Risk Leidolf, both man and hellhound with the ability to shift, has been bound to the evil witch Lusse who assimilates the power from other witches into herself to strengthen her own power. Sent to capture Kara Shane, he finds himself drawn to her, torn between protecting her and killing her. When she encounters a hellhound, Kara finds herself immobilized and terrified. All her childhood memories flood her mind. Can she trust Risk to help her find sister Kelly? Will this uneasy matching and quest for the missing twin lead to freedom or will the power of carefully built alliances unleash a power that will destroy them all?
This book was a wonderful shocker for me. I don't normally choose the werewolf and beast combo in my paranormal reads but I loved this book. I hate Alpha males and Risk is definitely the ultimate alpha in the original sense of the word --- the alpha leader of a hellhound pack --- but I loved the character of Risk! He may be an Alpha hellhound but he uses his mind and imagination too to create all sorts of subtle alliances.
The characterization draws the reader in from the first pages. The reader experiences their inner conflicts. The paranormal man-beast Risk is so much more than just a genre indicator --- Risk lives it, the reader experiences it, and the dramatic tension is grounded in it. Kara's mixture of fear and independent spunk makes her a perfect match for the hero and a reading delight. Lori Devoti's fictional world creates intriguing reflections and variations on the theme of power with imagery, plot and characterization. The well-researched underlying Norse mythology creates a vivid setting for the final action. As a former student of Medieval Norse literature, I particularly appreciated how Lori Devoti transformed the mythology to create a breathtaking image and unique paranormal fictional world. UNBOUND took me from from werewolf scoffer to hellhound lover.
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