Review Blood of the Pride by Sheryl Nantus
When a severed rabbit’s paw is delivered to her office, outcast cat shifter Rebecca Desjardin recognizes the summons home. One of their own has been murdered—and a shocking photo published in a local tabloid—and her Pride needs Rebecca, now a private investigator, to track down the killer.
Investigative reporter Brandon Hanover wants to find out who slipped the photo of the half-shifted cat-woman under his door, marking him as a suspect in her death. Determined to stay one step ahead of the sexy journalist, Rebecca reluctantly agrees to partner with him to find the real murderer. But as their mutual attraction heats up, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep Brandon from discovering the existence of the shifter society—and her own true nature.
When the search leads them back to the Pride, Rebecca must attempt to Change for the first time in years to face the killer, and save the man she loves…
What I expected to be a begnin paranormal romance about some underdeveloped shifters and an overly dramatic murder plot turned out to be one helluva novel full of small group politics, shifter alliances, animal behavior at its most bloody and unforgivable, human mistakes and surprisingly hot romance that leads to some very very interesting hook up behavior.
Rebecca was cast out of her shifter community for refusing to submit to something that well, you find out she was entirely justified in what she did. As she was cast out she was beaten severely and cast out as a young 17 year old with no touch stones to the people she grew up with and the people she loved and whom cared for her. So when she gets the rabbit foot and realizes its her shifter family calling her back she is suitably pissed and willing to make them pay for her time and her expertise since she really owes them nothing.
She ends up partnering with newspaper reporter Brandon when the mystery becomes more than she expected and she is attacked in her own home, several times and as the reasons for the murder are discovered her own pack, the ones that threw her out once before and who hired her back might be the people she most has to fear and check behind her for.
I loved how complex Rebecca’s history with her pack members was. I loved how unforgiving, how unapologetic they were for their way of life and for their habits. Even though what they did to Rebecca was despicable, it was still something that was consistent with their way of life and their culture and they made no bones about it. The strong survive and the weak are subjugated.
Rebecca despite having every disadvantage in both cultures managed to survive and flourish on her own with no support and a foundation as shakey as one could possibly get. And yet somehow she was able to take what she knew and carve out a good life for herself. Not perfect but what she wanted and could handle, and it is amazing. I simply loved how reasonable, logical, strong, and emotional Rebecca became. She didn’t start out emotional but when she was confronted with the remainders of her life and how her previous life was affecting her new one, the one she created for herself, it was a thing of beauty to read.
Her determination to succeed was an amazing thing and I loved it.
Overall Rating: B+