Some wolves were never meant for a mate...
Dr. Jason Ayers unleashes all of his rage and his frustration through fists and brute force in an underground boxing ring. The werewolf may be the pack's doctor, but he can't even heal his coma-stricken father after the Nero Organization's attack stopped his heart. And as his Pack brothers settle down around him, he still refuses to believe in the fairy tale notion that every wolf has a true mate...
In hiding and on the run, nurse Kilani Akamu is a loose end that Nero is desperate to tie up. She can't afford to be attracted to a doctor-especially one as unexpectedly hot and complex as Jason. Yet the sexual sparks arcing between them are undeniable...and Kilani's precognitive senses warn her that temptation is inevitable.
All it takes is one touch to send Jason's wolf howling. But even if he could protect her from Nero, he can't protect her from himself...
Read an Excerpt
By Lisa Kessler, Liz Pelletier
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Lisa Kessler
All rights reserved.
"Night, Dr. Ayers."
I glanced up from my computer.
My office manager, Therese, gave me a wink. "You've been the last one out for a couple weeks now. Everything all right?"
Damn, "all right" seemed like a pipe dream. "Yeah, I'm fine. Have a great night."
"Anything I can help with?"
I leaned back in my leather executive chair. "I wish you could, but I've got it under control."
"Okay." She nodded, but her eyebrow rose like a natural lie detector. "I don't mind staying."
"Nah, I'm almost done anyway." I forced a smile. "See you in the morning."
She nodded and stepped back as the door closed, swaddling me in the silence. I flexed my bruised right hand and then fisted it, working out the stiffness in my joints. Tiger, my opponent last night, had an iron jaw, and I'd slammed too many jabs into it.
The welcomed pain kept me anchored in the present. Reminded me I was alive. Lately, I needed all the reminders I could get.
My cell phone alarm beeped. I had to take another bag of fluids and liquid nutrition over to my parents' place for my dad. A knock sounded at the door.
I got up and opened it. At first I stared right over the top of her head, before I shifted my focus lower. A nurse dressed in jungle-themed scrubs narrowed her dark eyes, tipping her chin up in my direction. Her arms were crossed over her chest, and one hip jutted out to the side. Her black hair sat on top of her head in a loose bun, and her flawless tan skin glowed with life.
Although she stood barely over five feet tall, her stance made it clear she expected my respect.
She also looked vaguely familiar. "Can I help you?"
"I hope so. Two weeks ago I assisted you in reviving a man who'd been injected with potassium chloride. I was just informed the patient was never checked into the medical center. I'd like to know why."
Damn it. This was the nurse who'd helped me save my father's life. Or at least get his heart beating again. Whether or not he actually had a "life" anymore was up for debate.
"I'd give you an answer if I could, but my hands are tied. Patient privacy regulations." I could almost smell the bullshit coming out of my mouth. "I can tell you he's feeling much better thanks to your help."
"Enough with the elitist doctor double-talk." She swiped her hand in the air and placed a fist on her shapely hip. "I've got to record the medications we used on your patient. If he's not admitted, I can't do that. I could get fired over the missing medicine, and I need this job. So save your privacy line for someone who gives a crap. Now what the hell happened to that man?"
Elitist doctor double-talk? I almost laughed.
"I'm sorry if you're in hot water over the insulin and glucose." What was her name? My brain replayed that evening. She had told me, but I'd been so wrapped up in trying to save my dad I couldn't recall it now. "I'll come by tomorrow and talk to the head nurse for you. I'm sure I can get it straightened out."
"And you'll tell them you're there on behalf of ..." She waited. I didn't attempt to guess her name. She rolled her eyes. "You don't even remember my name, do you?" I opened my mouth to apologize, but she went on before I could get a word in. "Typical. I'm Kilani."
Kilani. Beautiful name. Polynesian, maybe?
"Are you listening to me?"
Shit. "Yeah, I'm listening."
She shook her head, her gaze holding mine. "You know what, never mind. I'll handle this on my own. The last thing I need is a guy who can't even remember my name to be poking around the hospital to 'help' me."
