Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rendered

Title: Rendered
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Publisher URL: www.total-e-bound.com
ISBN: 978-0-85715-720-1
Genre: {M/M} Shape-shifter Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Alex Winters is on a mission to track down and kill Joshua Dobson, the shifter who kidnapped and brutalized the Alpha Anax but he’s disappeared. It was supposed to be a quick hunt and retrieval but it’s been weeks and Alex is tired and misses his pack. He’s also discovered some unsavory truths about himself that are devastating to his fragile self-esteem. 

Before he gives up searching, Alex runs across three people staked to an ant hill by Dobson and his men. When he rescues them, Alex gets the biggest shock of his life. The male, Sean, is his destined mate and has been abused most of his life. Despite the pull of the mate bond, Alex doesn’t feel he should want Sean since he’s Dobson’s younger brother and he’s going to need his pack’s help to deal with his conflicting emotions.  

Rendered is release four in Bailey Bradford’s Southwestern Shifters series and since the characters and storyline follow closely from one book to the next, they should be read in order. 

There’s a lot of pain, fear and angst in this one…much more any of the others. Alex is wallowing in self-pity over recent events but he’s never dealt with what happened to him as a teenager. And it’s these issues that, at times, turn him into a whiny guy I didn’t like. It was just too much of a pity-party and when he tried to reject his mate for being Joshua’s brother, I wish Alpha Marcus would have popped him for being stupid. Sean on the other hand was a sweetie, despite being abused for years. This friendly, warmhearted guy I liked from the start.  

The scenes of Sean being abused by his brother Joshua are well done but the one that vividly sticks out in my mind involves being staked near the ant hill. The pain and screams of terror as Sean and the two women try to escape from being covered with hundreds of ant bites is creepy and something I’ll remember.  

The big battle at the end, while filled with action…think Hummer’s busting through their house…and the culmination with Marcus and Joshua fighting as wolves is anti-climatic. Don’t get me wrong, blood is spilled and wolves injured but I never got a feeling of tension or real fear during the fight. Even so, it’s a quick and entertaining read and I look forward to the next release

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