Title: Blood Moon
Series: Moon #3
Author: Lisa Kessler
Format: ebook, 315 pages
Published: December 15th 2014 by Entangled: Select Otherworld
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
One bite can change you.
And one kiss can change your destiny...
Nadya Dalca has been handed a death sentence. She's been bitten by the last living genetically enhanced werewolf―part of the Nero Organization's disastrous Moonlight project. With the poisonous blood now coursing through her system and pushing her to the limits, it is only a matter of time before Nadya's fate is sealed...
Gareth Takoda told himself he couldn't get involved. Caught up in a maelstrom of grief and bitterness, he has been isolating himself from his Pack. But when he is charged with watching over Nadya's first transformation―or bear witness should it go horribly wrong―Gareth is torn further by unwanted desire and the need to protect what is his.
One kiss changes everything. One shattering, all-consuming kiss. And with it, Nadya and Gareth face either salvation...or death.
Gareth - “No room in my world for drama, and the last thing I needed was more death. This beautiful woman would bring me both.”
Nadya - “He looked dangerous, but in the short time I’d known him, he’d always made me feel safe."
BLOOD MOON by Lisa Kessler is another captivating paranormal romance in Lisa's Moon series featuring her Reno, Nevada wolf pack. While this book could technically be read as a standalone since Lisa fills in the basics of what the reader needs to know, your enjoyment will be exponentially increased if you've read the previous books in the series first as there are interconnected characters and a continuing story thread. I've read the previous books and have grown quite attached to many of the characters so - besides the awesomeness of a new story - it's a treat to catch up with my favorite characters in each installment. The whole series is truly fantastic. Those previous books are:
• MOONLIGHT (Moon #1)
• HUNTER'S MOON (Moon #2)
Lisa dedicated BLOOD MOON to her Mom "who stared into the abyss twice and always came back fighting." Having lived through her Mom's life/death struggles, Lisa shares a plethora of emotional wisdom within BLOOD MOON's pages such as “I don't care if we only have a few days together, I want to spend every second by your side. I want to memorize every curve of your face, and I want to see you smile and kiss that dimple in your cheek.” and “We don't know how much time one spirit will spend in our lives, but love is too precious to hide from it. A chance at real love is worth the risk. . I could feel Lisa's love for her Mom as she honored her Mom's battles with this book.
BLOOD MOON picks up right where HUNTER'S MOON ended. Filling in a bit of the past: Nero, a government/military-funded agency, is working to create super werewolf soldiers - and sees no problem with their experimentation even when done without permission. Nero has a long history with the pack. In HUNTER'S MOON, Nadya, a human empath, was bit by one of Nero's genetically engineered werewolves. Infected with Nero's virus, she has become a werewolf under a death sentence as no one has previously lived very long once they've been infected.
The story opens as Nadya is preparing for her first change as a werewolf. No one knows what to expect including if she will even survive the change - and Nadya is having an even tougher time because she is an empath and being bombarded with everyone else's fears. Gareth keeps his feelings under wrap - so Nadya chooses to change with him.
Nadya is our heroine in BLOOD MOON. I loved Nadya's spunk and how she chose to embrace life, not death. She was an inspiration, determined not to dwell on how much time she had left but to live each day to the fullest. Nadya wants badly to live...
Gareth has been a loner since his brother was murdered while on a routine patrol for jaguars in their pack's territory. Gareth feels responsible for his brother's death because he should have been patrolling with his brother that fateful night. Add his brother's death to the loss of his parents years ago, and Gareth is a broken man. While he is attracted to Nadya - his wolf knows that she is his mate - he doesn't believe that he can survive another death of someone close to him.
I have to confess that I was shocked when Gareth ran after finding out that Nadya was his mate. I just kept thinking... no, no, no... But, thankfully, since this tale is told in alternating POVs, we have access to Gareth's POV which helped me to sympathize with his intense pain and internal struggles. If you are reading this and are shocked and dismayed when Gareth leaves... don't give up! Keep reading as Gareth more than redeems himself (Gareth - “I don't deserve your forgiveness, but I'm going to do my best to make sure you never regret it.”) and, as a couple, Gareth and Nadya rock!
I liked the way Lisa incorporated Native American mythology into this tale through Gareth. It was a good fit and Native American folklore figured prominently in the story through to the end.
I couldn't help laughing when the couple visited a Mark Twain museum as they came upon a toilet there which was labeled "Mark Twain sat here." Doesn't that information sound like a great future conversation starter?
Supporting figures shined. Of course, I was thrilled to see favorite characters from the previous books return. We are treated to Aren's and Sasha's wedding in BLOOD MOON. Aren and Sasha were the featured couple in book # 2, HUNTER'S MOON. I also enjoyed all the scenes with Adam's and Lana's twins from MOONLIGHT! They're a cute handful!
I don't really care for love triangles and was not a fan of the love triangle of Jason/Gareth/Nadya. Jason, the pack's heretofore brilliant, highly respected doctor, came across as not-so-smart against the evil, wily Nero doctor. Also, as a doctor, I would have thought that Jason would have had at least some compassion for Gareth's emotional struggles , but I did not feel that he had any. So, Jason didn't come across so well in BLOOD MOON for me. I was fist-pumping when Nadya thought: “A single doctor, with the body of a Greek god, sat across from me at a candlelit table, and all I could think about was a greasy-fingered motorcycle mechanic.
My very favorite scene was an extremely innovative sex scene on a Harley. OMG! It was HOT! Following please find an excerpt from that scintillating scene on Gareth's cycle:
“Never in my life had I even contemplated making love on a motorcycle, but there was no way Gareth would let me fall. I understood this on a primal level. He would keep me from harm, protect me... No matter how much I distracted and pleasured him.
He pulled gently at the sensitive tip of my breast with his lips, soothing and teasing all at once. I reached behind to brace myself on the handlebars, my back arching toward him, offering myself as I watched his mouth on my skin, his tongue circling my nipple. He moved his other hand lower, pushing the bottom of my dress up. Moving his fingers up the soft skin of my inner thigh, he rubbed and teased me through the thin fabric of my thong underwear.
"I need you," I gasped. "Now."
He ripped my thong like it'd been made of tissue paper, and slid his fingers deep inside of me. His growl made me shiver with desire as he discovered just how ready I was for him. I gripped the handlebars tighter and leaned back a little, breaking the kiss as I stared into his eyes. Gareth took hold of my hips and pulled me closer, guiding me onto him. Every rock hard inch slid into me so slowly, my entire body shuddered with pleasure.
He reached forward, taking my hands from the grips and putting them around his neck. Nose to nose, his dark eyes locked on mine as he thrust deeper inside of me. "You're mine. I'm yours."
I wasn't sure what was happening, but my wolf came alive in my soul and I whispered, "I claim my mate.”
I've been a huge fan of Lisa's books for like forever! I've read every book she's ever published and loved each one. I can't get enough of her sexy alpha males and her stories never fail to imaginatively delight! For fans of the Moon series, BLOOD MOON is a must-read! I highly recommend BLOOD MOON and Lisa's whole Moon series to anyone who loves paranormal romances!