Rating: 4.25 stars
When Owen Sanders was kidnapped and forcibly taken from the Domed City, he left behind 6-year-old twin brothers in the care of his grandfather. He is now mated and living with the Katria, cat shifters, which has given him a new perspective on the City and the life under the Dome. In turns out all he was told by the authorities in the City about the Outside was lies and he has found love with Maltok, Co-Alpha of the tribe he’s living with. But his happiness is marred knowing he left his brothers behind and he can’t rest until he knows what has happened to them in his absence.
Maltok knows his mate is unhappy, but is stunned to find out about the family Owen was forced to leave behind. When Owen asks for Maltok’s help in returning to the City, Maltok agrees if Owen will fully bond to him upon their return. Owen accepts and then feels guilty, first from putting his love in danger and then not telling Maltok how much he loves him before asking him for help.
Both set off for the City, and the misunderstandings between them grow with each step they take. Heartbreaking surprises and danger await them within the Domed City. Owen and Maltok must come together to save Owen’s family before they can have the future together they both desire.
The Beast’s Promise is the second in the Outside the City series from Lyn. Nature of the Beast is the first in the series and the stories should be read in sequence in order to fully understand the back stories and societies mentioned (Owen is kidnapped from the City during this first book). The Beast’s Promise picks up before the epilogue in the first story, which is a little confusing in itself. The author assumes that one has read the first novel, so there are scarce descriptions of the dystopian society Owen came from and little of any physical descriptions of the Katria here.
Raine and Ash from Nature of the Beast appear in this book but are naturally relegated to secondary status. But those tantalizing glimpses of Raine’s gift appear here to my endless frustration. It’s like dangling a piece of Godiva chocolates in front of a chocoholic. Tsking away here. But that said, Lyn’s characters, action and wonderful plot more than made up for it. The author did a terrific job of pulling me into her world, enmeshing me into the plight of those who live within a Domed City, separated from nature and the world around them. This is an old plot device that Lyn has made fresh again by populating it with beings I cared about, political and racial grievances within the tribe that mimic those within our own society, and a good old fashioned mystery that moved the pace quickly forward.
My enjoyment of the story was partially reduced by florid or repetitive writing in terms of physical descriptions, especially of Maltok. There is a mention of heaving chests, luxurious mane, and golden orbs; for a while there I thought Fabio was back. And of course, there were Owen’s “shining blue gray eyes,” “soulful blue gray eyes,”and more. But as the story progressed, the writing evened out so it didn’t really interfere with my enjoyment of the book. While I wish that the author would find new ways to describe a character’s physical appearance other than starting with the eyes, her strength is in creating characters that we care about, and then carefully constructing a world or worlds for them to inhabit. Just a lovely job.
By the end of the book I was ready for another, hopefully featuring the twins, Lucah and Micah, two very endearing characters. Once again, Lyn left me wanting more of each character she introduced while leaving me with the impression that the next book might be even better.
Cover: Another great cover in this series. The young blond model in front is certainly in keeping with the descriptions of Owen. With the lion graphic in the background, it pulls everything together. Love it.