Spinning on her heel, she walked away. I went out the door after her. "Kilani, wait."
She stopped but didn't turn in my direction.
"I'm not usually such an ass."
Her shoulders relaxed a little and she faced me again. "Most doctors don't apologize."
The doctor jibes were starting to get to me. "That patient is my father."
"I remember." She nodded. "That's why I was so surprised you didn't admit him. I don't know what your relationship with your dad is like, but you of all people should understand he needs twenty-four-hour care. He could have brain damage or ..."
"God damn it. You don't think I know that?" I yelled, and I didn't give a shit. If anyone on earth understood how dire my dad's situation was, it was me. And if I could, I'd have him in the hospital, but my dad was also a werewolf, and one blood sample in the wrong hands could expose our race to humans.
I might be the Pack doctor, but I couldn't offer them the best treatment because it always came back to exposure. What good was my medical degree when my hands were tied? The medical center's equipment could help my father — but it could also prove to the human world that werewolves existed.
We couldn't risk it, even if it meant I might lose my dad.
"I'm giving him better care than he would get in a hospital, so spare me your judgment." I forced in a slow breath and lowered my voice a couple of notches. "I'm sorry if you're in trouble over the missing medication. I meant what I said about talking to the head nurse for you to smooth it over."
"No thanks." She put her hands up. "Nothing you could give me would be of help. I hope, for your father's sake, he has a full recovery."
She walked back toward the atrium that connected the medical office building with the hospital next door. Her hips swayed in a natural motion. Her job was at risk now. My fault.
She didn't slow and she didn't answer. In another minute, she was gone.
I'd been an asshole to the one person who'd helped me keep my dad's heart beating. And the hits just kept coming.
The sour scent of sweat and blood stung my nostrils as I taped my knuckles. In the center of the makeshift boxing ring, the two titans clobbered each other in a bid to face me next. As reigning champ of the underground fight club, they all wanted a shot at my title.
Boxing had started as a fitness regimen. I enjoyed training and sparring, but after Adam's father, our Alpha, died because I couldn't get him into an operating room to stop his internal bleeding, an unfamiliar fire smoldered in my gut and sparring didn't relieve the pressure.
In a sick way, I wanted to be pummeled — punished for the blood on my hands. I also wanted to beat the shit out of something. A stupid risk for a doctor to batter his hands in a gladiator's sport, but ever since one of the guys in the locker room of the club whispered a veiled invitation to me, I couldn't seem to quit.
"Hey Wolf, need help with your gloves?"
We didn't have names down here. Not the names on our birth certificates anyway. In the underground fight club world, I was just Wolf. And I liked it.
I glanced up at Marv and nodded. "Sure. Thanks, buddy."
Marv was a big guy, about my age, but his mild autism always made him seem younger. His older brother, Todd, ran the fight club, and Marv tagged along, helping as much as he could.
I held my hand out while he tugged the gloves on. I had taped it tight, but in spite of the added support, my joints still ached as he pulled the glove over them. I probably should've taken some X-rays, but I was too far gone for that. Just forcing myself to sit out a night or two to heal was getting tough.
Even if I found broken bones, I wouldn't stop fighting. I couldn't.
This ring was my sanity now. Without it, I'd go crazy with the guilt and frustration that festered inside of me. Here, reality narrowed into a bloodstained twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot boxing ring. Facing opponents, landing punches, and taking them were all actions I controlled. In the ring, I was the master of my own fate. I couldn't save Malcolm, our Alpha, and now my father's life hung in the balance. I'd had my fill of feeling useless.
Here, my destiny rested in my own hands, mine to direct. This ring and these fighters gave me that.
"Those tight enough, Wolf?"
I punched my hands together, testing the support around my wrists. "Feels great, Marv." I rubbed his head with a gloved hand. "Thanks, buddy."
He grinned, sheepish about the praise. "Good luck tonight. I know you'll win."
"That's the plan." I started warming up, jogging in place and windmilling my arms to loosen up my sore shoulders. After Malcolm's death, I'd been fighting once a month, but since Nero attacked my father, I'd been accepting as many matches as I had challengers. The beatings were catching up with me, but sore muscles and joints weren't going to keep me from my sanctuary in the ring.
