Kai, an Alpha werewolf, lurks in the nearby trees watching her bleed out. He chooses to save her the only way he knows how, by changing her. No one is prepared for what happens next. The tides turn in favor of the werewolves. The Matefinder has been found, and she is more powerful than anybody ever imagined. But is she prepared to be the most hunted werewolf in history?
I've really become enamored with these werewolf novels, and Matefinder has managed to land on my top ten list. I think the things that make a werewolf romance novel stand out among all the rest is good world building, a strong emotional connection between the main characters and conflict that is original instead of overused. The author did an amazing job with these three things and much more.
World building: The pack's rules concerning dominance were so interesting. I've never encountered a werewolf novel that goes into detail about the physical and emotional toll that sustained eye contact will take between two wolves. The way they ascertain a wolf's position in the pack through eye contact instead of physical violence was a stroke of genius, and it happens within the first few pages of the book so you're already immersed in the culture and customs of this author's take on werewolves and you're given a reason to cheer for Aurora as she determines where her place is in this new world she's just been thrust into. The hierarchy of the race is intricate and logical though supernatural in nature. A paranormal author always has to strike that balance between what is supernatural and what is believable. They take a species that doesn't exist and ask the reader to believe in them for the few hours they have with them. The rules of this world were laid out and followed perfectly, making every aspect of this fictitious plot a momentary reality for me. Beautifully done there.
Strong multi-dimensional characters: I am a fan of dominant males, the kind that take charge and want to protect their women, but I am also a fan of women who are fierce and ready to take care of themselves. This book had both of those types of characters falling in love with one another which made for steamy scenes that still managed to be teen appropriate for which I was grateful. On the other side of these fierce personalities we find a soft aspect to Kai where Aurora is concerned, and a vulnerable side to Aurora due to some seriously taumatic experiences she's suffered. These different facets to their personalities gives their characters more scope and likability. Kai and Aurora are simply magical together, and the give and take of their relationship coupled with the outer conflicts they are faced with helps to develop not only their individual characters, but their relationship as well. Plenty of set-ups and payoffs in that department.
Plot: This plot is super interesting. The author has given Aurora the gift of Matefinder, a crucial supernatural power that enables Aurora to help members of her race find their mates. Throw in the ever growing threat of extinction for werewolves, vampires who are interested in Aurora for their own plans for dominance and furthering their race, intelligence agencies out to determine if werewolves are friends or foes, and Kai's determination to protect Aurora at all costs and you've got an explosion of plots and sub-plots filled with the best kind of outer and inner conflict imaginable. Can you tell how much I loved this book?
I could go on and on about Matefinder, but then I would be revealing too much and ruining the book for you. So I'll just say, "Buy the book, dangit," and then you can enjoy it as much as I did. I highly recommend his novel to all paranormal romance fans whether they are fans of werewolf novels or not. Leia Stone, you are my new favorite author!
I gave it five cherry blossoms.