Finding Chrissten by NJ Walters
Paranormal romance released by Samhain Publishing May 8, 2012
Legacy, Book 5
She escaped hell. Now love must capture her heart.
For eighteen horrific months, Chrissten Lawton was at the mercy of a crazy doctor and his pureblood werewolf flunky. She was subjected to experiments, beaten, mated against her will…and fading fast.
Just as she reaches the breaking point, the Haven pack comes to her rescue. Although any strange male makes her nervous, one of her rescuers stays by her side night and day, and something within her responds to this wolf’s gentleness.
From the moment Hank Brewer picked up Chrissten’s unique scent, he’s been driven to help her overcome her trauma-fed fears. He may be a half-breed, but he never does anything halfway. As he dedicates every waking moment to her healing, their fragile link leads them toward something they both hesitate to name.
But the danger isn’t past. Chrissten’s mate is still on the loose and he won’t rest until she—and the rest of Haven’s females—are taken for the cruel enjoyment of his rogue pack. Even though Hank would give his life to save her, the biggest challenge lies ahead. Admitting their love to each other.
Warning: This book contains an evil doctor, a crazy pureblood werewolf, a dysfunctional family, hunky werewolves, hot, sweaty sex, a daring rescue and a love that will make your heart sing.
I read a lot. And by a lot, I mean that I’m always reading a book. My goal for this year is to read 100 books, which averages to one every three days, give or take, and I’m already a dozen books ahead of schedule (thank you GoodReads). Because I read so much, I don’t often remember authors right away when I see a book that catches my eye, so I have to go looking for them to see if I’ve read something before. It’s nothing against the authors per se, it just means that I’m a harried mother of two young kids and most superfluous stuff not related to school or dinner or where the dog is, tends to slip right out of my mind. When I selected Finding Chrissten to read/review, I picked it because the premise of the book was interesting. It was later, when I actually looked up NJ Walters, that I realized why her name had sounded familiar – because I had already read several of her books and really liked them. Among her books, the Tapestries series is one that I really dig. Besides being hot and steamy, she writes her worlds and her characters so well that it’s easy to forget that it’s fantasy. A real mark of a fantasy author for me, is one that makes me forget that what they’re writing about isn’t actually plausible in real-life. Even though I had not read the previous books prior to Finding Chrissten, I had no trouble at all stepping into the series at book 5 because it was well written and engaging. Because NJ just writes that well. In Finding Chrissten, you feel Chrissten’s pain and vulnerability, the sheer madness of her mate, and the awesome determination of Hank. The characters don’t just leap off the page, they stand around you and watch you read.
When the book begins, we find Chrissten near death, locked in a cage and being experimented on by a demented doctor and brutally used by a werewolf claiming that she belongs to him. Just being rescued isn’t enough to put her at ease, as the months of degradation and abuse she suffered have taken their toll.
Chrissten emerges from her captivity a changed woman. No longer the sister that her brothers remember, she’s erected walls to protect herself from ever being a victim again. As a half breed of a human woman and a werewolf father, she and her twin brother turn to the father who never knew they existed for help in finding and destroying the wolf who claims her. She finds safety within Hank’s arms as she begins the road to recovery, but struggles to separate herself from him so she can face her mate on her own terms. She is the very definition of a survivor, choosing not to be a victim forever but gathering strength where she can to set her world right and protect the people that she loves.
Hank is a man that enjoys simplicity in his life, but falls for Chrissten, an incredibly complex woman with serious problems. Up to the challenge, he slowly shows her just what makes a real wolf, and helps her regain the things that she lost. He gladly opens his life to her, vowing to set her free even if he has to die to do it. The blossoming romance between the two is bittersweet and wonderful, as they both try and fail, but never quit.
The cast of characters is vast, including Chrissten’s twin Quinn, and their human half brother, Craig. They’re desperate to have her back safe, joining forces with the Chicago pack led by Isaiah and his mate Meredith, their own father and his pack, and utilizing the mysterious vampire, Damek. The pack is a family, and they accept Chrissten and her family readily when she’s rescued and she finds herself ensconced in genuine affection and care from people she only just met.
A sweet story about redemption, finding love, and survival, Finding Chrissten is a great addition to the Legacy series, but one that even new readers will enjoy. It’s full to the brim with possessive werewolves (both half-breeds and full-blooded), more than one rescue, a mostly broken but feisty half-breed woman, and a man that is willing to go to any lengths to protect her.