Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Released: 8th March
Source: review copy from author
Description: Wilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to hunt down and kill vampires on America's frontier. His enhanced abilities come with a high price: on the full moon, he becomes capable of savagery beyond telling, while the new moon brings a sexual hunger that borders on madness.
Rescuing a weapons inventor from undead kidnappers is just another assignment, though one with an added complication--keeping his hands off the man's pretty young apprentice, who insists on tagging along.
At odds with polite society, Satira's only constant has been the aging weapons inventor who treats her like a daughter. She isn't going to trust Wilder with Nathaniel's life, not when the Guild might decide the old man isn't worth saving. Besides, if there's one thing she's learned, it's that brains are more important than brawn.
As the search stretches far longer than Wilder planned, he finds himself fighting against time. If Satira is still at his side when the new moon comes, nothing will stop him from claiming her. Worse, she seems all too willing. If their passion unlocks the beast inside, no one will be safe. Not even the man they're fighting to save.
Warning: This book contains a crude, gun-slinging, vampire-hunting hero who howls at the full moon and a smart, stubborn heroine who invents mad-scientist weapons. Also included: wild frontier adventures, brothels, danger, betrayal and a good dose of wicked loving in an alternate Wild West.
My thoughts: I haven't read any books by Moira Rogers before, but when I read the description, I knew I would enjoy it, especially with the 'warning' on the end.
We meet Satira first, as she's struggling to get out of some kind of steam-powered lift that her mentor, Nathaniel, has designed. The first couple of pages show a lot about the kind of world that it is, and about Satira herself and her personality. Wilder, the gun-slinging hero mentioned in the blurb, greets her with the question "Why are you dressed like a boy?" and the sparks fly from there. Although there is the tension of rescuing Nathaniel, I think the focus of the story is very much on Wilder and Satira, and the tension between them. I would have liked a little more plot, but in this case, it does work like this.
Before Satira & Wilder leave, we learn that something happens to Hounds at the new moon, making them require sex. Satira's been with hounds before, and is reasonably sure she can handle it, and sees it as a fair price for rescuing her mentor, but her friend Ophelia is more worried, suggesting that maybe there's more to it than Satira understands, that they're different at the new moon than other times.
I love the interactions between the two characters. The attraction and flirting was excellent, and I love how Satira tries not to give Wilder and inch while at the same time is slightly uncertain around him, and occasionally thrown off by something he does because it doesn't fit with her expectations. I love the relationship that develops.
It's quite short, but the length absolutely works for the plot. In the past I've never really thought about buying novellas online, but it's something I'm definitely going to consider now. I am also going to have a look at her other works, as I did really enjoy the story. Something else I liked was the slight steam-punkiness that creeps in - this is the first book in the Bloodhounds series, and I'm looking forward to learning more about this world, and some of the characters that we meet in this one.
I'll give it 7 out of 10.