Wilder’s Mate (Bloodhounds #1)
Published: March 8, 2011 (Samhain)
Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Satira’s friend and mentor Nathaniel has gone missing and she’s convinced he has been kidnapped by vampires. When the Guild sends a Bloodhound to track the inventor down, she is determined to go with him. Having been raised by a Bloodhound herself she knows just how stubborn they can be, but armed with a custom vampire slaying arsenal, she isn’t going to take no for an answer, no matter the consequences.
Wilder has been drafted into searching for a highly skilled Guild inventor. Pretty standard fare as far as jobs go. As a Bloodhound he can find anything, using preternatural senses and speed to go into even the most dangerous of situations. He only agrees to let Satira come along as she will be useful ruse when bargaining for information in the very edge of the frontier. What he doesn’t count on is just how determined and capable Satira is…. Or how enticing.
Wilder’s Mate is a novella (clocking in at just over 100 pages), so I was really impressed with just how much world building Moira Rogers managed to fit in without slowing the plot. Mixing paranormal mythology and steampunk elements into an American frontier setting is a combination I haven’t come across before, but one that really worked. There was also plenty of action and some great plot twists within the mystery of Nathaniel’s disappearance.
The Bloodhounds themselves were fascinating; wolf-type shapeshifters who appear to originally have been human men turned by the Guild, as a type of mercenary. Although not much is revealed about their background or the Guild, it only made me want to devour this series to find out the whys and the hows. And in true paranormal romance style, several other Bloodhounds were introduced, setting up a nice cast of characters to follow in later books.
In a world where most women earn their living in the brothels, Satira gains little recognition for her creations. I felt for her knowing that her only hope of continuing was to find Nathaniel, the inventor willing to have a female apprentice. Wilder is noble but essentially a loner, determined not to allow the beast inside to sate its lust on the willing but seemingly naive Satira. She soon proves herself as no damsel in distress though, showing him she’s a strong young woman, willing to stand up and fight for those she cares about.
If you’re a fan of Moira Rogers you’ll know she does sexual chemistry and its steamy aftermath very, very well and Wilder’s Mate is no exception. The passion between these two was sizzling, resulting in some hot scenes but also a tender connection after realizing just how much they need each other.
Filled with gunslinging alpha shifters, gutsy inventor heroines and scorching romance, Wilder’s Mate is the Wild West, paranormal romance style. It’s a super fun, steamy read that packs a huge amount in a small page count and sets the stage for a really interesting series.
Sexual content: Graphic sex (and lots of it!)