For 15 years Maria Devane has been desperately, passionately in love with Dante Romano. But despite loving him with all of her heart and soul, Maria knows that Dante can never give all of himself back - at least not all the time. Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal. During those times, he wanders far and wide, leaving Maria alone. He can't choose when he shifts; the transition is often abrupt and, as he gets older, the time he spends in human form is gradually decreasing. But Maria, who loves him without hesitation, wouldn't trade their unusual relationship for anything.
Since the beginning, she has kept his secret, knowing that their love is worth the danger. But when a string of brutal attacks occur in local parks during the times when Dante is in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies she's been telling about her life have turned into lies she's telling herself.
©2012 Sharon Shinn (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"[Shinn] is one of the best fantasists." (Alternative Worlds)
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"More mature content than her previous works"
I think of Sharon Shinn's previous works as Young Adult material. This book has explicit sexual content, which was a surprising change. Also, the main character is deeply rooted in reality, although some characters have fantasy charcteristics. So I wasn't swept away in fantasy, as I was initially hoping, since the Mystic and Ryder series is so much fun.
However, this book is an interesting character story of what goes on behind the scenes when a person is living a life acceptable in "polite company". Fascinating and inciteful, and applicable to the real world in many ways.
Another admirable book by Sharon Shinn
"Behind the scenes of loving a shapeshifter"
As you can guess from the summary, this is unabashedly a love story. Maria has spent the last fifteen years turning herself into the perfect foil for her shapeshifter boyfriend. She covers for him, protects his secrets, and eagerly looks forward to each moment he’s able to retain human form. But as the book opens, she’s starting to want more in her life, and unsettling things are happening to make her take a closer look at what’s going on around her.
Maria’s an interesting character, which is a good thing because we are very much inside her head throughout the book. She’s insightful, thoughtful, and honest with herself about the places her views aren’t perfectly black and white. The pace is relaxed and leisurely, so the book was easy to put down and pick back up again. At least, that was true up until the last few hours. Then things picked up and I didn’t want to stop listening.
This reads like a stand-alone novel and comes to a full conclusion, enough so that I was surprised to find out there’s a second related book due out in the fall of 2012. From the synopsis, the second book will probably follow new characters and some minor characters from this one. There was one place in this book where I wasn’t able to fully suspend my disbelief, and it sounds like that may be addressed in the next book. So much for my one complaint!
The narrator was very good. I thought she caught the regional inflections well, and she did a great job with voices.
Overall, I enjoyed this! It’s a nicely read, well-written paranormal love story, which is just what I would expect from this author. Oh, and if you’re asking yourself, “Is this going to be too much of a love story for me?” Then yes, it probably is.
"This Shapeshifter Series is Quirky"
I think this first book is more mainstream, as you have the sexy werewolf--but MAN O' MAN does he come with a dose of angst! His ladylove is something of a study in relationship dynamics...but so heroic, loyal, strong, and likeable. The rural areas of Missouri that are the backdrop for these books is so beautiful, having been in the area--I love being able to see it in my mind as I listen. I admit, the books start a little slow...but she is stage setting and doing a lovely job of it. Stick it out, there are clues everywhere for the current storyline, setting up the next....Sharon is one clever girl. I recommend this series to you, I guarantee it will take you along on some unexpected paths.
"Spellbinding tale of relationships"
My favorite part - “I've remembered that most of life is about small, essential connections, so unobtrusive, so elastic, that you scarcely realize they're actually holding you together. The big ones-the great, grand emotional bonds-those are the ones that break, the ones that fail you, the ones that give way and send you careening toward the foot of the bleak and jagged canyon. It's the tough, gnarled, unadorned ties that really do bind, that never let you fall all the way down into darkness.”
"Not good at all Sharon"
I could not even get past the first few chapters then i just gave up on this boring book. Narrator is horrible and the story is very dull. Nothing like i expected from Sharon after enjoying the Twelve Houses series so much. :(
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