Title: Lion’s Mate (Hell’s Creek #1)
Authors: Shannon West and T.S. McKinney
Publisher: Painted Hearts Publishing
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance/Sci-Fi
Page Count: 177
Reviewed by: Steph
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.13 stars out of 5
When Julian Montague rolls into a small mill town on the back side of nowhere, he isn’t looking for any trouble. He’s broke and fallen on hard times—but his idea to run from a license check on a main highway has backfired. He went off road on his motorcycle and now he’s hopelessly lost and almost out of gas. Stopping at the only station in town, he’s confronted by bullies with a gun who insist he’s on the “wrong side of the line” and then proceed to attack him. Fighting them off, he heads for the dubious safety of the “other side” when he’s attacked by a wild animal and crashes, almost killing himself. Waking up tied to a bed, he’s startled to find his injuries are being tended by a large, handsome man named Leo who bosses him around, showers him with affection and insists on calling him kitty. Something is going on in this strange town called Hell’s Creek, involving the large paper mill and the strange inhabitants who live in separate territories and answer only to the Company. Julian needs to find out what it is before he finds himself the “mate” of another man—and the main problem with that is that he’s beginning to like the idea way too much.
Warning: Possible triggers include a noncon scene.
Where to start? Well, I do have to say that this book kept my attention and entertained. For me it was The Twilight Zone feel that Julian experiences when he happens upon Hell’s Creek and his witty self-explanations that kept me reading. However, as much time as the authors took to build Hell’s Creek and the two animal classes that inhabit it, it still fell short when it came to character depth. For instance, I really want to know more of the backstory about Julian’s parents and the formulas that they left with.
There were also a couple of items in the story that bothered me. First and foremost is when the POV would change in the middle of the chapter and there was no warning. This could be fixed with something simple like using symbols or putting a gap between the POV’s. Yeah, that would’ve helped me out a lot. Instead, I had to go back and figure out what just happened only to realize it wasn’t me, it was the editing.
Secondly, I had a hard time believing that the people of Hell’s Creek were as gullible as they were. With all their technology one would think that they would still have knowledge of the outside world. Hello, the news media! I think this is where the authors could have taken a bit more time with character/world building aspect of the story. Which I felt lead to the ending being too rushed/easily solved.
Overall, I really did enjoy this book and the series itself does show a lot of promise. I will definitely stick around for book two because now that the truth is out there, I cannot wait to see what happens next with the people in Hell’s Creek.