing. Without the energy provided by the Radiant, the Feral Warriors will eventually die but it's also their love for her that has them searching for her. Fox is new to the group and questions his own worthiness as the originals attempt to weed out the new members that may have been marked by their animal spirits from the worst of the line rather than the best. Partnered with Jag, Olivia, and the Ilina warrior, Melisande, Fox is unsure of his abilities and his need to keep focused while Melisande's presence strives to draw his attention away from the mission to find Kara.
Melisande has no use for any shifter or any Therian but especially wants nothing to do with Feral Warriors. It is only when she discovers that her worst enemy, Castin, is among the newly marked Ferals that she willingly offers her services in finding the Radiant. Not overly thrilled with being teamed with Fox, she puts up every defense to keep her growing attraction for him from distracting her.
Despite Fox and Melisande's determination to ignore their attractions, Fox begins to see the Ilina warrior woman as a challenge and Melisande begins to feel her old needs and desires return and knows that giving in to her sexual needs will serve to make her stronger not weaker. When lost in the Labyrinth together, they need each other's skills and strengths to survive and eventually grow closer. Melisande begins to feel the walls around her guilt and her tortured memories crumble beneath Fox's endearing charms. If they survive the Labyrinth, if they find and rescue the Radiant, what then? Will Melisande go back to being the cold warrior woman and will Fox remain a Feral once the others discover the battle being waged inside him between his animal spirit and a darkness that has attempted to mislead him every step of the way.
I was very surprised at the turn this installment of the Feral Warriors took, but pleasantly surprised. In the past books, the story centered almost entirely on the pair for which a mating was imminent but in A LOVE UNTAMED, the story took many directions at once. I liked this very much. I liked that we were able to understand Kara's fears and trepidations. We feel Grizz's angst over not being worthy of having been marked and discover his interesting past and then are hopeful of where it might lead him. We come to understand Melisande's tortuous past while Fox endears himself to her, and us, through his patience even as an internal battle rages within and visions from the past become something he fears trusting.
A LOVE UNTAMED by Pamela Palmer is unique even for a Feral Warrior novel. It's action-packed as Melisande and Fox journey through the Labyrinth created by the Mage sorcerer, Inir, taking on task after task in an attempt to locate Kara, the Radiant. It's emotion-filled as Fox fights against his growing intolerance for what his animal spirit is telling him and his fear that perhaps he wasn't the one worthy of being marked. It's passion-filled as Fox slowly tears down the walls of self preservation that Melisande has built around her heart after having survived torture and rape only to live with the guilt of her Ilina sisters' deaths. As well as what she did in the name of vengeance.
Melisande is a hard character to like. She's always been there to protect Ariana, her queen, and the secrets that protect her sisters but she's cold and unbending in her treatment of the Feral Warriors. I know many readers don't like her, but I've always found her admirable. I was quite happy when, at the end of ECSTASY UNTAMED, it was obvious that Fox was attracted to her. I wanted Melisande to find her happily-ever-after and Fox is just the charmer to give it to her.
My only disappointment in A LOVE UNTAMED by Pamela Palmer is that I felt the ending was a bit rushed. The story leads us through so many adventures, giving enough bits of information that if a reader were to pick up this Feral Warrior novel as a first read, they would quickly catch on to who and what the characters and story are about - until they reach the end. Had I not known of the mating ritual from previous installments, I suspect I would have been a bit lost. In the end, I do have to highly recommend A LOVE UNTAMED by Pamela Palmer to anyone who has read even one of the Feral Warrior novels, however, if you're going to read one, read them all and then read, A LOVE UNTAMED. Fox is definitely worth it.
Happy Reading Everyone!
A LOVE UNTAMED, a Feral Warrior novel by Pamela Palmer, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats.