Published by Carina Press on March 28, 2011
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For two years, Beth Williams has run from the past, and the beast that dwells inside her. She is haunted by memories of\r\nbeing kidnapped and the savage attack that killed her best friend. Now Beth finally thinks she's ready to move on...with Braden Edwards, a charming, irresistibly sexy man who tempts Beth to embrace the present.\r\nBut the past lurks closer than Beth realizes. Markko Bolvek, one of the werewolves who kidnapped her, has tracked her to Portland, Oregon, his pursuit fueled by a hunger for vengeance. Only Braden, a werewolf himself, senses the danger shadowing her steps. The Edwards and Bolveks have been enemies for centuries—and despite the instant connection he feels with Beth, Braden isn't sure which side of the war she's on.\r\nWith suspicion at odds with their attraction, Beth and Braden must learn to trust one another to stop Markko for good. Can Beth accept the wolf within—and love a man who embodies everything she fears?
Hunting Human starts out great. Two girls in some dive bar in (what I think was) Eastern Europe on a backpacking adventure. Amanda Alvarez writes a great introduction with lots of skin-prickling and eerie feelings. Fast-forward a couple of years later and you have Beth trying to make her way in Portland and “get over” the events, while working in a small coffee shop. Guy meets girl, guy dates girl, lots of ra ra and then some bow chicka wah wah. I was really excited to get this novel. It’s one of my first with werewolves (does Twilight count?), and I expected a lot of violence. Instead, I was confused. Beth and Braden spend a lot of time bouncing back and forth with each other, sometimes on the same page! First they like each other, then they play the cautious role. They sleep together again, but she decides she doesn’t trust him. You read about her yearning for him, and he leaves for a week. And this goes on and on. I just couldn’t get a grasp on what they really wanted from one another. Hunting Human begins with a lot of chemistry: dark, steamy, dangerous. But it fizzles and the rest of the novel feels a little dry. I also felt like the author was leading me off on a tangent with one of the main characters, hinting that he was one of the “bad guys” but doesn’t follow through and re-introduces a character who hadn’t been seen since the very beginning of the novel. There was no real character depth. It felt a little wooden to me. And while I don’t want to spoil anything for other readers, some things seemed to have been left without being wrapped up, but not in some obvious lead in for a second novel (it seems like there may be one). There was just a lot of back-and-forth for me that didn’t make sense. I didn’t understand why characters chose the actions they did and other characters seemed to be there as props. Good character development is important to me, so I can identify with them, and understand them. I just don’t think this had it. This book is really about finding yourself and overcoming, so I did enjoy it a little from that angle. I definitely didn’t hate it! But I can really only give this two stars, because while it certainly wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t great.