Friday, August 23, 2013

Seasons of the Moon: The Cain Chronicles by S.M. Reine [Series Review]

I liked the original Seasons of the Moon series and I was terribly excited to hear that Rylie's adventures would continue in the Cain Chronicles.

Seasons of the Moon
1. Six Moon Summer
2. All Hallows' Moon
3. Long Night Moon
4. Gray Moon Rising

Seasons of the Moon: The Cain Chronicles
1. New Moon Summer - Kindle
2. Blood Moon Harvest - Kindle
3. Moon of the Terrible - Kindle
4. Red Rose Moon - Kindle
5. Darkmoon - Kindle
6. Of Wings and Wolves - Kindle
7. Alpha Moon - Kindle
The Cain Chronicles 1-4 - Kindle

S.M. Reine
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New Moon Summer
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: July 5, 2013

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Rylie is Alpha: the leader of the werewolves. They're an endangered species living in a sanctuary, and she's guarded them for two peaceful years.

The peace is shattered when somebody sends Rylie a threatening silver bullet. A new member of the pack goes missing. And to make things worse, her inner beast is strangely attracted to her boyfriend's brother, leaving her torn between the love of two men--one of them a werewolf, and the other a former hunter.
My Thoughts: For all the power Rylie holds as the Alpha, she's still just a girl working on finishing high school and worrying about whether or not she should go to college. Throw in some oopsie-daisy attraction to her boyfriend's brother and things get really tangled for the poor girl.

To be honest, her romantic life isn't even the worst of her worries. Missing werewolves, hunters on the prowl and someone who seems to have it out for Rylie in particular are putting additional strain on her. The poor girl is going to need plenty of allies to get out of this mess.

I'm going to tell you that I'm torn here on the romance angle. I've always liked Rylie and Seth together but I also like how dedicated Abel is to both Rylie and the pack. And with Seth away for months on end, Abel is her touchstone and the one who keeps her moving forward when she's worn down and pushed to her limits.

This is going to be an interesting ride, to say the least.

Blood Moon Harvest
Format: ebook
Source: purchased 
Date read: July 5, 2013
Synopsis (Goodreads):
Rylie's home has been turned into a battle zone by attacking hunters - and by her conflicted heart. Her wolf and human sides are in love with different men, and neither Seth nor Abel will give Rylie up without a fight.

To save her pack, Rylie will have to find out who Cain is. To save herself, she'll have to choose between the man she wants and the man she needs.
My Thoughts: Holy crumb. When things start happening, they REALLY start happening here. The pull Rylie's animal side feels toward Abel is kind of killing me. As much as I used to dislike Abel, I find myself rooting for him more and more as the story goes on. I have confusion, guys. CONFUSION.

This installment changes the pack dynamic in ways that could have big impact down the line, brings back someone I never thought we'd see again, and introduces an intriguing familial component that will likely rain down blood and terror before this is through. Hmmph. Family. They always hit the hardest, don't they?

Big things are coming. BIG! Onward.

Moon of the Terrible
Format: ebook
Source: purchased 
Date read: July 5, 2013
Synopsis (Goodreads):
Abel is struggling to find his footing at the werewolf sanctuary when he receives terrible news: the girl he loves and his brother have vanished. Seth calls to claim that they're eloping, but Abel knows it's a lie. There's no way that Rylie would get married without telling him. Not when the memory of her scorching kiss is still burning on his lips.

Certain that something is wrong, Abel drops everything to rescue Rylie and Seth - and stake his claim over his mate.
My Thoughts: Oooookay. So those things that were coming, they're here. And it's not good. And even when it could potentially be good, it's not good. Everybody's in a pickle! Cain's identity is revealed, Seth and Abel's mom just won't stay down and Rylie is floundering.

What does this mean for the pack? I have no idea. Levi's actions against Abel don't bode well. The ominous hints of what Cain and his crew have planned for the werewolves at the sanctuary are even worse. Rylie's so twisted up with everything that she's barely exerting her Alpha influence. And I'm kinda thinking that Seth needs to stop the brotherly competition and start acting like the smart guy I know he is.

Because the story isn't over yet. Go, Team Werewolf!

(I think I'm drifting closer to Abel's side of the equation with every installment. I *like* him, even when he's being domineering and kissing girls he probably shouldn't be kissing. Dangit.)

Red Rose Moon
Format: ebook
Source: purchased 
Date read: July 5, 2013
Synopsis (Goodreads):
Rylie Gresham, Alpha of the endangered werewolf species, is pregnant. The fact that she's only eighteen and maybe a tiny bit in love with her boyfriend's brother isn't even the worst part: the baby is going to be a werewolf, too. Certain that Seth is the father, she finally agrees to marry him, even if her heart is still filled with doubt.

Abel is being held captive by Cain when he hears about Rylie's condition - and the shocking circumstances surrounding the conception. Rylie and Abel have been mating on the full moons, so there's a chance that he's the father, and she has no clue. Now Abel has to escape Cain and crash the wedding before his mate marries his brother.

A zombie mother-in-law, back-stabbing hunters, and wicked morning sickness mean that they're all in for one heck of a party.
My Thoughts: Seriously, nothing says "family time with the Wilders" quite like someone trying to fillet someone else with a knife. Or claws. Even guns aren't out of the question. No, really. Seth and Abel's family have a whole lot of dysfunction going on. Beyond the evil side of the family attempting to kill them constantly, Seth and Abel are now at odds. While the brothers haven't always been buddy-buddy, I don't know how easily (or even IF) they're going to be able to come back from all this.