The big guy who went by the moniker "Pirate" tumbled to the ground. Roddy, our ref, started the count while Shark backed away, his cold stare on my face. Hunger burned in his eyes. Every fighter here had demons. God only knew what powered this hulk of a man. In spite of fighting an earlier match and now besting Pirate, this big Hispanic guy still had some fire left.
That was good. He'd need a goddamned inferno to best me.
Since the altercation with Kilani, my frustration levels had skyrocketed. I'd been a dick to her, and her only crime had been to help save my father. I hadn't even remembered her name.
If that wasn't enough, my father's vitals revealed his temperature was slightly elevated. I'd need to bring him some intravenous antibiotics and hope for the best. A bad bladder infection or bed sores were both common ways to cause organs to shut down in bedridden comatose patients.
Foreboding, and an all too familiar lack of control, roiled in my gut. My opponent might be hungry for a win, but I was famished. Something in my life would be a victory.
Sorry Shark, I wasn't going down tonight. No chance.
Roddy grabbed his glove, raising it over his head. "Winner! Shark in the fifth round."
Cheers and the hum of activity filled the space. The tiny crowd of spectators consisted of other fighters and a few regulars who were once fighters and now turned to small-time wagering. Cash changed hands, notes were scribbled on pages, and Shark paraded around the ring, high on adrenaline.
I watched him as I shadow-boxed, warming my muscles. We were both about six foot two inches, so our reach would be well matched. He looked like he outweighed me by maybe twenty pounds, so on paper he'd have more power behind his punches.
No one in the club knew werewolves existed, let alone that I was one.
But my wolf wasn't the power behind these punches. Rage, pure and undiluted, fueled my inner fire. And nothing released the pressure like a good fight.
Shark narrowed his eyes, his jaw jutting forward as he paced the ring. I'd only seen the last couple of rounds of his fight with Pirate, but it had been enough. Shark was a southpaw. I'd have to keep protecting my eye while I went in with my right. A good southpaw could clock you with a left hand if you gave him that opening.
I rolled my head, then my shoulders, while I danced on the balls of my feet. My gaze never strayed from Shark's face. Even when he turned away, the first thing he saw when he faced me again was my stare. No fear. Only hunger.
Without breaking eye contact, I climbed in the ring. My wolf clawed to the surface, sensing a battle for dominance. The full moon was still a few weeks away. No threat of shifting into a wolf with an audience, but I welcomed his predatory instincts.
We met in the center of the ring, face-to-face, while Roddy barked out his usual reminders. No low blows, no head butts, and once a fighter was down, you waited for the count over in your corner. We knocked gloves and went to our corners. There weren't any stools, no trainers to sponge you down, only a fresh towel to wipe away blood and a fresh rubber mouth guard. I popped mine in, grinding my teeth while I awaited the bell.
The ding set us moving toward the center of the ring. Shark came in like a freight train. He jabbed my ribs with his right, nudging me toward the ropes. I countered with an uppercut to his jaw, knocking him back a couple of steps. He shook his head, snarling around his yellow mouthpiece, and came back at me, landing a combination to my midsection that knocked the air from my lungs.
Strong opponent. Good.
I blinked, stoking the fire inside of me. This was no longer a man in the gym. This wasn't a man at all. This was a fight with fate and destiny. I landed a right and a left to his body for my father's fever. He stumbled back toward the ropes and I pursued, landing a jab to his chin for my mother's heartbreak over caring for her husband who might never speak to her again.
Left, right, to the body, to the head. He put his hands up to block my attack to his face, so I concentrated on his body; each punch became a retribution for my inability to save Malcolm, my inability to wake my father. Every bad choice I had made in the last year, I pummeled into Shark's body.
His big hands shoved at my shoulders and I lost my balance, jogging back a few steps to steady myself. Shark heaved for breath while I waved him forward, inviting his attack. I wasn't ready for the fight to end. Not yet. His punches, the pain they brought, were a penance for my failures, a reminder to keep fighting.
