The Ulfric's Mate

Leona J. Bushman
The Ulfric's Mate
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Publisher
Breathless Press
Release Date
July 2012
ISBN
9781771010849
Series
Book 1 of The War of the Weres
Genre
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Vamps & Shifters Romance

SUMMARY
Nolan and Alexandria fight their sexual attraction, but can't deny the pull of being mates, despite a serial murder investigation.

Nolan Littlebull is the alpha of the Wahpawhat pack of Werewolves and the lead detective on a series of murders of pregnant women from his pack. Torn between human justice and were justice, he travels deep onto the Yakama Reservation tracking the ones responsible. He is attacked by one of the rival pack, only to be defended by another from the rival pack.

Alexandria George is the healer for the Lupins. She defends the mysterious wolf in their territory from her pack's bully and escapes with the stranger.

Nolan and Alex face the complications of being mated and together they must find and identify the killer while facing an uncertain future.


Book Review by Victoria Lane (reviewer)
Nov 17, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
109 people found the following review helpful
THE ULFRIC'S MATE, Book 1 in the War of the Weres series by Leona J. Bushman, combines traditional werewolf lore and a Romeo and Juliet themed romance with some other shape-shifting species added for variety. I give the book 2 stars; it was a fairly enjoyable take on a time-honored theme – what happens when you fall in love with your enemy – but several issues distracted from my overall enjoyment of the book. I would definitely read the next book in the series in the hopes that greater attention to detail resulted in a more satisfying read.

THE ULFRIC'S MATE details the meeting and mating of Nolan Littlefield, detective and alpha of the Wahpawat pack of werewolves, and Alexandria George, doctor and healer of the Lupin pack. While Nolan is out tracking a killer of pregnant females in his pack, he is saved by Alex from an attack by Boris, the alpha male of Alex's pack. Alex is half-human, and since her mother has hidden Alex's abilities, neither Boris nor the rest of her pack know that Alex has the ability to shape-shift and hear others' thoughts.

Alex and Nolan are immediately attracted to each other and learn that they are both telepathic. Because of Alex's medical knowledge and inability to sit around a police station all day with nothing to do, Nolan enlists her help with his investigation into the murders. Soon Alex and Nolan learn that they are mates, and both accept this fact with aplomb. Through their investigation, the characters learn more about the rivalries and alliances among several groups of weres in the area. The rivalry between the Wahpawat and Lupin packs, though, is the main focus in this story, and the mystery of who is betraying who deepens.

The development of the relationship between Nolan and Alex was done fairly well. Despite the fact that their relationship developed at the speed of light, it is still carefully crafted to comport with the human side of their characters. The way Nolan approaches Alex is careful and considerate. He is not the domineering alpha male that is stereotypical of the genre. Especially in the beginning of their relationship, he asks questions and seeks permission instead of just taking liberties to order her life. Additionally, there is a stated species-specific reason that explains why they are mates and feel the attraction they do. These details make the romance between Nolan and Alex believable. The love and sex scenes are explicit, but few in number and appropriate in context. I'm not sure what criteria the publisher used to give this a level 2 heat rating, but the book contains fairly explicit nudity and sex scenes. Granted these occur later in the story, but still…

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book. I was elated that I did not guess at the outset who the traitor was, but I was disappointed that the mystery element of the book fizzles out towards the end of the book. It seems like there is this big build up about who the traitor is, and then the reader is left thinking, "Oh – was that it?" Likewise, the conclusion of the book is also a bit anticlimactic. I suspect that if the last scenes involving Roxy and Boris after the fight were moved to an epilogue, then the Alex/Nolan relationship portion of the storyline would more smoothly resolve itself and the anticipation/ suspense leading to the next book in the series would be resurrected.

The storyline, however, is impeded by certain forced scenes and illogical actions on the part of the characters. When Nolan and Alex are discussing the killer's motives, it takes an extremely long time for Nolan to grasp Alex's hypothesis, even though he has just stated the same conclusion only a few minutes before. He says he has a hard time understanding the killer's motivation, but later straight up says that he would understand a human's motivation. Since the killer's motivation is power, that whole analysis seems forced to give Alex some added value to the situation when it is entirely unnecessary. Situations like this made the book a tad difficult to read at times. At this particular scene in the beginning, I put the book down and wondered if I really wanted to keep reading.

The rhythm and tempo of the book could also have used some more attention. Several things made the book a bit choppy. Connections between characters' actions were off. (On stage it's referred to as blocking; on screen you would notice that an actor's hand is raised and in the next frame, it is down.) There was a lack of cohesion in places where the character does one thing, and then in the next sentence the action is reiterated a bit differently. While surely this technique can be done for emphasis, none was appropriate in the places I noticed it. Rather, it seemed like the sentence was reworked and the old sentence not removed. Also, at times it seemed like new topics/subjects were introduced without any finesse, and I was left wondering, "Did I miss something?"

The indication of time passage was also vague. I wasn't sure how much time elapsed between scenes - if something happened on the same day as another, or if it was a couple days later. Add to all of that misspellings of characters' names, e.g., Mary instead of Marty, and errors in comma usage and subject-verb agreements, and these technical issues added up to distract from the storyline.

Overall, I liked the premise and am definitely looking forward to what happens next in the storyline, but I hope that the second book leaves the distracting technical elements on the cutting room floor.
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