Sunday, November 22, 2015

Waking Hearts ~ Cambio Springs Series #3 ~ Book Review

Title:  Waking Hearts
Series:  Cambio Springs #3
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Release Date:  November 24, 2015 as a Kindle Exclusive & Paperback (Other formats: On or around Feb. 22, 2016)
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Order Link:   Amazon
My Rating:   4.5 Potent 's
First Thoughts:  When life deals you a bum hand over and over, it's hard not to fold, not to break beyond repair.  If you're offered one more shot at the prize, the one you've always wanted . . . will you have the courage to grab the brass ring or will you let it pass by yet again? 

*Many thanks to the author for an ARC of this book.  It is my pleasure to review it.


Synopsis:

When everything you’ve longed for is standing right in front of you, would you find the courage to chase it when you’ve given up on dreams?

Fox shifter Alison Smith gave up on happy endings when her ex-husband walked out, but that didn’t mean she was allowed to give up on happiness. With four growing kids, Allie is determined to look on the bright side and carry on, even when life seems to keep kicking the girl who’s fallen down.

Four kids, two jobs, and a pile of debt left over from her ex seem overwhelming most days. Luckily, Allie has the best friends a girl could ask for. Especially a certain quiet bear who’s always been her rock.

Patient. Oliver Campbell knows what it means to be patient. But twenty years of wanting one unavailable woman may have pushed him to the edge. With Allie working every night at his bar, their friendship has begun to fracture.

Then old ghosts offer one more kick to the little family that’s already down, and patience is a virtue Ollie can no longer afford. Allie’s ex-husband may be gone, but his actions are haunting his family. With danger licking the borders of Cambio Springs, the bear and the fox will have to work together. And twenty years of unspoken truths may finally come to light.

My Review:


When I was offered an ARC of Waking Hearts, I had yet to start this series.  I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Hunter's Irin Chronicles and knew I couldn't go wrong with any book written by her, so I said Yes and then immediately purchased the previous short stories & books in the Cambio Springs series . . . and binge read my way through them.  What an awesome and unique PNR series!  I was hooked right away with the intriguing and touching short story, Long Ride Home, and fell in love with the special characters and desert town in Shifting Dreams.  Now, after catching up in the series and finishing Waking Hearts, I am left eagerly anticipating the release of the next book.

Waking Hearts is the story of Allie Smith, a 34-year-old fox shifter with 4 kids, 2 jobs, and a mountain of debt left by her husband who walked out on her one night as she was serving her special meatloaf dinner, and Ollie Campbell, a grizzly bear shifter who has loved Allie from afar for 20 years but missed his chance to claim her because he waited too long to speak up. With her husband out of the picture (much more to that story), the sexual chemistry ignites, fueled by Ollie & Allie living and fighting side by side and by the coming full moon which sends a shifter's libido raging out of control.  Allie is afraid to risk their friendship on a relationship that might end with another man walking away from her.  Ollie worries about stepping over a line as he assumes the role of family protector and cares for Allie & her children.  

Normally, a very patient, kind, quiet grizzly, Ollie is now edgy, grumpy, out of patience, and out of time.  The bearded giant of a man/bear with his tattoos & gorgeous hard body has become very possessive, protective, and proprietary over Allie & her family.  When ghosts from her husband's past bring predators to her door, Ollie roars in and shows just how badass an enraged grizzly bear can be.  It's now or never.  This powerful, potent, prime bear is ready to make his move.

Allie is a proud, spunky, and surprisingly strong-willed woman/fox who is tired of depending on others.  It takes everything she has left in her to feed, clothe, and care for her children and keep a roof over their heads. She knows what it feels like to be left holding the bag (or meatloaf!) and resolves to never put her heart or the hearts of her children on the line again. Even so, Allie struggles to fight her attraction to a certain gorgeous bear, thinking herself ridiculous in entertaining the thought that Ollie would give her a second glance.  She's seen the women he's attracted to and knows she doesn't fit the bill. But when danger threatens Allie & her kids, Ollie steps up in a big way.  Will Allie find the courage to take a chance with this magnificent creature and  claim him as her own?

The suspense ramps up as a deadly danger comes crawling into Cambio Springs. Ollie, Allie, and their shifter friends and family clans must unite to fight off a dominant enemy with powers that equal or exceed their own.  The mystery of who/what/when builds anticipation and anxiety as this story plays out.  Someone knows their secrets, someone can get through their defenses, someone can destroy the town and everyone in it.  The extent and depth of this plot line blew me away as this story builds layer upon layer all the way to the explosive, blockbuster climax.  

Waking Hearts is an intriguing, suspenseful, beautiful read.  Hunter's special way of writing love scenes, while certainly hot & erotic, honors the once in a lifetime kind of love.  I like that we get to experience these two characters getting to know each other as more than friends, dancing back and forth, exploring deeper feelings. The slow burn makes the rewards so much sweeter in the end!  While Waking Hearts  is certainly different than other books/series I've read by Hunter, it's every bit as captivating, enthralling, and bewitching in its own unique way.  I was swept away by the intensity of both the character relationships and the plot line.  Beautifully written, Waking Hearts is a Page Burner!  A Must Read!  One for my Favorites Shelf!

My Rating:  4.5 Captivating 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra

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1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading Waking Hearts. In my opinion, it is the best book in the Cambio Springs series so far. I loved the character building and Ollie was so yummy! You should read The Genius and the Muse by Elizabeth Hunter- it is one of my favorite books by her.

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