by Shiloh Walker, fantasy (2007)
Ellora's Cave, $4.45, ISBN 978-1-4199-0911-5
I'll Be Hunting You is, according to Shiloh Walker's website, the seventh book in the series The Hunters even if this one is published after her three related books for Samhain Publishing. I believe those three stories are considered official stand-alone types loosely related to the series while the Ellora's Cave books, like this one, is officially part of the series. Gosh, I'm now confusing even myself. Anyway, just to keep things simple, I'll just say that you should read Declan And Tori first before you read this one because I'll Be Hunting You is a continuation of the love story between Declan and Tori.
I'll Be Hunting You is a Christmas novella so like those Christmas specials, it is predictable that the bloke is going to "die", causing the heroine to go eek-eek-eek all over until they get reunited in time for a hot shag as we all sigh and clap our hands, our hearts now filled with reassurances that Christmas is indeed a time for miracles and happiness. Or something. Come to think of it, I never knew that these randy werewolves and vampires celebrate Christmas. It sort of puts Oh Come All Ye Faithful in a new NC-17 light.
Declan and Tori are still happy together. Alas, when Declan, Tori, and their Hunter buddies go off on the night of Christmas eve to save the world, one step at a time, Declan ends up apparently barbecued crisp in a burning house. Oh no, what will happen now? Is the grand love over? And why is that annoying Malachi fellow popping up again?
Normally I would complain that a novella is too short to do the story or its characters justice, but I actually find I'll Be Hunting You too long for its own good. The storyline between Declan and Tori is actually pretty straightforward and simple, even predictable if one has seen enough "presumed dead" storylines in soap operas, so the middle of this story is padded with scenes featuring characters from other previous books. After all, there is only so many scenes of Tori sobbing and mourning in the months after Declan's "death" that Ms Walker can put in before things become monotonous. However, these padded scenes aren't too interesting to me, given that I honestly am not too enamored of Eli, Sorel, and the rest to care too much about their scenes. The subplot that started the Declan barbecue party could have been interesting, but the length of this story prevents the author from doing much with it.
I'll Be Hunting You is more of a service to the fans of the series than a story in its own right. Fans who love the previous books in the series will most likely appreciate this one better than me. Readers new to the series have best start on any of the previous full-length books instead.
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