Okay, so I was surfing Blogger for Were haunts, and stumbled across a blog that listed three titles by Nicky Charles. I googled the author and found the online versions. I read The Mating last night, the first in The Law of the Lycans trilogy, and I was entertained as well as pleasantly surprised.
The premise isn't new - young Were darling finds herself mated to an Alpha she has never seen or heard of before her mating; is thrown into a new pack that is very alien to the ways she was raised; faces danger and heartache which are overcome, and discovers - well there are two sequels. I read it voraciously because of the way Nicky Charles wove her tale.
I love a heroine who rises above - the norm, her pain, insurmountable odds, her own doubts compounded by the doubts of others, you know where I'm going. I have also been looking for female main characters that are not raving beauties who stop traffic or have men drooling over their looks. A woman who thinks . . . even if her conclusions are not necessarily right . . . rather than just reacts. I saw some of these qualities in Nicky Charles' Elise.
Kane, the Alpha in this story, was a surprise for me in that he was more like a regular Joe who happened to be Were. Most of my forays into the world of the Were brought me face to chest with Alpha males who were Were who just happened to have a little human male in them. Kane is strong, spiritually and physically, and silent - a bit laid back, which is what throws one into thinking you could get over on him, including other characters in the story . . . bad idea.
The supporting characters are easy to relate to and memorable, whether you love or hate them, which leaves you wanting to know more about them. Readers get to find out more about them in the following stories - YEA!
I was a bit put off at points in the story where the male characters are so Cro-magnan and the females so self effacing they nearly blend into the wall pattern. At one particular point, Elise has been accused of being 'catty' and aggressively rude to one the Alpha's pack. Kane chastises her, without asking her what happened, or even giving her a chance to explain the truth of the situation. He tells her to befriend the injured party, and that's the end of the matter. Elise swallows it all down, seeing that her mate is under a lot of stress. Of course neither her nor she allow at anytime that Elise's life has been turned totally upside down. This wasn't the first instance nor the last of this type of behavior, and I understand that many writers see modern day Were as more than a little old-fashioned, but - really?
Overall, as I said at the start, I'm delighted to have stumble across Nicky Charles' trilogy - The Keeping and The Finding are next on my To Read list.