As always, there are spoilers.
Moon Craving by LucyMonroe
Book 2 of Children of the Moon series
If it were up to him, Talorc—laird of the Sinclair clan and leader of his werewolf pack— would never marry. But when the king orders that Talorc wed an Englishwoman, the lone wolf is shocked to find his mate in the strong-willed Abigail. And after an intensely climactic wedding night, the two fiercely independent souls sense an unbreakable bond…
Deaf since childhood, Abigail hopes to keep her affliction from Talorc as long as possible. And for his part, he has no intention of telling her about being a werewolf. But when Abigail learns that the husband she’s begun to love has deceived her, it will take all of his warrior’s strength—and his wolf’s cunning—to win his wife back. And Talorc will have to face his biggest challenge yet: the vulnerability of a man in love.
It really was easy to fall into the story. I kept getting annoyed at my family for interrupting my reading time.
Chantal: Yay! Did you cry when he exposed her secret in front of his men? And yeah, LOL! I told my dogs to "just go on the floor" when they barked to be let out while I was reading.
Holly: I definitely got teary eyed. That was such a heartbreaking scene.
I was annoyed that Talorc never realized what a double standard he was setting by keeping secrets from her but being angry that she didn't reveal hers.
Chantal: Yeah, I know, I was thinking the same thing. Like, you jerk, you have your own secret!
You know how Lairds are. They think that the rules don't apply to them.
Holly: Is it just me, or did Talorc seem like a different person from the first book? Maybe I only noticed because I read Moon Awakening immediately before starting this book, but he seems a lot less bitter in this book.
Chantal: Yes! I thought to myself that he was different. He was much moodier and reserved in Moon Awakening.
I loved the book, Lucy Monroe is one of the few authors who make me feel like I am part of the story, like *I'm* the heroine living that life, however, as much as I adored this book I found the epilogue to be disappointing. Sure, it wrapped up a few questions I had, but it felt like it was thrown in there at the last minute. Almost as if somewhere down the line someone realized that there were things left unanswered, so they made the author take a few seconds to write that epilogue.
At least that is how it felt to me.
Maybe I am just bitter that I didn't get to see Talorc banish Una or that Osgard was left unpunished after almost killing Abigail--twice!
Holly: I don't think you're bitter. I was really annoyed over the way it ended. I wanted to see Abigail stand up for herself with both of them and then have Talorc back her up. That epilogue was frustrating.
Chantal: Did you find the goat thing started to get over used? I did.
Yes, it was funny the first time we were reminded that Emily called him a goat, but it was mentioned several times. It lost its appeal.
Holly: Yes I did think the goat thing was overused. It was funny the first time, but then..eh. I was over it.
Chantal: One of my favourite things about this author is that she writes great protectors. The Hero is there to save the day and stand up for his woman. We didn't get to see that with this book. He was a good Hero, I just wish we could have been shown more of it instead of that peek in the epi.
Holly: I agree that we didn't get to see Talorc in the protector role, but I like that he was willing to let Abigail work things out for herself. I do think the fact that they were mates was used as a crutch to help the story along. For example: When Talorc reveals Abigail's secret I expected that to be a major thing. But the fact that she was his true mate took most of his anger away. That seemed kind of convenient to me.
Chantal: That reminds me. Her thinking that 'mate' was friend, and the looks they would give her when she brought up the word 'friend' LOL.
Holly: The mate thing was funny, until the end that is. Then I just felt bad for her.
Chantal: I was pleased to see a little bit of m/m in this one.
Holly: The mm was a pleasant surprise.
I liked Abigail's friendship with Niall and Guaire too. It isn't very often that the heroines befriend members of the opposite sex in historicals.
Chantal: Yeah, that friendship was surprising, and I am glad that Talorc didn't try to end it.
Normally when there are secrets I get upset when they don't just communicate with each other, but this time I understood both sides for not coming clean. Abi's mother was such a bitch. All that stuff that she said about not letting her husband find out about her being deaf or else he would banish her, mixed in with the letters that Emily sent explaining Talorc's demeanor. I understood her fear about not telling.
Same with Talorc's secret. He had his reasons for keeping mum, but I don't forgive him as easily for not telling as much as I do with Abigail. Abi had a genuin fear of being thrown away. Talorc was just being bullheaded.
Holly: I agree on all accounts. I also think it was harder to forgive Talorc because of the double standard. He knew he was keeping a secret from Abi even as he got pissed at her for keeping a secret.
Chantal: Yeah. Typical pig headed male.
Holly: What did you think of Abi overall? I really liked her. I thought she'd be kind of annoying based on her description in the first book, but she wasn't.
Chantal: Oh, I liked her! I tend to find fault in heroines, but I thought she was great.
One of my favourite parts was the first time Abi heard Talorc's voice in her head. She grabbed his face and said "say my name again."
I also liked when Abi's mother was demanding they consummate the marriage, so Talroc cut his hand to show blood on the sheet, and then Abi said to cut her hand too because they are in it together.
Holly: Those were two of my favorite parts. Especially when she demanded he add her blood to his. His reaction was priceless.
I'm still annoyed over the Una thing.
Chantal: Yes. I so wish we could have seen Talorc go off on her. Sigh.
Holly: So, what are your overall thoughts and grade?
I liked it a lot. I know it seems like I complained a lot about it, but truthfully it totally sucked me in. I was emotionally invested in both main characters and really wanted things to work between them. I love the Highland setting and the love story. It was flawed, but worked. I'd give it a 4.25 out of 5.
Chantal: I couldn't have said it better. It's a B from me. If issues had been cleared up outside of that epilogue it would have been perfect--An A+, but that epi... not good.