By the Light of the Moon (Rise of the Arkansas Werewolves #1) by Jodi Vaughn #BookReview
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
I don’t know why I waited so long to start this series, but I’m glad I finally did. By the Light of the Moon is a solid shifter romance with strong Southern notes and standout characters. Even in a genre where alpha males are a dime a dozen, Ms. Vaughn has crafted a male both strong enough to earn the tag “alpha” and sensitive enough to appeal to independent female readers. He’s dark, intense, and wears an air of no-nonsense lethality like a second skin. Damon’s past is haunted by personal demons, and the self-sacrificing way he holds himself inspires empathy and respect. This wolf is also not perfect—he’d be the first to tell you, and he’s not shy about making mistakes on page. Damon is an intoxicating combination of leashed raw power and root-deep personal morals. And sexy. Let us not forget that important point!
“Tell me, since I’m new to this whole werewolf thing, does the female ever get a voice in this whole mating thing? Because it sounds to me like bullshit.” She shoved a bite into her mouth and glared.
Ava is my kind of gal. This chick is straight-forward and gutsy. A believable woman rather than some unlikely badass who can suddenly take out bad guys without breaking a sweat (a pet peeve of mine: grit and determination will only get you so far, people!). What she is, is smart and she puts that brain to good use. Ava is honest enough to embrace her personal vanity (which I find sexy in its own confident way), and she takes a firm stand against tougher personalities when she needs to. Ava knows when to back down and when to push for more, and she isn’t shy about letting Damon know that he is exactly what she wants even as fate is trying to tear them apart.
“Ava, it’s too dangerous. You’re not going to a strip club. Do you know how many guys would be on your ass the second we walked through the door?” He glared at her.
“Then I guess you’re just going to have to watch my ass.” She shrugged.
“You sure you’re not mated?” Jeff arched a hairy brow.
“I’m sure. ” They both answered in unison.
Ms. Vaughn’s Southern heritage shines through bright and clear and lights up every character she pens. Not a single named character is forgettable or boring, nor are any of them unnecessarily over the top. The book’s story wraps up nicely while still leaving greater plot arcs to lead into the next installation of this series. There’s a reason By the Light of the Moon boasts such a wealth of 5-star reviews on Amazon, and it is evident from the first page.
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