An Alisa Review: Once Bitten (A Darker Hollow #2) by Shannon West and T.S. McKinney

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

When Mason comes back to Dark Hollows, he doesn’t quite get the homecoming he’d hoped for.

 

Mason, who has become something not quite wolf and not quite vampire, has new powers of his own that he’s still trying to figure out, not to mention a complicated relationship with his new mates. He knows his brother Jax will be shocked to find out he’s still alive, and he’d expected some resistance to his new mates, Finn and Valerian, but not the open hostility he meets when they arrive.

 

The Dark Hollow alphas, Marco and Cade, are not at all pleased to have another alpha like Finn in their territory. And as for the beautiful vampire, Valerian, only Mason’s sudden display of his startling new powers forces an uneasy and tentative truce among them. Meanwhile Mason is still struggling to forgive Finn and Valerian for what they did to him in the past, and his mates are growing impatient for him to make a decision about their lives together.

 

The sudden reappearance of an ancient, evil vampire named Cassius makes the entire pack hyper-vigilant and uneasy. When Mason and Finn discover the creature is Valerian’s sire, they fear Cassius’s influence over him.

 

Betrayal, infighting, and even some romance. The next rousing adventure in Dark Hollows is here.

 

I enjoyed this story.  Mason is working towards forgiving Finn and Valerian and the way they are treated when they arrive at Mason’s home and the events thru the story brings them together more.  However, I am unsure how far after the last story this one takes place.

 

These men all need to learn to open up to each other and trust them with their secrets.  I could see their feelings for each other even if they have trouble voicing those feelings.  Most of this story is seeing confrontations between Mason, his mates and his previous pack and I’m not sure how much of it helped the story; it just made many of the alpha’s seem like jerks that they couldn’t even recognize Mason let alone welcome someone different.  I was left wanting more, I look forward to seeing how they will adapt and grow their relationship.

 

The cover art by E Keith is great and follows the style of the first book.

 

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 188 pages

Published: September 4, 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: A Darker Hollow #2

An Alisa Review: Hybrid (A Darker Hollow #1) by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

Jax’s little brother Mason is all grown up and finds himself longing for a life of adventure. He finds it in a way he never planned late one night while walking home to the lodge beneath a full moon, when he is attacked, bitten and left for dead by a huge black werewolf. As he’s dying and all hope is fading, he is discovered on the trail and believes he’s being saved. Instead, he’s bitten a second time, and this time by a vampire.

 

Mason finds himself in the middle of an ancient war between the vampires and the Dire werewolves, and during a raid, he’s captured by the wolf who first bit him, a strong alpha named Finn. Finn is powerfully attracted to him, but Mason is changing, becoming something not quite wolf and not quite vampire—a new creature with powers of his own.

 

A hybrid is an interesting idea, made me think of Underworld, but I had some issues with how the characters acted throughout the story.  Mason has been feeling like something big was going to happen but he never expected it to be for him become something that has never existed before.  Valeran and Finn have been trying to destroy each other for as long as they can remember.

 

Valeran saves Mason after Finn’s attack and takes him as a lover and teaching him to hate werewolves.  When they finally go after Finn’s pack Mason is captured and Finn takes him as a mate and causes Mason to second guess his feelings for Valeran.  It takes a lot for Mason to start using his brain to examine his thoughts and actions.

 

We get to see all the characters’ points of view which should help to understand them better but most of the time I couldn’t help but think why is he doing that?  I didn’t like that Valeran and Finn tried to use Mason against each other for most of the book and Mason doesn’t even realize it until close to the end.  His seemingly acceptance that the essentially is suffering from Stockholm Syndrom but is determined to make everything work with both lovers is a bit wacky to me.  It takes until the very end of the story for Valeran and Finn to kind of accept their attraction to each other.  I am hoping that the series will continue with these three actually having a relationship and getting Finn’s pack back.

 

The cover art by E Keith is nice and gives good visuals of the Mason.

 

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: March 29, 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: A Darker Hollow #1