Unnatural by J.A. Belfield
Series: Holloway Pack #4
Published by J.Taylor Publishing
Published on: April 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
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.
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.