Black Rook by Kelly Meade
Series: Cornerstone Run Trilogy #1
Published by InterMix
Published on: July 15, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
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She never saw this coming…
Brynn Atwood is a low-level Magus whose unpredictable precognitive powers have made her an outcast among her people—and an embarrassment to her highly-regarded father. After a frightening vision in which her father is murdered by a loup garou man, Brynn decides to prove herself by finding the killer, and stopping them at any cost.
Her target is Rook McQueen, the son of a small-town loup garou Alpha. Despite being the youngest of three, Rook is first in line to inherit the role of Alpha, a duty he isn't sure he's capable of fulfilling. When Brynn finally meets Rook, she doesn't expect the attraction that draws her to him—and him to her.
No longer believing him a murderer, Brynn and Rook strike an alliance to find her father's real killer. But when his older brother is targeted by an unknown enemy, Rook will have to choose between his growing feelings for Brynn and his duty as the future Alpha of his community.
INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE NEXT TITLE IN THE CORNERSTONE TRILOGY, GRAY BISHOP
Urban Fantasy author, Kelly Meding, has made the jump to Paranormal Romance in style with the first book in her CORNERSTONE RUN TRILOGY, BLACK ROOK. To say that I fell head over heels in love with the McQueen brothers would be putting it mildly when in fact this series might just be the best thing that’s happened to werewolves since sliced bread. I adored the loup garou mythology, three dimensional characters, chess inspired plot maneuvers, and slow burn romance. My only complaint is that I had to wait until the 90% mark for Brynn and Rook to get horizontal, but really that’s more a personal preference than a legit gripe, so I won’t hold that against Meade (much) because otherwise, this novel was exceptional!
Being the werewolf fanatic that I am, the number one thing that I look forward to whenever I start a new series is the author’s own unique spin on my favourite supes. And, Kelly Meade most certainly did NOT disappoint with her loups garous! Usually I expect there to be one or two twists on the typical lore, but in this case what I received was a whole new world. I loved the use of a wolf’s colour as a power/rank indicator that also comes with its own exclusive traits that range from procreation to special abilities. I was especially fascinated by Meade’s white loups garous, but of course… she’s saving Knight’s novel until last. Shifting is well explained, and I really enjoyed the run (pack) dynamics. The buck doesn’t stop here though, there are also Magi, vampires, and hybrids in the CORNERSTONE RUN TRILOGY universe which makes it a very well-rounded read from a paranormal perspective.
The plot is ingeniously crafted, and reminiscent of a chess match where the opponents take turns and must adjust their strategy depending on what moves their foe makes. The character names and wolf colours tie in to this as well which only further added to this book’s one-of-a-kind story line. In the earlier chapters the pawns and chess master are clearly identifiable, but as the tale progresses and the power shifts, things get a lot more interesting. The author’s Urban Fantasy background is evident in the main story arc, and will continue to serve her well in future installments. In no way did this novel feel like your typical werewolf Paranormal Romance, so if you’re a reader that lives in constant fear of mate insta-love, you can rest easy because you’re safe with Meade.
Brynn is kind of the black sheep of the Magus thanks to being born the ‘second’ child, and gifted with unreliable precognitive powers in a community that prides itself on control. I admired her bravery, and loyalty to her father in the face of a heartbreaking vision, and her determination to do whatever it takes to set things right. Rook is a colourful character with his rockstar past, and potential Alpha future. I think that his brother, Knight, stole a bit of his thunder, but I still liked him as a match for Brynn. The romance is subtle and flirtatious, and culminates in one sexy scene towards the end. This book doesn’t score many points on the Richter scale which was a tad disappointing given the genre and the reason why I’m deducting half a rating.
BLACK ROOK was a fast favourite with this rabid reader making the CORNERSTONE RUN TRILOGY a surefire winning series that’s not to be missed.
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