If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: Hook, Line, and Mated by Jenika Snow / @JenikaSnow @evernightpub

Title: Hook, Line, and Mated
Series: Sweet Water, Book 7
Author: Jenika Snow
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Release Date: November 20, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Book Purchased From: Amazon

Easton Pope, a moose shifter, is known in the town of Sweet Water as being a standoffish recluse. But he isn’t trying to please anyone, and the isolation suits him well. Even when he sees his mate and the instinct to claim her rides him hard, he tries to convince himself he doesn’t need her.

Jessie, a serval cat shifter, has been brought back to Sweet Water due to her aunt’s passing. With her emotions turbulent, running free in the woods as her serval sounds like something to let off steam. But when she meets her mate in the towering form of a moose, she knows she can’t handle being claimed on top of grieving—so she runs, too.

They’ve both run from each other and their mating. Can Easton and Jessie complete the mating, or will their own hang-ups stop them from being together?

Other books in this series

Easton isn't looking for a mate, neither is Jessie. He's seemingly content to be alone while she's grieving. Their first meeting isn't even an actual meeting as Easton left the diner before introducing himself. I was kind of baffled by that. His reaction wasn't typical of Alpha heroes in paranormal romances. They're more "See mate, meet mate, claim mate", you know? I don't even know how he walked away. He struggled with staying or going, so nicely described by Ms. Snow, that there was no doubt in my mind leaving was indeed hard to do.

That doesn't mean the whole mating thing was easy for Jessie. Grieving the loss of her only relative, the only support she'd had for most of her life, she wasn't in the right mind space to focus on a mate. She admitted as much and it was...hard to read for me. But I love that Easton knew something was wrong before actually knowing. He gave her space and time, wanted her to tell him when she was ready.

"I just want you to know I'm not going anywhere, and that when you're ready I'm here." (Easton, Kindle Loc505)

Aside from Easton's willingness, uncomfortable as it made him, to step back and let Jessie set the pace for the relationship, I loved (really, really loved) that this was not an insta-lust/insta-love romance. It has its place in stories, for sure, but it didn't have a place here. Ms. Snow let the relationship develop naturally, put both Easton and Jessie in out-of-comfort-zone situations so they could learn to be comfortable with one another, let them work through their individual hangups before the claiming. And that moment? Not the sex, but the claiming, the marking? It felt right. It was beautiful and right.

Jessie's grief and mind space. I wasn't expecting to understand both as deeply as I did. When I read this story in November, I'd just lost a cousin. She was young and left behind a very young daughter. I cried while reading this story the first time. Jessie's grief was so palpable and it mirrored my own. Her disconcerted state of mind was how I felt for weeks after hearing about my cousin. And every now and then, I still cry about it, my heart still aches, and I lose focus of the everyday because I'm thinking of her. That was Jessie as she grieved. And I got it. And it connected me to this story more than my love for paranormal romances.

This was more than I expected. Some may argue it's because of what happened that it is this way to me. I'm okay with that. The greatest stories I read are the ones I connect with, ones that touch my heart, ones that soothe my spirit. Yes, I was broken when I read this but I don't think I would appreciate it as much as I do if I wasn't. Truthfully, I can't read this story, and I've read it several times since then, without remembering my cousin. Not the loss, but the good times. Her laugh, her smile, her incredible straightforwardness. I still get teary-eyed when I read this story, I know that'll get better, and I'm okay with that too.

Ms. Snow, I loved and enjoyed this story. I know you didn't write this story just for me but it felt like it. Thank you so much for penning it. You'll never know how much it means to me.

Jenika is a nurse, mother and wife. She lives in the too hot northeast with her husband and their two children. Thankfully, her husband shares her unusual sense of humor and naughty nature.
Writing is Jenika's number one passion, but since life gets in the way, she isn't able to write full-time (at least not yet.) Jenika writes erotic paranormal, contemporary and sci/fi romances. Her publishing houses are Siren-BookStrand, Total-E-Bound, Passion in Print, and Evernight publishing.
Jenika started writing at a very young age. Her first story consisted of a young girl who traveled to an exotic island and found a magical doll. That story as long since disappeared, but her passion for writing has stayed strong.

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