February 20, 2014
REVIEW: Carnal Secrets (Phoenix Pack #3)
Published February 11, 2014
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Format: e-book, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) Half-shifter Shaya Critchley may hold a submissive role in her pack, but she’s done taking orders. After her Alpha wolf mate refused to claim her—but committed to interfering in her life—she took off. Now she hides from him, posing as a human in a town full of anti-shifter extremist groups. She thinks he’ll never find her again, and that suits her just fine. But she’s wrong.
Nick Axton can barely control his feelings for Shaya, but he could never claim her—not if he truly cares for her. The degenerative brain condition he keeps secret would ultimately leave her with a burden rather than a mate. But when Shaya runs away, Nick can’t bear the thought of never seeing her again. After tracking her down, he discovers Shaya’s feisty and passionate side in the process…a side he’d never seen before.
Under the menacing gazes of territorial local packs and violent human extremists, Nick vows to finally claim the spirited Shaya…and despite her initial resistance, Shaya just might find his fiery determination to be the ultimate aphrodisiac.
I've loved the Phoenix Pack series ever since I read the first book, Feral Sins. Shifters are my favorite kind of paranormal creature to read about. There's something so awesome about the pack dynamics, and the men are about as alpha as you can get. Speaking of alpha...
In Carnal Sins, Nick Axton is kicking himself in the ass since he realized that Shaya was his true mate, but then decided not to claim her. It's not that he didn't want her - he was just trying to protect her. But, Shaya doesn't know that, and she's mad with a capital M. After leaving town to escape seeing Nick everywhere, he manages to find her and start convincing her he has changed his mind. It's going to be a hard job on his part though. Especially with radical anti-shifter groups causing added complications.
If you love the alpha male shifter-type guys like I do, then you will LOVE Nick Axton. He is so unbelievably perfect - every part of me adored him. He's usually very quiet and reserved. That is, until he's around Shaya. She totally transforms him into this romantic, adorable guy who will do anything for her. Which will also make you really despise Shaya for awhile.
I get that she was jilted, and that it had to hurt a lot. I understand her needing to get away from Nick so that she could move on with her life without the constant reminder of his rejection. And, I even get her desire to have him work for her forgiveness a little. How entertaining would it be if she took him back with no questions asked?
But, there comes a point where enough is enough, and the constant hostility and thwarting of his efforts at reconciliation just make her seem like a cranky bitch. The quiet and sweet Shaya from the first two Phoenix Pack books was nowhere to be found in Carnal Secrets. She was replaced with a bitter, nasty girl that I didn't like very much. And, the time that Nick spent trying to woo Shaya back seemed to stall the book's pace.
Thankfully, she does end up coming around, and from that point on, Carnal Secrets really took off. The addition of the anti-shifter human extremist groups and the threat they pose to the local shifters gave the book an extra layer of drama and excitement that I loved. And, it gave the Phoenix Pack shifters a good excuse to show up.
Since Shaya is Taryn's BFF, we see lots of her, Trey and their baby. Along with Trey comes the enforcers, including Dante and Jamie, the Beta pair of the pack from Wicked Cravings. We also meet a new shifter, Derren, who is really close with Nick. The pack dynamic is in full effect as they have to pull together to defend their pack lands from the humans who want to take them all down.
In typical Suzanne Wright style, Carnal Secrets had action, suspense and romance overflowing.Nick and Shaya are every bit as dynamic of a pair as Trey and Taryn and Dante and Jamie. This was another fantastic installment in the Phoenix Pack series.