The bell rang. I wiped my face and waited for round two, watching Shark struggle to catch his breath. Marv came by with a water bottle and a bucket. I took the water and winked at him. "Thanks."
He grinned. "You're doing good, Wolf."
I swished the water around and spit into the bucket as the bell rang again. Shark came on the attack before I got out of my corner. His right hand was relentless, pummeling my abs until my entire body ached. I lowered my elbows to block his attack, and his left hand clocked me in the eye.
Stars lit around the edge of my vision. I bit down on my mouthpiece, forcing myself to stay upright. I landed a couple of unfocused blows, trying to break out of the corner where he had me pinned. Shark's knee slammed into my balls. Hard. It was all I could do to stay on my feet and not curl into the fetal position on the floor.
Shark backed away with a glint in his eyes.
"No low blows, Shark!" Roddy yelled. "Next time you're out."
Oh, there wasn't going to be a goddamned next time.
I rushed him, slamming him back into the ropes. He couldn't escape my attack, trapped by a flurry of punches. My attack to his ribs had him breathless, and when he started to stumble sideways, I caught him, pinning him upright in the corner so I could hit his face. Again and again. Right, left, right.
"Okay, Wolf. Enough." Roddy forced his way between my prey and me. "Damn it, Wolf, I'm callin' the fight. Back off."
I stumbled backward and Shark timbered onto the floor.
Oh shit. I'd lost myself to this dark pit eating away at my sanity. What the hell was I doing? Regardless of the beating this guy gave me or the kick to the balls, I had to help him.
His pulse thumped in a steady rhythm I had no trouble hearing with my heightened senses, but blood ran from a cut over his eye, and his nose and lip bled onto the mat. There was also a better than average chance he had a nasty concussion. I rushed over, tearing at the ties on my gloves with my teeth as Roddy counted down.
Ripping the glove off my right hand, I called to Marv. "Get me some ice and a clean towel."
Roddy declared my victory while I pressed ice to the back of Shark's neck. He groaned. Conscious.
Marv took over holding the ice pack on Shark's skull, and I got up and out of the ring. Alone in my locker room, I rested my head in my hands. Every fight, it took more blood and more pain to quench the fire. I could've killed that man. Where was the line in the sand? Aggression and anger were changing me into someone I didn't recognize. I'd taken an oath to preserve life. This ... this club, these nameless fighters ... I was far from my calling.
Tremors racked my usually steady hands.
I was spiraling out of control, and I didn't have a fucking clue how to stop it.
Excerpted from Harvest Moon by Lisa Kessler, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2015 Lisa Kessler. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Harvest Moon is pack Dr. Jason Ayers story. Jason doesn’t believe in the whole destined mate myth until he finds his destined mate, nurse Kilani Akamu. It is so much fun watching him get his due especially after what he put Gareth and Nadya through in Blood Moon (Moon #3). Jason is struggling with his perceived failures as pack doctor. He uses illegal underground boxing to ease his stress. Harvest Moon reveals new secrets about the connections between the pack and Nero. I love this world and this pack and am anxiously awaiting the next adventure. You could probably read this book standalone but I heartily recommend reading the others in this series first. You will get so much more out of it if you do.
Two fandoms I'm reading in right now - Teen Wolf and Hawaii Five-0. So the blend of werewolf mythology and Hawaiian lore in Harvest Moon was especially awesome for me. Everyone has their own version of lycanthropy; in this series only male wolves are born, females are turned. Those are usually the wolves' mates, turned so they can have children and build the pack, further the bloodline. Since this book is the fourth in the series, several of the pack members have already found their mates. Jason, however, doesn't believe in them. Then he meets Kilani. She's a nurse, a seer from Hawaii, and she does not like doctors. Jason is a doctor. She doesn't trust him, but she's drawn to him, and not only because she helped him save his father's life. Whether she can tell they're mates as soon as they touch or not, she seems to realize from day one that their lives are intrinsically linked. When it falls to Jason and his pack to keep her safe, their relationship gets stronger as they work to stay out of danger's path. There's enough peril in this to keep you turning pages, with just enough romance sprinkled throughout to keep you invested in Jason and Kilani. My favorite part of the book, perhaps unsurprisingly, was near the end when the werewolf and Hawaiian lores were woven together. Learning more about Kilani's heritage and her gift, getting to see Jason shift, the imagery of Hawaii and meeting Kilani's grandmother Nani. All of that background story made the whole book much richer. As did the big bad - Nero, which I'm sure I'd know more about if I read the earlier books in the series. The idea of a lab somewhere doing experiments on shifters isn't new, but that they have jaguar shifters working for them is a neat twist. Now I definitely want to read the rest of the series!
