Force of Temptation by Suzanne Wright
Series: The Mercury Pack #2
Also in this series: Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack, #1)
Published by Montlake Romance on December 13, 2016
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Harley Vincent is resigned to life in the human world. Sure, being a margay shifter is half her nature, but life among humans gives her the freedom to roam and do as she pleases. That is, until anti-shifter extremists target her, putting her life in immediate danger.
When an old acquaintance and onetime fling, Jesse Dalton, shows up to offer the protection of his pack, Harley hesitates. She may have feelings for Jesse that go beyond their one-night stand, but life among shifters means giving over her independence to the needs of pack. Plus Mercury Pack has its own threat to face: a rich half-shifter is determined to claim their territory at any cost.
Jesse, who lost his true mate as a child, has wanted Harley since their night together, and he’s not letting her go again. They may not be destined for each other, but he knows she belongs to him and with his pack. Even if he can convince her to join him now, can he convince her to stay?
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Since the three of us have such varied tastes in what we like to read, there are just a handful of authors we all consider as a must read. Suzanne Wright is one of them. She has the ability to write a book with lots of sweet for Sparkles, a little bit of the dark suspense for Lily, and the action and strong heroine’s that I need. Needless to say, when an ARC became available for Force of Temptation, all three of us had our hand up. An added bonus is the book discussion we get to have when a book like this drops in all of our laps. I can’t tell you how much I love discussing a book with my girls.
As can happen with three people who have different tastes there was a slight difference of opinion on just how good Force of Temptation was. Sparkles and I thought it was awesome and Lily enjoyed it, but not quite as much as we did. Let’s talk about the good stuff first.
What We All Loved:
- The Romance Between Jesse and Harley: This one was different than Ms. Wright’s other books. Jesse’s true mate died when they were children, and it really was his true mate. Don’t be worried though. This was handled so well that there was never any doubt that he did not consider Harley as his consolation prize. She was not second best, she was just his. We all loved how this was handled, and really liked that this was not another book about true mates not recognizing they were true mates. Here it was a straight up romance, no bullshit, no back and forth. Just a man pursuing his woman and convincing her to take a chance on him. It was alpha-hotness heaven.
- Jessie: He was one heck of a welcome surprise. He was one hot, dirty talking, over protective, alpha who had all of us paying attention. Yum! Sparkles comment was straight and to the point: “Jesse was the shit!”. He knew what he wanted and he went after it. No pussyfooting around (pussyfooting…Ha!), no wondering if she’s his one, he didn’t care that they weren’t true mates, she was his and her true mate could go get bent.
- Harley: Not only was she a half shifter, her early life was no cup of tea and she eventually ended up living with a human aunt. It takes a strong personality to deal with that. She epitomized a cat in human form with the attitude to match. It took a special person to catch her interest, and if you weren’t one of the special few who did, you weren’t even a blip on her radar. If you were one of the lucky ones she came to care about, she was just as fierce and loyal as they came.
- Time Spent With The Pack: It’s always fun to have a series favorite characters that you get to spend time with in each installment. Ms. Wright’s characters are rich and fully fleshed out, and not just the main couples from each book, but the side characters too. For FoT, we really enjoyed Cassidy and actually wanted more page time with the young seer. She captured our hearts and wouldn’t let go.
- The Extra Interesting Occasional Visitors: We’ve been introduced to so many interesting characters in not only The Mercury Pack but the Phoenix Pack too, Sparkles now wants me to make a character list like I have with Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chick’s. We all want Cain to get his own book. The ones who really grabbed our interest were Harley’s little cousins who went hunting for the extremists who targeted her. I felt like I’d hit the badass female cat motherlode. Sparkles said they were like a spicy sauce you just wanted more or.
Although Sparkles and I do agree that there were issues with the book, we were so enamored with the romance between Jesse and Harley, we basically just ignored it. Our Queen of Dark Suspense wasn’t as forgiving.
What We Had Problems With:
- Kim: Everything to do with her was just dumb. We are pretty much over these books having the token mean bimbo who will do anything to get the guy. We all agreed we wished she’d got her ass kicked more often which would have at least made things more amusing. Really, if they can’t be interesting, at least make them funny.
- The Slow Down: Unlike in previous books, we felt the danger and suspense were very underplayed through most of the book. You knew it was there, but it was very “offscreen” up until about the 80 or 85% mark. This is why the fact we didn’t get to go along with Harley’s cousins on their “hunt” was such a let down. Hector turned out to be one batshit crazy opponent and the last battle was quite the adrenaline rush.
- The Repetitiveness: Some things are starting to feel “been there done that”. Kim was one example. Another is Kathy, at times she feels like she could be a stand in for Trey’s Grandmother.
In the end, Sparkles and I both gave it 4.5 Stars. We adored the book, couldn’t put it down and look forward to rereads. The slow down didn’t phase us as we basked in all that was Jessie and Harley. As for Lily, she needed more suspense and action even though she enjoyed it and loved the main characters and gave it 3.5 stars.
Rating: 4 Alpha-Hotness Heaven Stars
Click here for Spice’s full review.View Spoiler »I look forward to every book Suzanne Wright publishes, so regardless of the fact I had plenty of time before the publish date and I had a pile of books a mile high needing to be read and reviewed right now, as soon as I got an arc for Force of Temptation I dove right in
I have to say, if you are worried that Harley would be a “consolation prize” since Jessie’s true mate died young, don’t. I thought the way Ms. Wright addressed the issue was spot on and believable, and I never got the feeling that Jesse ever pined for his mate or even missed “what could have been”.