I'm very tangled up about these relationships. STILL. I like Seth with Rylie. I like Abel with Rylie. The fact that Mama Wilder disapproves of her with both her boys just makes me want them to figure out a way to share. SHARING IS GOOD, BOYS! All the cool werewolves are... no, wait. They're not. Scratch that.

I'm a little afraid to read the next installment. I WORRY ABOUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN! WORRY!

*ignores myself and continues reading*

Format: ebook
Source: purchased 
Date read: July 5, 2013
Synopsis (Goodreads):
Rylie Gresham has survived becoming a werewolf, going crazy from silver poisoning, and being hunted by her fiance's family. But that was nothing compared to the challenge Rylie faces now: being pregnant...with twins. And it definitely doesn't help that her fiance's brother has declared himself the father, either.

The brothers, Seth and Abel, are at each other's throat over Rylie, even as the twins are fast approaching term. But it may be too late for all of them. The government has revealed the existence of werewolves, threatening everything that Rylie holds dear. And the evil werewolf Cain is preparing for his final act of revenge: destroying the pack and stealing Rylie's children.
My Thoughts: I am not kidding IN THE LEAST when I say that this was one intense ride. There's treachery and backstabbing and frontstabbing and side-clawing. Okay, I might have made that last one up. That's what happens when you get carried away by emotion and the constant drain of an adrenaline rush. And this book? It brings the adrenaline.

No fooling, this was an excellent ending to Rylie's story. Her pregnancy throws a few kinks in her already chaotic life and she has to think of both her pack and her babies when she makes decisions. She's being hunted by some very bad people - namely Cain - and he's all about the trickery and lies. She has a junior werewolf who thinks he'd be a better leader than she would (with some of her wishy-washiness, this might be true, but the wolf in question doesn't have the Alpha ability to call forth the wolves when it's not their changing time and that's kinda a big selling point for me) and Seth and Abel are still at odds over where Rylie's heart lies.

The thing is, I don't think Rylie knew who she would pick until it was forced on her. As frustrating as that was at times, I totally understood. She loved and needed them both in her lives for very different reasons. And being a hormonal mess with the babies? Didn't help the choosing process.

There was a whole lot I enjoyed in this installment. It tied up all the story nicely while still leaving some things in the dark. And now I'm eyeballing books 6 & 7 because I want it all. *collapses*

Of Wings and Wolves
Format: ebook
Source: purchased 
Date read: July 25, 2013
Synopsis (Goodreads):
Summer Gresham knows that she’s different. After all, she’s the only twenty-year-old coed that shapeshifts into a wolf. But her unique nature is a well-hidden secret, so she’s baffled to be singled out for a prestigious internship. She’s even more stunned when she discovers that the man who wants to hire her—Nash Adamson—specifically requested Summer…and he won’t take no for an answer.

Nash has more than a few secrets of his own. Like Summer, he’s different, too: a rebel angel in exile. Summer is the key to his freedom, and her warmth and beauty stirs something inside of him that’s been sleeping for millennia. She almost makes him forget that he’s imprisoned.

Summer suddenly finds herself at the crux of an ancient war, and angels don’t care how many mortals get caught in the crossfire. Torn between saving Summer and freeing himself, Nash has to choose what matters most: their love, or his freedom.
My Thoughts: At the end of book 5, Rylie's baby twins return to Rylie and her crew all grown up. Which sounds confusing but it isn't. Because, you know, time moves differently in magical places and 20 years for the twins is only a week back on Earth. So, grown up. With a mom who's the same age or younger than they are. Which is going to be awkward to explain down the road. Or maybe not. Maybe that's one of those things you gloss over in public.

Anywho. This book follows Summer and Abram and they find out the truth that "Gran Gwen" has been hiding from them and find their way home. Throw in a sexy renegade angel, some nasty power plays, and even nastier minions of the person pulling the strings and you have a winner.

Did I mention the sexy angel? Because Nash has that sad, brooding vibe that gets to me.

I loved seeing Summer and Abram connect with their family again. The whole Abel/Summer interaction gave me a giggle, too. I'm excited that we'll see more of these characters in coming books because they are fun! *thumbs up* all around.

Alpha Moon
Format: ebook
Source: purchased 
Date read: July 28, 2013
Synopsis (Goodreads):
Rylie Gresham's world is ending, and this time, it has nothing to do with silver bullets...and everything to do with an impromptu visit from her mother.

Jessica has no idea her daughter is an Alpha werewolf in charge of the last surviving pack. Rylie is determined to keep her from learning the truth. But between her mate's stubbornness, airport security, and nosy family members, Rylie is soon to learn that being the Alpha doesn't necessarily mean that she's the one in control...
My Thoughts: Oh, this was a perfect ending to the Cain Chronicles. Rylie meets up with her mother again for the first time in years and not only has to deal with all the angst that comes along with that but also the danger of being exposed as a werewolf.

Meanwhile, the Union is hot to put the hurt on any preternaturals they come across. They are seriously not fun. In fact, they're fun-suckers.

I loved, loved, loved that we got to see Abel backing Rylie up and being a total stand up guy. For as much as I didn't like him as a person when he was first introduced, I am TOTALLY loving him as a character now. He's changed a lot since the original series and it works.

I'm sad to close out this series, but excited that we'll see more of Rylie and her crew in the Ascension series. YAY!

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