A sexy, suspenseful, action-packed addition to her mesmerizing Moon series... He rested his head on top of mine and whispered, "I'm warning you now. I'm a horrible patient." I smiled in spite of myself and pulled back. "Of course you are. That's why you're a doctor." HARVEST MOON by Lisa Kessler is a sexy, suspenseful, action-packed addition to her mesmerizing Moon series featuring a pack of wolves near Reno, Nevada. If you follow my reviews, you know that Lisa is a must-read author for me. I've read every book she's ever published and inhaled every one of them. HARVEST MOON is the story of Dr. Jason Ayers, the wolf pack's doctor, and Kilani Adamu, a nurse. It's told in their two POVs, alternating between each. First of all, even though HARVEST MOON is the fourth book in Lisa's Moon series, it can be enjoyed as a standalone, if that is your preference. That said, I believe that your enjoyment of the story and the series would be exponentially increased if the series were read in order. I confess that I started HARVEST MOON with some trepidation as the hero, Jason, was not one of my favorite characters in the series. Lisa had almost done too good of job villainizing him in the previous book and I would go so far as to say I wasn't convinced he deserved his own HEA. LOL! I should know better as I'd said something similar about Sasha, too, and Lisa changed my mind about her. I am very happy to report that Lisa did another fantastic job as she successfully changed my mind about Jason too. He's now fully redeemed in my eyes. If you were like me and leery of reading Jason's story, don't be. Jason certainly fits the bill as a tortured hero. Suffice it to say you need to read this book to discover the demons he's been lambasted with. This is the first book I've ever read that highlighted boxing. I've never been a fan of the sport of boxing, but Lisa writes those scenes very well and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Since Jason moonlights as a boxer as a coping mechanism against the rage that engulfs him, you can expect some heart-stopping epic fight scenes within these pages. You won't be disappointed, whether you're a boxing fan or not. Kilani was a wonderful heroine for Jason. She had moved to be near the pack to escape Nero as he's tagged her as a loose end that needs to be terminated. She's not a whimpy wall-flower, though, and is not afraid to stand up for herself. She's a very caring person and I love her spirit. Supporting characters included Kilani's grandmother and returning favorite pack characters from the previous books. It's always a treat to catch up with the pack. :-) This tale takes place in two locales: Nevada and exotic Hawaii! Ooh la la! Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the captivating mythological elements which played prominently in the tale. Never fear that Lisa didn't include some humor; There's plenty of it interspersed in the story along with divulging some startling news which greatly affects the pack - news that fans will most definitely not want to miss! I highly recommend Lisa's Moon Series to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances - especially those involving wolf shifters. I can't wait for the next installment in this series, ICE MOON. ICE MOON is scheduled to be released this November and will be the story of Jared Ayers, Jason's twin. My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Please check it out there. 4 Wine Glasses!
