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Review: Unnatural by J.A. Belfield

Review: Unnatural by J.A. Belfield
Unnatural by J.A. Belfield
Series: Holloway Pack #4
Published by J.Taylor Publishing
Published on: April 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.

Infuriating ARCReview Must-Read

It seems as though this series alternates between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance with each new installment. CAGED’s plot was very action-y while as UNNATURAL’s focused more on love; there’s still plenty high octave moments in this novel, but ultimately the entire story revolves around Kyle and Brook’s relationship. I finished book 3 thinking “hey, these cat shifters aren’t half bad”, then I met the rest of Nicholls’ family. As much as I enjoyed learning about the inner workings of the Coalition, there were times when their views on women made my blood boil, and I kind of wish the main couple’s HEA had included the Pack slaughtering all of the kitties. J.A. Belfield definitely succeeds in creating antagonists that you’ll love to hate.

I took an immediate liking to Brook in CAGED, and have been looking forward to reading her story ever since. Little did I know that she’s actually the complete opposite of her entire race, so with the exception of Nicholls, I won’t be adding these shifters to my list of favourites anytime soon. I enjoyed learning about their world, and thought the author did a good job of incorporating feline traits into her characters, but at the end of the day that doesn’t change the fact that at their core, cats are selfish cruel animals. Brook’s sole purpose within the Coalition is to bring kittens into the world which is appalling enough in itself without adding ridiculous chauvinistic rules into the mix.

Nicholls is expected to Chose a mate by her 25th birthday, get knocked up, give birth, and then repeat the cycle all over again with a different Tom. She’s basically a glorified broodmare. And, that’s not even the worst of it! When her parents find out that she’s been sleeping with a dog in an attempt to escape her fate; they beat her, lock her in a cellar, and play sick mind games. Turns out her own family are even bigger monsters than the vamps that kidnapped her in the previous installment—out of the frying pan and into the fire. Her first glimpse of freedom actually comes in the form of a harlots ball, or as the Coalition likes to call it, a “Seasonal Party”. Needless to say, this book made me angrier and angrier with each new chapter I read.

Kyle just didn’t do it for me the way the Holloway boys do, so it’s probably a good thing that this novel focused more on Brook’s story than on his. I liked the Ethan and Sean moments, and was a little surprised to see Gabe already mated. I’m guessing that happens in one of the novellas that I have yet to read—or at least I’m hoping that it does, because I really love his character. Belfield is relentless with the cat/dog clichés and humour which I adored! And, by the end of this book there wasn’t a doubt left in my mind as to why I prefer werewolves over panthers; give me loyalty and family instead malice and insolence any day. The only exception other than Brook was Clive, and I’m still not 100% sure what his motivations were.

UNNATURAL casts touchy subjects like prejudice and sexism in a paranormal light, and demonstrates that HEA’s are possible, even between cats and dogs.

Holloway Pack Series

My Review

My Review

My Review
Unnatural by J A Belfield

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. Ohh, that cover is intense! I didn’t even notice the couple at first, me likey 🙂 Good to hear that this has good antagonists since I bet we all love us some characters we love to hate. I think it’s awesome that the author left the cats to their nature so to speak since they are selfish and proud even though Brook doesn’t really sound like my kind of character. Omg, so they really punish her hard? Man, that sucks! Even though this book clearly infuriated you (ha, love the elderly lady pout) then I’m glad you enjoyed this book as a whole:) Great review, Carmel!

    • The covers in this series keep on getting better and better! Belfield is really good at capturing the animal sides of her shifters. 🙂

  2. I agree with Siiri that cover is intense. It sounds like the story was too which is a good thing. 🙂 🙂 I think anytime tough subjects are tackled they are infuriating but it does sound like in the end everything came together! Cats and Dogs LOL

    • I’m surprised cats & dogs don’t come up more in Paranormal fiction. I’ve only read like… 2 books that have featured that kind of story line. Oh well, it just makes this one even more unique!

  3. I am glad you liked this one. I have been meaning to try this series for a really long time now and have just never gotten around to it.
    The cover is fabulous on this.

    • Pssst! Caged is on sale for only $0.99 at the moment… 😀

  4. HEAs between cats and dogs?!? Say it isn’t so! *snort* SOunds like the MCs family sucks. Poor girl! Cats and dogs living together…madness!

    • Hehe but that’s what makes it even more fun! The absurdity of it all. LOL

  5. hahaha… I love that it is an infuriating, must read! I do believe thanks to some mad one-clicking this year that I have book one on kindle!

    • Things always get interesting when a book is both infuriating and a must. 🙂

  6. Definitely trying this soon. I just bought book 1! And wow! Her family sounds disgusting!!! Great review!

    • Yeah, I think I had a permanent frown on my face when I read this book. LOL Not because it was bad, just cuz they were such a-holes!

  7. Wow. I’m already angry on Brook’s behalf just after reading your review, I can only imagine how much I’ll be fuming reading the actual book! I like a book that can elicit strong emotions though, so I think I would enjoy this one overall. Like you Carmel, it’s clear I’m definitely a wolf girl rather than a panther girl:)

    • Strong emotions are usually a good sign while reading; it’s just hard to resist yelling at some of the characters out loud. Hehe

  8. Carmel you are definitely keeping me on my toes. I haven’t heard of this series but based on your thoughts, clearly this is another series to add to my every growing TBR. ♥

    • You’ve already added enough books to my pile thank you very much; it’s about time that I return the favour. 😉

  9. This series is new to me. I always enjoy shapeshifter type books and think I would enjoy this. Don’t you hate when they keep pulling out important stuff and shoving it in novellas. It is one of my new pet peeves.

    • YES! But, J.A. sent me a tweet to a free story online that I missed which helped. I love authors like that!

  10. I love the cover Carmel!, I don’t know, but I get the feeling these shifters are not very likable, but than again I know how to deal with chauvinistic males, don’t I? LOL

    • Well, they are cats after all Lup. That pretty much says it all. LOL

  11. Oh poor Nicholls, that’s really sad… It’s sometimes difficult with books to have a limit between UF and PNR, but it’s rate it alternated like that, it’s interesting. Like that it’s a little something for everyone.

    • Exactly! I like that I don’t have to look elsewhere for my PNR / UF fix because this series has enough of both to satisfy me.

  12. I was going to ask if you were feeling a little bloodthirsty today with the kill all the kitties comment (and that made Chess hide BTW) but then seeing what her family did to her when they learned that she was seeing Kyle??? Oh you’re totally justified!

    • Hahaha Yes, I guess it has been an anti-cat kind of day… Feel free to send me hate mail. 😉

  13. I didn’t know about the series and this book sounds like fun. I’m going to check first book in the series.
    Love the cover by the way.

    • The third book was my fav and it’s on sale for $0.99 today, pretty much everywhere fyi.

  14. The humor and the hea with cats and dogs make this sound like fun.

  15. “… I kind of wish the main couple’s HEA had included the Pack slaughtering all of the kitties”

    lol – a comment about slaughtering kitties shouldn’t make me laugh, but it did. Nice job, Carmel. 😀 This sounds like a good series. I don’t mind too much that it shifts between UF and PNR aspects.

    • Ditto! Carmel, you’re so ruthless! I love it!

      I love my canines I’m not sure about panthers though…

    • Glad you laughed instead of thinking I was a crazy person. LOL

  16. Yeah, the first book was good but I never went back to the series and I don’t know why. I guess I should get my ass in gear.

    • The first book was my least favourite. I hope you’ll give this series a second chance because it gets WAY better.