Summer Moon by Jan DeLima
Series: Celtic Wolves #2
Published by ACE
Published on: September 30, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Werewolves
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She won’t be ruled again…
Rosa Alban has been obedient her entire life. But when her alpha husband dies, she seizes the opportunity to flee the oppressive Guardians—the rulers of the secret shapeshifter world. Her flight instantly brands her as a pack traitor, and she has no choice but to seek protection from a neighboring tribe by marrying one of their sons.
Known as the Beast of Merin, Luc Black loyally plays the part of unwanted son and devoted brother. He realizes marrying Rosa will strengthen his tribe’s territory, but he has no intention of loving ever again. Still, he’s unprepared for the intense physical need the wild she-wolf awakens in him.
When the Guardians hone in on Rosa, Luc must fight to protect his new bride. And as war descends, the unlikely allies discover their destinies are irrevocably entwined…
The sequel in Jan DeLima’s CELTIC WOLVES series has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 because I really liked the groundwork she laid in book 1, and fully expected this second installment to make my werewolf top 10 list once again this year. It only took a couple of chapters for me to fall in love with this author’s rich mythology, gripping characters, and captivating storytelling all over again, and to realize that CELTIC MOON barely even scratched the surface of this writer’s vast fictional universe.
One of the things that I enjoyed the most about the first novel was that the protagonists were older, so I was pleased that DeLima continued along that same path in SUMMER MOON. Rosa and Richard have both previously been married, are several centuries old on account of their shifter blood, and that maturity really shined through in both their personalities and actions. Their earlier relationships were vastly different with one not being able to escape hers soon enough, while as the other is still lamenting over his loss some seventy years later. I liked the way that the author demonstrated how their past loves shaped their futures because getting readers to sympathize with a character who can’t let go of his long deceased wife while being married to another is no easy task. I never resented Richard, and I think the inclusion of Koko’s journal entries and artwork played a large role in that.
Rosa’s courage, strong protective streak, and loyalty made her the ideal wolf queen. I liked that rather than being cowed by years of abuse and neglect, she instead bided her time, and waited for an opportune moment to strike. Once her inner alpha was unleashed there was no stopping her forward march to free her people, even if it meant tying herself to yet another man. However, from her perspective, marrying Luke was indeed better than being raped by eight Guardians because of the council’s horrendous idea to revive an archaic fertility ritual in order to keep their blood ‘pure.’ The CELTIC WOLVES world is definitely not a kind one, but I appreciated that the author took the time to show Rosa what true love is supposed to feel like. The sex scenes were few in number, yet the steam factor was through the roof. This story sucked me right in with its mesmerizing mix of ugly and beautiful.
I’m grateful that this installment came with a glossary of terms because between the Celtic vocabulary and Fantasy writing style, it’s obvious that DeLima’s first career was as a researcher / librarian. As much as I enjoy this author’s way with words, it’s also her downfall at times. Now, her world-building on the other hand is absolutely phenomenal! I enjoyed learning more about the Guardians, who were only mentioned in passing in CELTIC MOON, and the lore surrounding the Beddestyr (Walkers), Bleidd (shifters born wolf), and Hen Was (slaves) was downright fascinating. There’s even a bit of Fae mythology which I suspect will come into play later down the line on account of the ending. I’m hoping for Elen and Cormack’s story next, but really there are so many great secondary characters to choose from that I’m sure I’ll be happy no matter which couple shows up in book 3.
SUMMER MOON is proof that Jan DeLima’s writing debut was no fluke—there’s a new werewolf queen in town (and I don’t mean Rosa)!
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I don’t think I know about this author or I don’t think so but now I’m definitely curious and I think I should try book 1 because I love a good were book and this one sounds perfect for me. Thank you Carmel for the great review!
This is closer to Fantasy Romance than PNR, so if you`re looking for a different kind of werewolf love story, this is a good way to go.
I read book one on your recommendation and I’m really glad I did. It was a great read. I just added this one to my TBR list to get to ASAP. It is very refreshing to read a book about more mature characters. Even the books that are not YA or NA, tend to have that first love feel to them. Nice to have something else on occasion. Great review.
