Rating: 4.5 stars
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Susan Laine’s Lifting the Veil series is much like a bowl of wrapped candies. Each one a bit different and sometimes exactly what you want.
Hunter’s Moon continues exploring the world Laine created two books ago where the “veil” has been lifted between the human world and the shifter/monster world. As this story picks up, we are introduced to yet another wolf shifter, Gabriel King, the beta to his pack. He is perhaps the most serene and passive character to ever grace the shifter world.
We are also made aware that the wholesale culling of shifters for breeding and blood purposes continues to be a dangerous reality for the previously veiled world. The myths that the wolf’s bite can impart immortality to the receiver is the very reason Gabe is kidnapped at the onset of the book. It is during his abduction that Gabe realizes one of the mercenaries paid to transport him is indeed his mate. In this world of Susan Laine’s imagination, wolves mate forever and, in fact, physically decline if they are kept separate from their intended partner.
Keiran Knight is a bitter, drifting, former IRA militant who now finds himself mindlessly doing missions that often threaten to raise the bile level in his own stomach. Having nothing against shifters as a rule, he simply plays along with the other men on his team, never looking too closely at the ethical strings attached to his actions.
Then he meets Gabe and his world–his straight world–explodes with feelings and emotions he never thought possible and most certainly will fight against with every fiber in his being.
Hunter’s Moon was decidedly different from the first two novels in this series. Rather than spend more time evolving and crafting the world she created, Laine opts to focus solely on a love story, a “gay for you” shifter story, and I must admit, an impressive foray into this subject area. This was sensitively written, character and action driven, and plausible on the whole.
Keiran’s reluctance to embrace his “gay” side was completely believable. Here was a tough loner who rarely dabbled in any type of relationship, straight or gay, and for him to suddenly “fall in love” would have been not only false in its tone but would have weakened a good action/adventure plot line to boot. So, instead the author carefully exposes Keiran’s inner turmoil piece by piece and allows him the time needed to come to terms with what his feelings for Gabe mean and how they will impact his life.
Gabe, on the other hand, is simply the sweetest man you could hope to meet–but do not be fooled, when those he loves are threatened, his true animal nature comes to the fore with startling clarity. By nature, however, he is the peacekeeper for his pack and the pain that the potential loss of Keiran inflicts on Gabe is palpable.
Hunter’s Moon is, I think, the best installment thus far in the series. It had a bit of action, tense moments, and a beautiful love story that kept you guessing till the end. For fans of this series, I believe you will be most pleased with this latest installment. I know I was!