by Lynn Lorenz, paranormal (2009)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-619-7
McCallan's Blood is the first book in a series revolving around the werewolves of the McCallan family. This one is Jake McCallan's story. He is the responsible Alpha male of the family, keeping the family lumber business going even as his brother Trey runs wild and his sister Tori is away, er, finding herself or something.
In this story, Trey "slipped a little something" into the drink of some woman who caught his fancy one fine day about a year ago and now she's the mother of his kid. He thinks that he's too young to be caught in a relationship, so he's leaving for Europe while Jake takes care of the messy business for him. Because Jake is always a responsible brother, he decides to pay the woman, Rebecca Miller, a visit. As you can imagine, one whiff of her and he's like, woo-hoo-hoo. As for Rebecca, she may be disowned by her parents and she's struggling to keep everything together, but naturally she will not sue for child support because she's so magnificent like that. When Jake shows up, she tells him that he has better not give her any money because she'd not be bought like that, no way.
Sigh. But I guess we have to be nice and not throw that woman off the cliff, right?
Jake is a nice guy, but the story is powered by two things that I find supremely irritating. One, Jake has to protect and coddle Rebecca who is determined to win some kind of prize for being the most stupid martyr of the year. Two, the author is setting the repulsive Trey as a future hero, and she does this in the worst way possible - by having various secondary characters insist that Trey just happened to fell in with a bad crowd in the past.
This is a well-written and polished story, but yikes, it's fueled by stupidity and the lack of accountability on a character's part just because he happens to be marked as a hero in a sequel. At least it doesn't have tedious over-emphasis on smelly crotches and pack politics, I suppose, but still, it's tough to appreciate a story when the heroine and a major secondary character are working overtime to drive my blood pressure right through the roof.
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