Taken By Moonlight by Violette Dubrinsky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I haven’t read a fantasy/paranormal book in a long time, and I’m not sure why I cracked this one open except that I enjoy Violette’s Facebook group immensely, so I figured I’d better see what all the fuss was about with her writing. I’d read (and enjoyed) a short story of hers and started “Fallen” but haven’t been able to really get into it.
Dubrinsky is a solid writer. Her worldbuilding and character development is vivid. I was all into Vivienne from the moment she staggered off into the woods. I wish more indie authors would follow suit and begin their stories closer to the inciting event, foregoing prologues and backstory (info dumps) to open their books.
Vivienne takes one for the team and goes camping for her twin sister’s half of their birthday celebration. Her disdain for the outdoors is funny and completely relatable. It also sets up for a great juxtaposition when she meets the love interest. A werewolf!
It’s been a while since I simply enjoyed an indie-produced title. Thank you, Violette. “Taken by Moonlight” was a lot of fun. I didn’t want to put it down. I laughed, I “oh no he didn’t” a few times, I even misted up a little bit.
Some parts were pretty silly to me. I figured these intelligent and aged folks should have figured out what was happening at certain points (like knitting together the twins’ ancestry or the portal being a certain Druid landmark), but Conall and his pack ended up chasing their tails and scratching their heads. I was able to look past those few slips because I cared deeply about the people on the pages. The writing was tidy, but there were a few distracting errors. Overall, though, a very well done book.
I think what had me excited to turn the pages were Max and Drew. OMG! I must know what happened to them. I so want them to find each other again. They were such rich parts of the supporting cast. Watching things unfold from their vantage point was a real treat.
There are so many paths I want to follow with this storyline, like: what happened to Alexander? Will he resurrect himself? Is he Cassie’s mate? Or was Raoul trying to holler? And the babies. I don’t usually like stories that end with breeding (human or otherwise), but I’m deeply intrigued by the children and their abilities. And Max and Drew! Come on!
I can’t say enough how much I appreciate being able to laugh in a book. There were scenes where I could not stop grinning. Like pretty much any time Eli was on the page. I was fist pumping at Vivienne’s feistiness, how she was determined to stand on her own beside her man and let everybody know who he belonged to. She was by no means submissive. The strength of her spirit rivaled that of Conall’s and she left him in awe of her (and maybe a little afraid) at every turn. I LOVED IT!
Conall was kind of forgettable for me and I would have like more genuine affection for one another — something beyond the mating bond. Everything with them was sex, but that’s what mates do, I suppose. He made no apologies for letting the beast rule him. He reminded Vivienne, often, that he was more animal than man. I can dig it.
There were a lot of characters and, for lack of a better term, species in this book. I was a little disappointed in the arc about the witches. I wanted a little more conflict there, but the goal/motivation was so base (Maximillian wanting to restore is immortality) that what else was there to fight about? He was deliciously evil. I wanted his schemes to be completely uncovered, especially by his covenant. He tried to play everybody. The resolution went a little too fast for me, and I really wanted to watch more of Maximillian’s suffering for all the crimes he committed. I’m kind of morbid, I guess.
I could have done without the aftermath of the mating ceremony=giant werewolf orgy.
I see there’s a second book, but it isn’t about any of the players of this one. I’m kinda bummed. I really wanted to learn how everyone grew into their powers and roles in the supernatural world. I especially want to know about Drew and her vampire.
Very nicely done, Ms. Dubrinsky. Thank you!
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