I really enjoyed Stephanie Draven's first Bites MIDNIGHT MEDUSA. So much so, that I made a comment (at the Silhouette Authors Blog) about Renata in that story being one of my favourite Nocturne heroines. Stephanie then asked me what I thought of her newest release, WILD, TETHERED, BOUND.
A lot of the comments that stand for this current story would also stick for MEDUSA, which is a testament to Draven's consistency.
From Stephanie's Goodreads Profile:
Lieutenant NICK LEANDROS is a battle-hardened American soldier who thinks he’s seen everything. But nothing prepared him for the horrors he encounters when he’s separated from his patrol in a dark Afghani forest. What he sees there fractures him–body and soul. Split into three separate men with three savage wills, he struggles to tame the cunning creatures and hold them inside. His only hope of salvation is DESSA, an ancient dryad who lost her Heart Tree on that war-ravaged day. Without a forest to guard, Dessa is bound to Nick by mystic forces and she alone understands the nature of the chimera that he’s become. She also knows that Nick is the only man who can give her the child she’s longed for and the only man who can ensure the future of her country. But the cruelest, most lustful, part of him demands her submission as the price for his help and with her powers waning every day, time is running out for Dessa to save the last forests of Afghanistan…and to heal the man she’s come to love.
This is the offical blurb:
While most dryads had abandoned their woods to live amongst mortals, Dessa continued to guard her forest in Afghanistan and waited for a man to eat the fruit of her heart-tree and become her mate. But when her tree is destroyed, Dessa tries to live in the mortal world--where she is reunited with Lt. Nick Leandros, the soldier who once ate the nuts from her tree and now struggles with the trauma that turned him into a Chimera with the ability to split into three different bodies.
Dessa longs to help Nick and save her lands--but to do so, she will need Nick to giver her a dryad child....
I enjoyed this book a lot. As with Draven's first Bites, MIDNIGHT MEDUSA, this is an intelligent and well-written story. It is refreshing to read Bites that stray from the norm of weres or vamps, and this one links current affairs that people are (or should be!) aware about with a challenging love story. I just love Draven's application of mythical creatures to things that are happenign in our time.
The conflicts and emotions were real and believable, the premise was clever and well-thought out. I enjoyed the characters, particularly the hero, Nick, although the heroine (Dessa) was also very appealing, earthy and deep.
I felt that the relationship between the tortured, resolute hero and the mythical, strong heroine could have been explored a little more, but I understand that these Bites don't allow much room for movement.
I'd love to see a full-length from this author, where the relationships could be more detailed and the build-up of sexual tension more developed, because the rest of her story rocked. :)
Thanks for the chance to read it, Stephanie!