Jason Ayers is a surgeon and the pack doctor. Lately he has been dealing with the rage of not being able to treat his pack mates with human technology. To handle his rage, he's been going to fight clubs and avoiding people. Kilani Akamu is a nurse hiding out. When she helped out Jason, their lives seemed destined to be linked together. Jason never believed in true mates until Kilani touches his hand. Now he has to save her life and convince Kilani they were meant to be together. This story was very fast-paced and emotionally charged. Within the pages, both main characters go through a lot of changes and, for Kilani, a lot of self-actualization and dealing with a past she's avoided for years. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author. I recommend to anyone that likes this genre. **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review**
The timing for the release of this superb new novel from Lisa Kessler is spot on – the Harvest Moon for 2015 is the night of September 27th – 28th and it is also a very special one, a Blood Moon, too! Now I’m going to by quite honest and admit to somewhat stalking the author because I really want to know what happens next in this series and count myself lucky to have one of the first ARCs available via Entangled and NetGalley to enable me to read and review this book. Having admitted that, I was given the ARC to read and give an honest review and that’s what I’m going to do. Dr Jason Ayers is a werewolf and the pack doctor but he’s also been traumatised by his inability to save one pack member, being conned by the organisation Nero which threatens all were creatures and, the latest, his Dad being in a coma after being attacked by someone in Nero. He takes out his frustrations by participating in an underground boxing ring. Kilani Akamu is may be small in stature but she’s a feisty nurse with a huge presence who really doesn’t trust doctors and is on the run trying to hide from Nero. When the two first meet sparks fly but when they touch Jason discovers that soul mates aren’t just fairy tales. She, however, isn’t a werewolf and as she already distrusts doctors, how will he reveal his secrets and win her love? His problem now is to keep her safe from Nero and himself whilst still endeavouring to convince her to trust and love him. She also has secrets, too, so nothing will be simple for these two! I am so impressed with how the author keeps revealing more of the background information particularly regarding Nero and their operatives as well as the Pack. Events from earlier stories in the series are given further kudos as more is disclosed and unexpected links developed. I really enjoy the author’s writing style, she paints paint fantastic pictures in the imaginations of her readers with excellent writing, superb plots and carefully crafted text. I’m already looking out for more details concerning when the next book in the series, ‘Ice Moon’ will be released and understand that will tell Jared’s story! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first book to read by Lisa Kessler, but it will not be my last. This story was full of love, self discovery, selflessness, action, a little spice with your mate, and most importantly, family. I love books with strong family bonds, with those in your family always have your back. I loved the way the wolf pack looked after each other and gladly welcomed Kilani into their homes with open arms. Jason is such a troubled big hearted male. I couldn't help but feel compassion and sympathy for him for all that he tried to take on. So many different emotions and helpless feelings driving his fear and anger. Then there is this beautiful woman, Kilani, who ends up centering him, settling him and helping him to deal with all that he feels. They were just beautiful together, just so calming and peaceful. Their bond was immediate and complete, and they both accepted it without hesitation. Although this book centered mainly on Jason and Kilani, it did have sub-scenes with others from the previous books in the series. Getting to know these characters now in this book has made me curious for the rest of their stories. I look forward to reading the past ones and hope there is more to come. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
Harvest Moon, Lisa Kessler Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and fantasy . Continuing Lisa’s Moon series we meet Kilani. She’s Jason's Mate – yes that’s right, Jason the doc who doesn’t believe in Mates until he touches her....she knows nothing of his world though and the dangers within it. Jason’s also having anger issues, feeling he let down the previous alpha and also his father. Had they gone to hospital he could have helped them, but the dangers of exposing themselves to humans is too great so the Alpha died, and his dad now lies in a vegetative state, with any recovery growing fainter the longer it goes on. Poor Jason, I felt for him. It was sad that he had feelings for Nadya but she turned out to be the Mate of another pack member ( that was in an earlier book), then this feeling of helplessness and he’s been getting rid of his anger in illegal fist fights. That’s dangerous too though and he’s in a kind of rut when he meets Kilani. I love Kilani, she’s also had the same troubled background, same issues with Nero as other gifted people. she’s very self determined, very alone in many ways but knuckles down and gets on with life, she doesn’t whine about unfairness. Now she’s too close to a killing by Nero and they want her dead, so she goes to the pack Alpha for help. Jason wants to be close to her and protect her and once more the whole pack are faced with Nero. Nothing really seems to change – its Pack v Nero, with minor wins on each side, and I just felt with this book they’re at a kind of stalemate position. The romance between Jason and Kilani was great, developed well but the overall story arc of Nero seems to be stuck – well that’s how it feels to me. I loved the last two books but felt this one was not quite up to them. They kept me engrossed and wondering what was going to happen next, but this one I kept putting down and picking up later. It was a good read, and a decent romance but I missed more of the Nero connection. Stars: Four, a good romance but the action a little slow after the others. ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers. If you enjoyed my review I'd love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn't I'd love to know why, in case I've inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.