Pretty quickly into it, I knew I’d struck main character gold! Both Harley and Jesse were everything I ever wanted in a badass heroine and her hot alpha hero. These two had me so enamored with them, I pretty much didn’t care about any issues the book had, I just enjoyed my time with a truly worthy couple.
When we met Jesse in Spiral of Need, I liked him, but felt like he was a little lost, searching for the right pack to belong to. It became obvious right from the beginning that Jesse has paid attention to the lessons the Phoenix pack enforcers taught him. He is now strong, determined, alpha through and through and he was one dirty talker who could back it up.
Harley was smart, measured, cautious in a good way, and she could take care of herself. Her margay intrigued me enough to Google it and I have to say, that’s the cutest cat ever. Harley’s attitude epitomized the very definition of a cat. She was very laid back and if you were interesting enough she’d bless you with some attention, you had just better hope it was the good kind.
I loved that fairly early on, these two knew they were going to try to work things out. Jesse knew exactly what he wanted, waited until the time was right and then he struck. Mainly he just had to convince the pesky cat.
We got lots of time with our favorite couples from previous books and the kids too. I loved little Cassidy, and found myself wishing we’d had more time with her. Harley’s family is pretty much a mess. Her Dad creeped me out, but he also interested me since he seemed to be a true pyschopath who may or may not lead the Movement. We got more time with Cain, who may or may not be led by Harley’s dad, and I still can’t wait for him to get his own book. The new characters who absolutely captured my imagination were Harley’s cut throat little cousins. I wanted to be along on that particular hunt. I hope to see more of them in the future.
As enamored as I was with the freaking awesome characters, there was a little lag in the middle of the book. As dangerous as Hector ended up being in the end, the element of danger just wasn’t there for the majority of the book. I also felt like the Kim thing was unneeded. In fact, she could be interchanged with all the needy female antagonists of the other books and this is not a good thing. Again, these were just observations I made while completely enjoying Harley and Jesse, and I pretty much ignored them.
I adored this book and it’s now my favorite of the Mercury Pack books. Jesse and Harley are awesome, I loved the humor, the snark, the attitudes, the action, and I whole-heartedly appreciated not only Jesse’s dirty talk but his follow through, if you know what I mean. Those two were HOT!
Spice’s Rating: 4.5 Dirty Talking Stars « Hide Spoiler
Click here for Sparkles’ full review. View Spoiler »Every time I pick up a new Suzanne Wright book I’m afraid that it won’t have another unique, strong, kick-ass, independent and quirky heroine. There is no real basis for my fear because each time she proves me wrong. In fact, hot damn! She did it again. I think Force of Temptation is my new favorite, right behind Feral Sins
Harley is a half margay cat shifter (yes, I had to Google it too) living in the human world. Her experience with a pride and her family was not exactly exemplary. Her attitude along with the nature of her cat has made it easy for her to keep away from pack/pride life. That is until extremists plan to bomb her car and she is saved by Jesse and his pack.
Although Jesse lost his true mate when they were kids, he is absolutely sure Harley is the mate for him. Now he has the perfect excuse to make her stay with him and finally convince her of what he’s known for a long time now, Harley is his.
While they have The Movement and the extremist all up in their business, Harley and Jesse need to deal with issues from the past with his old pack and family regarding Harley. Not only that, but a wealthy half shifter is pushing the Mercury pack into selling their territory to him.
With the usual action packed fights, intrigue, suspense and incredibly hot shenanigans going on, Force of Temptation was a fantastic read.
“I don’t play games, Harley, so I’ll tell you straight. I want you. In my bed. In my life. Where you belong.”
I loved both Harley and Jesse. They were both dealt a crappy hand early in life but became stronger because of it. Harley was totally badass, independent and just plain awesome. I adored her. Jesse was the perfect alpha wolf, obsessively possessive, bossy and he took brooding to a whole new level.
I also loved how they were not true mates, but at the same time, they were perfect for each other. I believe Ms. Wright did a fantastic job with this latest installment and I can’t stop keep waiting for more.
Sparkles’ Rating: 4.5 “You were meant for the me I am now” Stars « Hide Spoiler
Click here for Lily’s full review. View Spoiler »There’s a common theme of belonging and acceptance in shifter romances, providing great platforms for entertaining stories. Harley finds herself a guest of the Mercury Pack when her safety becomes threatened. This places her just where Jesse wants her as he has decided it’s time to claim her as his mate.
The tricky aspect to Harley and Jesse’s claiming each other is they are not each other’s true mate. Jesse’s determination to prove to Harley this wouldn’t be a barrier took a lot of effort. Harley though, needed time to be reassured that Jesse wanted her for all the right reasons.
Harley has the added complication of having spent the majority of her life living among humans, being half shifter/human. Her inner feline demands to be heard and this eases her transition into the Mercury Pack. Convincing the shifters she is worthy of being part of their Pack doesn’t come easy. Her good nature and instincts boosted the respect of the Mercury Pack as she finds herself in challenging situations on more than one occasion.
Both Harley and Jesse were great characters and their story was good but at times it felt drawn out, especially when Kim came into the picture. The fiasco she created was frustrating. She was caught in a circle of denial and nothing could convince her she was delusional! I loved catching up with Nick and his pack and appreciate how each story works previous characters into the plotlines. It’s also a big relief when the drama strikes because you know there is a good line of defense to ward off danger. When the proverbial hits the fan, they need each and every one of them to give their all to fight off their enemy.
The final chapters lifted the suspense to an impressive height and left me happy to have read Harley and Jesse’s story.
Lily’s Rating: 3.5 ‘Great Beginning & What an Ending!’ Stars « Hide Spoiler
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