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Book Review: Silver Moon Rising & Crescent Calls, by Rosalie Spencer

This is a little awkward. Rosalie Spencer sent me a copy of Crescent Calls for review way back in…I think maybe September. I’d picked up Silver Moon Rising as an Amazon freebie and planned to read and review them. However, Amazon did a Kindle update about that time, and no matter how many times I tried, I could not get Silver Moon Rising to open. Eventually, I set it aside in the hopes that time would work out whatever glitch Amazon had going on. And then I basically forgot about it. But I finally managed to come back around to reading them.

silver moon rising and crescent calls covers

About Silver Moon Rising:

silver moon risingHayley is an Omega wolf. Submissive, low-ranking, and considered less than nothing by her previous pack. Which is why she ran away, fleeing their abusive Alpha. Now, all she wants is to make a life that she can be proud to live.

Cole and Ryland are two Alphas without a pack. With Cole’s unpredictable wolf and Ryland’s suspicious combination of witch and tiger shifter blood, and the fact that you can’t have one without the other, it’s too much for most packs to handle permanently. Instead, they roam from place to place as enforcers, a final solution when a wild wolf needs to be taken down.

When they find Hayley, at first they’re not sure if she’s a spy from the pack they’re trying to hunt down or a victim, but either way they need her. Inconveniently, in more ways than one.

If Hayley can be strong enough to help them, maybe she can overcome her past. And if she can be strong enough to trust again, maybe she can find a way to the life she wants to live.

my review

I think that there is nothing wrong with this book, but that it wasn’t really to my taste, which is a hard review to formulate. On the positive side, the writing is fairly pedestrian but readable. There’s an interesting world. The characters are mostly likable. The heroine has a lot of growth over the course of the book, and there is a fun side character.

On the negative side (for me), that fun side character is VERY OBVIOUSLY a crossover character from some other series. I felt that before I even went to look it up, and I’m generally annoyed by this. It always leaves me feeling like I’m missing something. The interesting world is barely hinted at. The mostly likable characters are only mostly likable because there are some aspects of them that I definitely did not enjoy. And this is where tastes come into play.

Hayley is very sweet. She is small and submissive and gentle and kind. And a perpetual victim. The plot is very much about her growing past this victimhood. But you’ll have to really like scared mouse sorts of heroines to enjoy Hayley. And I really do prefer my heroines with more grit. (But I do think the author dealt with the whole scenario well.)

Similarly, the two heroes were never particularly kind to Hayley. I did not feel the spark between them AT ALL. They’re not quite alpha a-holes, but just kind of a-holes, and I didn’t understand what Hayley was supposed to be attracted to. Even the sex wasn’t enough to bridge this gap for me since there wasn’t very much.

Additionally, never was how small and dainty Hayley is emphasized so often, as during the sex scenes, which was just a little too infantilizing for me. Add to this the fact that it is VERY STRONGLY inferred that what amounts to sexual slavery was part of Hayley’s history; her all but virginal behavior thus made no sense (other than to maintain her innocent miene).

Plus, while I liked the relationship between Cole and Ryland, why they are so bonded and loyal to one another is never really addressed. I think they had a platonic relationship or at least one that never crossed into romance between just the two of them. But I wondered what their relationship was based on before the introduction of Hayley. We’re just kind of told they met and then they’re inseparable.

The plot is also pretty cliched. You won’t find anything particularly new here. But if you like the sort of story it is, you’ll like this one. The book could also do with a little more editing.

Lastly, and this isn’t a critique, just a heads up. This seems to be one of those series in which each book doesn’t have an arc and ending of its own. The book ends on a cliffhanger with nothing of note resolved.

About Crescent Calling:

crescent calling photoHayley has been doing all that she can to not think about Cole and Ryland, the two alphas who turned her life upside down six months ago. On the whole, she’s been doing great besides from them popping into her head every time she stops for more than a second, her days a game of trying to dodge every memory of them.

Her nights, however, have been taken up by dreams of an elf she rescued, who vanished into thin air leaving her with nothing but the mark of a little blue flower on her wrist. At first, Hayley thought the dreams were just that but now, now she worries that something is wrong with her dream man. Hayley embarks on a trek through Otherland, despite her wolf having been missing for the last six months, ready to do anything to save him. Anything, that is, except for escaping the dragon.

Neosai has lived for almost a decade next to the elven capital Leith, ten long, lonely, miserable years waiting for Haladaver to wake up and realize he was there, waiting. Ten years of collecting treasure, of preparing things to say to his elven ex-best friend, ten years of pining for a future he knew they could have together if they just found a creative solution. Ten years, until a silver-haired omega wolf waltzed onto his territory with Haladaver’s mark on her wrist.

Ryland has been hunting for months, trying to finish Blake’s pack off once and for all, and desperately trying not to think of the omega wolf who he knows isn’t thinking of him, or his ex-pack mate Cole. He left them together so their relationship could flourish. Or so he thinks, until Cole finally finds him, revealing that he’s gone wild without him. When they hear that Hayley is in trouble, Cole has only one thing on his mind; finding her again. Ryland has no choice but to follow.

my review

I liked this second book in the series better than book one. Hayley is a little more established, a little less mouse-like. I thought Neo was hilarious, and I liked seeing them get to know one another. Of her four mates, he is literally the only one we’ve actually seen her spend any pleasant time with.

Honestly, that’s one of my biggest complaints about this series so far. Hayley is supposed to be falling in love with these men that we, the reader, don’t get to know. Or worse, we get to know them and wonder why she’d love them. I have not warmed up to Ryland at all. And I’m a little disturbed that he is the only obvious person of color and also so obviously meant to be disliked. Maybe I’m supposed to feel sorry for him. But I don’t. I just dislike him.

I do have to say; I love that both pairs of men appear to be queer, platonic life partners. With Neo and Hal it’s explicit. Neo, after all, says he and Hal “were as gay as anyone could be without actually desiring the male form.” It’s not stated so baldly with Ryland and Cole, but the vibe is the same. This does leave Hayley feeling a little like a tool to give these men permission to love one another rather than being desired for herself, though.

There is also just something off in the series-scale pacing. Here, for example, we spend almost all of our time with Hayley and Neo, get only spicy-time flashes of Hal, and Cole and Ryland (who we spent the last book with) are afterthoughts. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to be getting attached to here. Where the reader’s attention is directed feels somewhat lopsided.

Lastly, like in book one. The writing is simple but functional. But the whole thing could do with just a little more editing.

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