Another excellent book in a wonderfull series. A good author to enjoy.
How in the hell has this series managed to slip under my radar? This is the main question that has plagued me since I started reading this book. This is a great paranormal romance that reminded me a little of some of my favorite PNR series–Christine Feehan’s Ghost Walkers, Maggie Shayne’s Wings in the Night, and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters. The similarities are slight but they were enough to add this author among those names on my MUST-READ list. This five-star read had me hooked from the get go. The story is well written, it has a great pace, and the characters were complex enough to keep me interested. Well, that may be oversimplifying it a bit. The story was absolutely addictive. Now, you may be able to guess this factoid just by taking a gander at the series I compared this book to but I have a thing about fate, fated mates, soul mates, and any other variation of the concept. The idea that a higher power has a hand in who someone falls in love with is one of my favorite story lines. (I actually have a series of my own planned with this concept–one completed MS still in the edit phase and several more planned.) So this subject is one I can really sink my teeth into. The paranormal elements were great as well. They enhanced the story without taking over the plot. This is first and foremost a romance. The supernatural elements are important but they aren’t as grandstanding as in some series I’ve read. The werewolves only change on the night of the full moon but the protective and sometimes aggressive animal nature influences the human side. The psychic abilities aren’t completely reliable and sometimes it is better not to know what did/might/will happen. Kessler also uses a range of magical abilities found in multiple cultures which I really liked as well. Now the characters… They are something. I loved the amount of contradictions Kessler packed into her characters. Jason is a doctor and yet he is also a fighter. It’s not everyday you see a MD duking it out in the boxing ring as part of an underground fight club. Jason himself as well as Kilani and a few others point out repeatedly how a doctor shouldn’t be constantly bruising his hands or risking brain damage from concussions but every time he needs to feel in control, he steps into the ring. Kilani fears the same thing she craves. She doesn’t want to put herself out there and risk getting hurt but she wants to be loved. Sebastian has split loyalties which are shrouded in mystery through most of the story. The entire cast of characters seems to have some sort of internal conflict going on. (Plus, a lot of the characters also have dual natures because they are werebeasts of some sort which makes the dichotomy of their psychology even more fascinating–man my inner nerd just won’t stay away.) I am definitely hooked now. I know that I HAVE to get my hands on the first three books so I know everyone else’s story. This does function well as a stand alone. There are some references I knew brought up things from previous books, but I wasn’t lost–the author gave me enough info to understand past events within the context of the story. Overall it is an amazing book and I highly recommend it to any PNR fan. BTW- there is some sex in the book. It is what I would call mild-yet-wild; the language is mild but the scenes are intense- perfect combo for this kind of story.
Book 4, another excellent and Outstanding storyline about shifters, wolves and jaguars. Great series and HEA 6. ***vrnb***
Another great installment in the Moon Series by Lisa Kessler! Once again we are treated to a wonderful love story and given an additional layer to the Nero story arc. I have to admit, Jason is one wolf that I really have not liked. He’s a jerk. He’s a hothead. I really haven’t found any redeeming qualities about him. So going into this book knowing I wasn’t a fan of the hero I knew this was going to be an interesting read. But as usual, Lisa Kessler works her magic, and I found myself liking Jason and wanting him to find his happy ever after. I can’t say he’s my favorite wolf, but watching him with Kilani and seeing a different side of him, and knowing that finding his mate has started to heal him, I have to say that Jason has found a spot in my heart. Kilani was the perfect match for Jason. Strong and out spoken, ready to call Jason out when he needed it. I loved her background and loved learning about her family history. She’s got all sorts of baggage she’s dealing with, being on Nero’s hit list is just the most recent and perhaps the most deadly. Her trust issues run deep and long, and Jason has his work cut out for him. One of my favorite things about this series is how the paranormal aspects are woven into the story. From werewolves to psychics, each book introduces paranormal elements but still manages to keep a realness to the story. I love that I end up getting caught up in the emotions of the story, feeling right along with the characters. Whether they are dealing with a supernatural issue or something that could happen to anyone, the emotion that surrounds each event is so real that it’s easy to believe that Lisa Kessler’s world really exists. It was great to catch up with other members of the pack and meet some new characters that I hope we’ll get to see some more of, especially Kilani’s grandmother. I loved learning a bit more about Nero and having more of the blanks filled in when it comes to Sebastian. Although this book can be read as a standalone I would recommend starting at the beginning and getting the whole wolf pack experience. Another must read from Lisa Kessler! I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for an honest review.
