KEPT - Shawntelle Madison
Coveted Series, Book 2
Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0345529170
ISBN-13: 978-0345529176
December 2012
Urban Fantasy -- Paranormal

South Toms River, New Jersey - The Present

Nat (Natalya) Stravinsky is a werewolf with obsessive-compulsive disorder, which in part consists of collecting Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa ornaments. She also literally hates getting her hands, or any other part of her for that matter, dirty, but her best friend Aggie can't help but place Nat in uncomfortable situations to 'challenge' her. In book one of the series, COVETED, Nat was an outcast to her clan because of her weakness; however, while still exiled by her pack, at least her family accepts her after she helped save them from the vicious Long Island werewolf pack. That is, all her family except for her Aunt Telena Torchinovich, who is matriarch of the family. At a family dinner Telena taunts Nat that the Trials are coming. If Nat wins, the pack will take her back, but of course Telena has no expectation of that happening. At the same family gathering, Nat becomes aware that her father has a problem he is not disclosing. His problem will involve Nat in danger when she decides to help.

At a predawn hour, Nat receives a phone call telling her to come to the local high school track. Her brother Alex has involved the man she loves but can't have in her situation, pack leader and alpha male Thorn Grantham. Thorn plans to get her 'in shape' for the Trials where her strength and endurance against other exiles will determine her acceptance back into her pack. He is currently affianced to a hateful power seeking bitch name Erica whose only goal is to become alpha female. The pair's respective fathers made the agreement when Thorn's father was still Alpha. Thorn remains standoffish to Nat but wants her to succeed, so Nat bows to the inevitable, although it breaks her heart, and she tries to remain only good friends.

This is an adventure-suspense story laced with amusing satire and situations. Nat belongs to a therapy group consisting of a too tall dwarf, a mermaid, a muse, a succubus, a smelly nymph who sets off Nat's O-C, and a handsome white wizard. The wizard, Nick Fenton, is a good friend to Nat, and might possibly replace Thorn in her affections. As you can see, this world is filled with many different races with much competition and ne'er-do-welling. KEPT will entertain all readers with Nat's involvement in her father's trouble, the family situations (which are all too real), and the drama these relationships create.

Robin Lee