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


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

A VVivacious Review: Lion’s Mate (Hell’s Creek #1) by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney

Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
Julian finds himself right up Hell’s Creek, literally, when a wrong turn ends up with him right in the middle of Crazytown, USA. He finds himself immediately assaulted by a group of people who keep calling him kitty and keep telling him that the consequences of him ignoring the treaty will be grave indeed. As a last ditch effort Julian runs and finds himself across an imaginary border, only to faint at the sight of a lion headed his way.
He wakes up to find himself tied to a bed with a person who calls himself Leo and claims that they are mates. Can Julian escape Hell’s Creek before the craziness catches up to him or will this venture not only lead him on the path to love but also to answers about himself?
I am kind of on the fence with this book. I really enjoyed reading the book, but there was always this nagging thought at the back of my mind that I should be enjoying this book more, which I think was because I had really high expectations with this book. I love shifter romances and I love how Shannon West writes shifter romance and though I have never read T.S. McKinney before, I was really excited to read this.
The first thing that I found a little unbelievable was how clueless Julian is prior to Leo’s reveal. Up till that point he meets up with a ton of people who call him kitty and have weird ass notions of mates and scents and, treaties and borders. Not only that his first introduction to this oddity is violent enough to leave an impact so how is that not even once does Julian have a what if moment, I mean I would have enjoyed one and it would have made the whole thing a little more natural even if the moment were to be followed up by a vigorous refute of the notion.
In the first chapter of this book I stopped reading the book twice but when I did pick it up for the third time I read it till the very end. I don’t exactly know why I would stop reading but I’m pretty sure it was because of the fact that I didn’t particularly like that chapter. I mean the fact that Julian doesn’t understand what the Canis are saying and the Canis don’t believe what Julian is saying, kind of grates on the nerves. Also there is a whole lot of posturing and promises of an ill fate like every TV villain ever but when things actually boil down to action it is over very fast. Also can I just confess here that Canis is a very awkward name, what happened to the good old canine shifters?
Also what is up with Chloe, I so don’t believe her explanation that nothing would have happened to Leo, the Canis seemed dead set on raping Julian, and I for one don’t believe that they wouldn’t have gone through with it because then why did he have to run for his life if it was all just for fun. Moreover she knew that Julian was a feline shifter then why didn’t she try to rescue him or help him before he had to run for his life. Because after this incident she was all sugary nice and that left a very venomous after taste in my mouth. Yuck!
Apart from these three things the rest of the book is exactly what I like in a shifter romance. There is an amazing romance between Leo and Julian and I loved how it develops. I loved how the authors showed us a little bit of how Julian’s psyche affected their relationship and how he doesn’t believe he can be loved and how Leo has to slowly break down his walls. These two were incredibly hot together.
I also liked the plot of this book though everything did feel a little last minute but I am definitely intrigued as to the future of this series.
Cover art by E. Keith. I liked the cover. It fit the book and the genre.

Sales Links:  Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:
Published May 9th 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing
Edition Language English