Melanie Simmons recently posted…Storm Front Audiobook by Jim Butcher (Review)
I agree with your first love feel thing; I can only take so many virgins. LOL What’s so wrong with a woman with experience?
Why I didn’t know about this series? This book sounds fantastic and if it was one of your most anticipated reads of this year I’m sure first book must have been really good.
I’m adding first book to my TBR.
BookaholicCat recently posted…Review: An American Duchess by Sharon Page
To be fair, I actually have two most anticipated lists; one that’s 100% werewolves, and one that’s everything else. LOL
Awesome! I am going to add this series to my wishlist 🙂 21 day spending freeze so it will be a bit before I can pick it up.
That sucks, and right after library month too. Oh well, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I hope that this one turns out to be worth the wait!
Rose’s courage makes her sound like a great character to read about
I wasn’t sure if DeLima could top Sophie Thibodeau from book 1, but she did. 🙂
4.5 stars! Celtic Moon series sounds like something I need to check out. Maybe I should wait until they are all out. I abhore waiting for books to be released.
Karen Blue recently posted…Blog Tour- BLYSS by J.C. Cliff – Review, & Giveaway
I’m not sure how many installments are planned in this series, however I do enjoy a good binge read from time to time. Hehe
Wow–it has a glossary of terms? Sounds like heavy reading.
Stephanie Faris recently posted…What Do You Really Need?
Many series do nowadays, but I’d much rather than that be horribly confused.
Wow. That is a mating ritual I definitely would like to avoid at all costs. *shudders* This world is clearly a brutal one in many ways, but the characters sound amazing and I can’t wait to run to Amazon and pick up the first book! Celtic Moon series here I come!
I cringe at the mere mention of rape in fiction, so I was relieved when Richard stepped up to the plate. Happy reading!
It’s been such a long time since I’ve read a good werewolf book. I used to love reading them. Combining the Celtic culture/myths and werewolf legends makes my head spin but I’m glad it works.
Joy (Joyousreads) recently posted…The TBR Tag
It’s a lot to take in for sure, although this is a great series for peeps like myself who love world-building.
Yay for a solid second read! I love it when that happens.
kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Whisper the Dead by Alyxandra Harvey
It’s sad that we get excited over strong sequels because they are such rare occurrences.
These two are on my wishlist so I must have found them here. Glad to see they’re both good. I hate the sophomore slump.
Rhianna recently posted…RhiReading Un-6th-Blogiversary GIVEAWAY!
If there’s a werewolf in it, then yes, chances are it was one of my recommendations. LOL
This sounds like it’s going to be an amazing series. I can’t believe this is the first time I’m hearing about this. Why aren’t more blogs talking about it?! I’m adding these to my list right now.
Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous
I think Delima is still beyond modest about her writing skills, but if this installment does well we might start seeing a lot more of her in the future.
Somehow I missed your review of the first book, or it could probably already be on my TBR, but now a great second installment puts a little bit or urgency on the first book 🙂
Now I have to go and check my list on Amazon.
Lupdilup recently posted…Storm Front Audiobook by Jim Butcher (Review)
There’s no news on audio versions of this series yet, so Melanie might get the jump on you seeing how she’s already read Celtic Moon.
Since you’re my go to for werewolf recs, I’ll certainly be picking up this series, Carmel. I love the sound of everything about it. And it’s new to me. Thanks for the lovely review and recommendation. 🙂
Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Special Feature ~ OctobeRec Fest**
Yay! I’m glad to hear that my rep precedes me, Brandee! I hope you enjoy DeLima’s werewolves as much as I do.
Anything that says Celtic has a way to fascinate me and make me want to check it out even if it was not previously on my sights, and if the series has just started like this one, that’s just one added pro! Adding it to my GR list!
Great review Carmel!
Pili recently posted…Mark This Book Monday: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan!!