3.5 more-action-than-romance Stars Werewolves that can only shift on the full moon, psychics, ancient magic people and an evil corporation experimenting on shifters… Harvest Moon had a lot of action going on. Jason is a werewolf and a doctor making him his pack healer, but having been unable to help a couple of members in the recent past has not only left him unsure of himself and his abilities, but filled with anger that he can only channel through an illegal fight club (he might fall in the TSTL category for his actions regarding this one topic). Kilani is a nurse in the run from Nero (the aforementioned evil corporation) there was quite a bit of back story around this topic I assume in the first three installments from the series, so I strongly suggest reading it in order, and while this is a standalone and I enjoyed it, it would have been more so if read after the others… but I digress. Kilani is in the run for her life, and after some issues at work, she has to go confront a doctor for putting her in a bind at her job. Jason never believed in mates, but after just one touch from the interesting and alluring beauty in scrubs he can’t fight the truth… he just now has to convince her that he is a wolf shifter, she’s his destined mate and everything will be hunky dory… Obviously things aren’t as easy as that, the bad guys find her new town, there’s all kind of bad stuff happening around the pack, and the unknowns keep piling up. As I said, there’s a lot of action, suspense and mystery. There was little lovin’, a couple of kisses, and less sweet get to know each other time so I’m comfortable saying this is more a suspense story than a romance. Still it was engaging and kept me cursing like a sailor at all the close calls. I could be persuaded to read the next installment but I wouldn’t mind if it were to be more focused on the couple than everything going on. *I received a complimentary copy from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Harvest Moon by Lisa Kessler I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This book centers around Dr. Jason Ayers, a successful doctor and werewolf. But, when a mysterious nurse helps him when his father falls ill he can’t seem to get her out of his head. Jason doesn’t believe in mates, but Kilani is about to change everything. Kilani is an islander with special psychic abilities. She’s on the run from Nero and falls into the pack’s lap. Jason will do anything to keep her safe once he realizes they’re mates. I have a guilty pleasure. My guilty pleasure is werewolves. They’re always written as such strong-manly characters with chivalrous attitudes and sensitivity toward their mate. Jason is no different. He has anger issues that he solves in a boxing ring and Kilani comes into the picture and magically, his anger starts to dissipate. Kilani was a sassy character that offered good banter with Jason and gave a good example of a head-strong woman. I liked Jason because the book continued to show his sensitive side. He may be a wolf, but he is also an artist, doctor, and lover. What more could you want? He’s the total package. The relationship he had with his brother was fun and loveable and his parents were even sweeter. I wasn’t raving about the book, but I did like it. To me it felt a little rushed. I get the whole mate concept, but Kilani accepted it fairly quickly and I thought she might have put up more disbelief. I thought Jason moved along pretty genuinely. He seemed to react well and real. There were some points where the dialogue was a little silly. I thought, ‘no one would ever say that’, a few times. The intimate scenes were steamy and delightfully written. She did really well capturing the allure and sexiness of a werewolf. I was super confused about all this Nero stuff, though. Maybe because I haven’t read the other books? But I was confused…were Nero and that Severino the same person? How do they connect? And what was Sebastian’s motive? He was just aloof and shady the whole time. No loose ends were really wrapped up. I guess I should read the others. Anyway! Decent book, but not terrible. Some of it was just a little cheesy in parts. I give it a C.