Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: Very interesting twist on the shapeshifter book. I would consider it more a fantasy novel than a romance, though there is romance implied throughout the novel.
Moon Called introduces us to Mercy Thompson, a mechanic who is more than meets the eye. The story is based in Washington State, so it's quite close to home which I like.
Mercy is cool. The story is written in her POV, so you don't get to see what the other characters are thinking. In a lot of ways, that's a good thing. Mercy is a strong, capable woman who doesn't take crap from anyone.
Her past is tragic and screwed up, but she doesn't let that rule her life. She's made something out of herself by rising above and moving on.
Moon Called starts when she's working in her garage and a young man shows up at her door. She can tell straightaway that he is a werewolf (she has powers, you know), but instead of kicking him out, she welcomes him. She works it out so that he works for her, but knows it's best if she introduces him to her next door neighbor who is also the Alpha wolf for the Tri-cities area.
Adam Hauptman is your typical Alpha; strong, silent, and lethal. His daughter Jesse is your basic teenage girl, but she and Mercy get along great. She doesn't take crap from anyone & is a cool secondary character.
Mercy saves Adam's life, finds out Jesse has been kidnapped and the insanity begins. There are rival packs, bloodshed, etc. Again, everything is in Mercy's POV, but that's fine. Ms. Briggs makes you forget that, which I think is a sign of a really good writer.
The action really picks up once Jesse's kidnapped. There are some slower moments, but they aren't as prevalent, which is nice. There are hints of past romance & of romance that "could" happen, but nothing is concrete.
Moon Called is the first in a series, but what I like is that it doesn't end with a true cliffhanger or anything. All of the really important bits are cleaned up with a relatively nice bow by the end. I HATE sequel bait, so this made me quite happy.
I recommend Moon Called to anyone out there who likes a strong heroine, interesting world building, and just a plain good story.
Rating: B +
You can visit Ms. Briggs here