Monday, February 8, 2016

ARC Review: Red River (Pack Collection Book 2) by Cardeno C.

Red River (Pack, #2)

Two Alpha shifters join together to lead their pack and build a family.

Commitment, loyalty, and strength aren’t enough to make Wesley Stone’s birth pack accept an Alpha with a physical imperfection, even if it’s a meaningless mark. Putting the safety of his pack above his own wellbeing, Wesley trades himself for another Alpha and agrees to mate with a stranger in a mysterious, insular pack.

Alphas from Jobe Root’s family have led the Red River pack from the first day shifters walked the earth. Now the time has come for Jobe to fulfill his destiny, but to do that, he needs his mate by his side. Spiritual, easygoing Jobe reveres Mother Nature and trusts in fate, yet he can’t help being nervous about how his mate will react to his new life in Red River, his new life with Jobe.

Two Alphas with contrasting personalities, different upbringings, and divergent beliefs come together for the good of their packs. But to stay together, Wesley and Jobe must see beyond the surface and embrace every facet of themselves and their union. 

Rosa's rating:

I don't think Cardeno's shifter books & I are meant to be. Other than Until Forever Comes (which I compulsively listen to over and over again) my reactions to those books have ranged from "meh" to "well, that was nice enough." Red River was at "nice enough" for most of the book, until we got to that ending. I have one thing to say about the last part of the book: *intense gagging noises*

It's not that I dislike or I'm disgusted by that particular trope, I enjoy it...I just don't enjoy DETAILS. I do not want to know what came from where and how. At all. Ever. No matter who's doing what. And this version was extra weird. I applaud Cardeno's different take on the trope but GAHTDAMN I never want to read about that again. [Highlight the following if you'd like to read SPOILERS]

The trope is mpreg. Wesley has what looks like a scar from his stomach to groin, but apparently it's really like a uterus...or something? And when he's pregnant the scar stretches until it's like a regular pregnant belly but it's transparent and like jello and you just reach in there and pull the baby out and EWWWWWWWWWWWW! That's it, I'm off jello for life.

As for the rest of it, well, I have a few niggles. The world building is repetitive. We got to hear about how "alpha shifters don't/very rarely mate" at least 3 times in the first 26 pages alone. Again, I love Cardeno C. but when authors repeat information like that I get the feeling they don't have much faith in the intelligence of their audience. I'm not always the shiniest coin in the tool shed but I'm able to retain basic info like that by at least the second (and sometimes first!) time an author mentions it. If it's a very long book and you haven't mentioned an important fact in 50-100 pages, fine, but this book is barely longer than that.

Also, while I like Wesley and Jobe (I love that name) I did get tired of Jobe's "one with Mother Earth" routine. I felt like I'd wandered into a Eugene, OR farmer's market. I'm pretty sure I missed a scene where Jobe tells Wesley to expand his mind through bean sprouts fertilized with his own feces and acid.

However, that's just me. Cynical little moi. Anyone who's enjoyed Cardeno's other shifter books will like this one (well, as long as they don't object to the above mentioned trope). I also just finished a Mary Calmes book and I've thought before that maybe I shouldn't read such smuffy authors back to back. I need to break up my sugar with some MURDER BLOOD KILL books.

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 Thanks for reading my review!

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