The next novel isn’t due out until summer/fall 2015 (I think), so you have loads of time to read the first two.
another series i was really tempted to try and somehow forgot about; i didn’t know characters were older but i do think i would love that change and from the review yes it could be on my favourite werewolves list too.
i really need to keep a eyes for it now^^
miki recently posted…He Ain’t Lion ( Ridgeville1 ) by Celia Kyle
Older characters aren’t that unusual in paranormal cuz a lot of supes are immortal, but in this particular series they actually act their age for a change instead of being perpetually stuck in their 20’s.
“This story sucked me right in with its mesmerizing mix of ugly and beautiful.” Love that! I saw this the other day and thought it sounded pretty amazing, but then realized it was book two. It sounds like the world building and mythos should be read in book one first? I’m adding this to my huge list tbr. Between you, Jessica and Lorna today, I’m doomed lol!! 🙂
The first installment is more about the werewolves while as this one focuses on the guardians, however the two overlap, so yes, it’s best to read ’em in order.
I do not really get it though, she flees the rules, just to marry into another clan…ruled by the same guardians?
blodeuedd recently posted…The Magician’s apprentice – Trudi Canavan
She didn’t want to abandon her people, so she chose the lesser of two evils.
This sounds like exactly the kind of were books I enjoy. I like the sound of the female characters despite the horrific conditions they live. Oh I do think you found me another author I must try!
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Invisible by Dawn Metcalf
DeLima is a newbie, but a goodie. If you’re not a fan of the insta-love mate thing in werewolf fiction, then this series is perfect!
Oh I don’t remember ever seeing her! I love when the characters are a bit more mature. It’s so nice to see that pop up in a romance. Thanks for the heads up!
anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Review/Quote-tastic (73)– omg it’s Frankenstein!– Hope Burns by Jaci Burton
Glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t seen her before. Don’t you just love that cover?
Mary Kirkland recently posted…Cicadas: What Are They and Why Are They so Loud?
This series is GREAT, and the author is such a pleasure to work with, so I’m thrilled I was able to introduce you two to her.
Interesting twist on wolves with the Celtic part
Anything with weres is good in my books, but throw in Celtic mythology and I’m a goner.
Oh very nice. Sounds like a really interesting book. I haven’t read this author or this or the first book so it sounds like another couple of books for me.
Mary Kirkland recently posted…Rats Never Do What You Expect Them To…
I really hope that you do give DeLima’s writing a whirl cuz she’s awesome, ohh and her books are too. 🙂
This series is written by a former librarian?! All things library related are my literary kryptonite – I just can’t resist. I like the sound of a badass werewolf queen (who wouldn’t?) and older main characters are always welcome. As much as I love my twenty-something protagonists, sometime their drama – usually fuelled by misunderstandings or not talking to each other – can get to be a bit much. Sometimes I wish that more fantasy novels came with both a glossary and a pronunciation guide. I know I definitely needed the one in the Iron Druid Chronicles!
Danya recently posted…Review: Lock In by John Scalzi
In that case, it’s good that I mentioned the author librarian status in my review! I agree with your thoughts on glossaries in the Fantasy genre, luckily there’s an Iron Druid wiki page.
Woha making it to your top ten list really tells me a lot, considering how much werewolves books you read. I’m sold girl. I do love the sound of this world and werewolf queen! I wanna see that. Great review, Carmel 🙂
Tanja recently posted…Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
Me, read a lot of werewolf books? Naah! 😉 I’m already trying to narrow down my list for top 10 of 2014, and it’s SO HARD!
Lovely review! I haven’t heard of this series or this author, but I’m intrigued by the premise and by you adding it to your top ten! I’ll have to be on the look out for the 1st book. Thanks for sharing!
Tricia recently posted…Favorite Books
I liked this one more than Celtic Moon, but for different reasons. Maybe book 1 will go on sale soon… If it does, you’ll be the first to know. LOL
I’ve been looking for more wolfy reads..I’m going to add both books to me wishlist. Thanks for sharing Carmel 🙂
Well then, look no further because you’ve come to the right place!
This sounds like a great series! I probably would have not looked at it twice as the cover didn’t pull me in but a great review does 🙂
Chanzie recently posted…IWSG #4 ~ October ’14
The cover’s kinda funky looking, it’s not bad, but I can’t quite put my finger on what I don’t like about it either. Enjoy!