ARC Review: Illicit + Forbidden by Cathy Clamp

Illicit (Luna Lake #1)


In Cathy Clamp's Illicit, when a border dispute between two bear clans destabilizes shapeshifter relations throughout Europe and threatens to reveal their existence to humans, the Sazi High Council orders both sides to the negotiation table. The peace talks take place in Luna Lake, the American community where all shifter species--wolf, cat, bird, bear, and more--live in harmony.

Diplomats, their families, and security personnel stream into town, among them Dalvin Adway, a Wolven agent. Dalvin is startled to find Rachel Washington in Luna Lake. The last time he saw her, they were children in Detroit. Then she was kidnapped and, he thought, murdered. But Rachel became an owl-shifter as a result of the attack and has avoided family and old friends ever since, knowing they would not understand her . She's stunned to see Dalvin and learn that he, too, is an owl-shifter.

Their wary friendship is on the brink of becoming something more when conspiracy and betrayal cause the peace talks to break down. The fight between the bear clans will be settled through a form of traditional challenge--a risky tactic that might lead to full-blown war. Rachel is determined to prevent that, even if it means taking up the challenge herself!

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**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**

The Bear clans have come to Luna Lake for peace talks because of a border dispute. The entire Luna Lake community is on their toes because any moment something can happen between the two clans. 

While I was expecting Illicit to continue with the same main characters from the first book, I really liked the characters that were being focused on. Dalvin and Rachel were great characters. We were introduced to Rachel in the first book and already had a look at what she had been through in her past. Which was pretty horrific! Dalvin is Rachel's childhood friend and haven't seen her since she was kidnapped, so he was really surprised when he saw that she was still alive.

Rachel wants to leave Luna Lake because is reminded of all the horrible things that happened to her. However because of the peace talks no one is allowed to leave till it is done. I loved seeing Dalvin and Rachel together, even though Rachel is trying to stay away from him there is an attraction between the two. There is also a lot going on in Luna Lake. It had a more urban fantasy feel. I was really happy that romance didn't play such a big role in this book. There was a lot of character development, especially for Rachel. 

I have no idea which direction Cathy will take with this series but I am really enjoying it so far and can't wait to see what will happen next. I enjoyed the writing style and it was easy to follow. Even though there were a lot of characters with difficult names, I did not get confused at all. I highly recommend this series if you enjoy urban fantasy/paranormal romance. This series is the perfect mix of both genre.

Forbidden (Luna Lake #2)

Ten years have passed since the war that destroyed the Sazi Council and inflicted a horrible "cure" on thousands of Sazi, robbing them of their ability to shapeshift.

Luna Lake, isolated in Washington State, started as a refugee camp for Sazi orphans. Now it's a small town and those refugees are young adults, chafing at the limits set by their still-fearful guardians. 

There's reason to fear: Sazi children are being kidnapped. Claire, a red wolf shifter, is sent to investigate. Held prisoner by the Snakes during childhood, Claire is distrusted by those who call Luna Lake home.

Before the war, Alek was part of a wolf pack in Chicago. In Luna Lake he was adopted by a parliament of Owls, defying Sazi tradition. The kidnappings are a painful reminder that his little sister disappeared a decade ago.

When Claire and Alek meet, sparks fly—but the desperate race to find the missing children forces them to set aside their mutual attraction and focus on the future of their people.

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**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**

When I saw that I could get an ARC of this book I jumped right on it, because I was looking for a new Urban Fantasy series. I hadn't read the "A Tale of the Sazi series" which is the world where Forbidden takes place in. But I saw it was a new series so thought it wouldn't really matter AND it didn't matter!

This book is about Claire who is going undercover in the small town Luna Lake to investigate missing kids. I really liked that the whole story took place in a small town. I really love reading paranormal/shifter books in this setting. So I was really excited about that. Their is chemistry between Claire and Alek from the start. Alek has some really strong feelings for Claire.

The action in this book was pretty strong and it wasn't predictable. I was really left in the DARK for a while, which I really liked. There were really strange things going on in town, Claire caught on really fast. I really liked her character, she is someone that wants to help others and feels connected with victims of kidnapping/abuse because she was held prisoner herself. She is also an empath so she feels others emotions/feelings. This really helped her make a distinguish between enemy and friend.

One thing I didn't like was Alek, multiple times it was mentioned he has thing ALPHA personality. But I didn't really get that feeling a lot (the reason for that can be because I have read a lot of books with MAJOR alphas). Being an Alpha also means putting others first, which he did.

There are some unfinished business so I THINK that we will continue with Claire and Alek being the main characters in the next book in this series. I am not sure, but I hope they are because I want to see them develop as individuals and as a couple.

If you are looking for a new Urban Fantasy series with suspense/mystery then definitely make sure you get your hands on this book when it is released in August!

About the Author

Hi, I’m USA TODAY and Nielsen Bookscan bestselling author Cathy Clamp.  I write urban fantasy/paranormal romance for Tor Books, including the Tales of the Sazi (shapeshifter urban fantasy romance) series, The Thrall (vampire) trilogy, the Blood Singer (urban fantasy, as Cat Adams) series—through book 6, and the new Novels of the Sazi series, beginning in August, 2015.
I’ve won a bunch of awards for my books over the years. My favorite was the Career Achievement Award for Paranormal Romance in May, 2008 from RT Bookreviews Magazine. I also shared the win for several co-authored books with C.T. Adams of the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the RT Bookreviews Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Reviewers International Award of Excellence, the Texas Gold Romance Award, the Write Touch Readers Award, and several others. It’s gratifying and humbling to win awards  for books that you put your heart into, and I hope you enjoy them as much as other readers have!
I’ve also written several stand-alone novels, not in series, including my very first novel, The Road To Riches, an historical fiction about a railroad race in Colorado’s Silver Boom period, and Magic’s Design, the first urban fantasy published as Cat Adams.
I also write short stories, which is a whole different kind of writing.. I like writing in a lot of different genres, and it’s in short stories where I let my wings spread. I have published short stories in horror, science fiction, mystery, literary, Young Adult, romance, thriller, fantasy and western.
I live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, which actually looks like mountain range that runs across the center of Texas. In geologic terms, a “mountain” is generally considered to be a minimum of 2,000 feet elevation. Anything below that is a “hill”. So, Texas has hills, instead of mountains. (But you’d barely notice the difference!)

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