Eventide of the Beat by Cherise Sinclair
Series: The Wild Hunt Legacy #3
Publication Date: January 26th 2016
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All her life, Emma longed for someone to love. Instead, disaster sees the brand-new bard banished from her people for long lonely years. Injured saving a child, the werebear has to steal food from humans, breaking shifter Law. The territory’s Cosantir and his lethal grizzly warrior catch her in the act. To her surprise, she’s healed and welcomed. Obviously, they don’t know her past. But oh, she can’t resist being around other shifters—especially the captivatingly powerful warrior. Maybe she can stay…just a little while.
As a grizzly warrior, Ben is ordered to house the pretty werebear until she heals. His littermate abandoned him, his home is empty, and he’s been alone for a long time. Intelligent and sweet and lushly curved, Emma is a delight…even if she is oddly reticent about her past. Although having sworn off females, he’s sorely tempted by this one. Damned if he doesn’t want to keep her, secrets or not.
Females were trouble. Years past, one split Ryder from his littermate. Now the panther shifter is returning to Ben, bringing his cub with him, a four-year-old he stole from the abusive female. To Ryder’s annoyance, his brother is sheltering a wounded bear. A female. Even worse, she’s beautiful and gentle and loving—damned if he’s going to fall for that act again. But when the dark of the moon arrives and death reigns supreme, he’ll discover that not all females are alike.
In a world filled with hellhounds and pixies, can three lonely shifters and one silent cub create a new family together?
Ms Sinclair is mostly known for her Shadowlands and Masters of the Mountain series. However, those who like her writing in any genre have come to appreciate her paranormal Wild Hunt Legacy series in which she has created an entire society where shifters of varying breeds live together under the guidance and direction of Cosantirs, individuals gifted by the gods with the power to bring order out of chaos. There is an entire vocabulary that has been created and the stories are fascinating as readers observe how shifters order their lives and live in small, out-of-the-way communities that even have human citizens. Once of the greatest dangers to these communities is the presence of hellhounds, mystical demon/shifter creatures who live off their kills, especially magical beings like shifters. And it is in doing battle with one of these to save the life of a child that our heroine comes in contact with a shifter community after years of being banished over a clear misunderstanding. Lonely, hurting, close to death in many ways, Emma welcomes the acceptance of the Cold Creek community and the care and kindness of Ben, a bear shifter who fights hellhounds but lives a lonely existence after being abandoned. Throw in Ryder, a panther shifter who has taken possession of his daughter, a child he never knew about, and who is a long-time friend of Ben. Now the Cold Creek household contains three adult shifters with great emotional burdens and troubled pasts and a child who has been mistreated, ignored and abused by her natural mother.
It is the unusual mix of personalities, histories, and emotional burdens that drives this story. Emma is attracted to both Ben and Ryder but is sure that she is unworthy of either of them. After all she had been shunned from her home community so there is possibly no hope of any kind of relationship with either of them when the full story of her immediate past comes out. Yet Emma is a woman of deep kindness and loves with no hesitation. She is one of those persons who gives without measure and especially when Ryder’s child needs her. The back stories of these characters weaves in and out of their immediate context and the reader recognizes that something of a crisis nature has to happen in order for these three to resolve their relationship impasse.
Ms Sinclair is best known for her stories that involve the BDSM community as she is herself involved in that lifestyle. Yet whatever the genre of her tales, there is the underlying goal of bringing her characters to the point of recognizing their own worth, of coming to full maturity where they are interacting with partners/lovers with respect and mutual desire for genuine caring and loving. The attraction of this series for me is experiencing a society that embraces all kinds of shifters in communities that also include some humans. Not that the human society knows about and accepts paranormal creatures. Such is not the case. But the community of Cold Creek and others in the story point out that it is possible to merge both human and paranormal societies in special circumstances. Were we so good at pulling that off in real life.
This is a really fine read and one that Ms Sinclair’s fans have waited for. It is also a great place to begin reading her work. Each of her books are stand alone stories but in this series the first two books help to get the reader started appreciating the unique society in which these stories take place. Readers will love Emma and feel her sense of unworthiness because of her unloving and critical mother. Ben and Ryder are lovable in their own way, especially as readers experience Ryder’s growing joy at being a dad. This is one of those books paranormal romance fans will find it difficult to put down. I know I did. Do yourself a favor and get this one. It’s a keeper.
I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.