Rating: 4.5 stars
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Despite being an Earl, Ember is used to hiding in the shadows and avoiding the rest of the world. As the only male omega in human memory, he’s forced to stay on his family’s estate and away from the prying eyes of dangerous alphas. Instead of living his life, Ember supports his stepmother and his half sisters in their efforts to make a match among the nobility. When the King and Queen call for a ball so the Prince may meet the available omegas in the kingdom, Ember takes his sisters, while suppressing his own status, content to serve as their coachman.
While others celebrate the ball of the century, Ember establishes a powerful connection with a masked alpha, one who purports to be his true mate. The night has unintended consequences and Ember is forced to go on the run, pregnant and desperately missing the man who is fated to be his and his alone. And while his mate struggles to find him, Ember must be strong enough to face a world that seems determined to deny his very existence.
Ember’s Moon is the first in a new series of fairy-tale themed stories by Fiona Lawless. This entry draws its inspiration from Cinderella, but the evil stepmother isn’t really evil, the wicked stepsisters are far from wicked, and Cinderella is far from a damsel in distress. I’m not usually a fan of fairy tales, but Ember’s Moon was well done and held my interest right from the start.
Both Ember and Kit are fully developed and compelling characters. Kit is less mature than Ember, but the author does a good job allowing each man to grow into their roles and do so in a believable manner…well, as believable as a book with shifters and mpreg can be.
There is no enemy here other than human nature. A stepmother left overwhelmed and desperate to protect her children. A prince devastated by grief and trapped by the burdens of duty. And a man desperate to protect the ones he loves, even when society tries to strip his strength away. The relationships here are complex and there are no easy fixes, which I appreciated as a reader. Yes, there are fated mates and near instalove, but the author doesn’t rely on these tropes too heavily and, as a result, the overall book has a richer flavor.
There are times when the pacing was a bit slow and, while that didn’t hurt my general enjoyment, I felt as though certain areas could have been tightened up a bit. I also wanted to know more about the overall social hierarchies and dynamics, just because it would have strengthened the plot further and clarified a few areas that seemed a tad cloudy.
On the whole, I was surprised by how throughly I enjoyed Ember’s Moon. The characters were interesting, and the story was well presented and engaging. There are some issues, but they seemed mild and I’m looking forward to the next in this paranormal series.