Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Book One - Raised by Wolves
Bronwyn Alessia St. Vincent Clare is a fifteen-year-old human who carries the Mark, a scar that ties her to Callum, the alpha wolf and his pack. A human member of the pack since the age of four when she was found by Callum after a rabid werewolf killed her parents. Bryn struggles with keeping her human identity and being a member of the pack. Besides Callum, Bryn only feels accepted by Ali, her human adopted/foster mother, and her best friend Devon, a rare purebred werewolf. The other members of the pack are under direct orders from Callum not to harm her.

When Callum comes to Bryn in her garage studio/sanctuary, it’s not good news. After discussing school, he tells her that she must abide by her curfew, which is dusk and in the winter, incredibly early. He lets her know there is unease in the pack and he wants her safe. Since she doesn’t want to play by the rules, he has assigned a team to watch over her. Bryn is not happy. At home, a very pregnant Ali tells Bryn to drop it and leave pack business to the pack. For the past eleven years, Ali has shielded Bryn from the pack hierarchies and stood up for her against the pack. As a human pregnant with a werewolf, Ali more than likely will not survive the birth. With this knowledge hanging over her head, Bryn tells Ali she will drop the matter. As the week goes on, Bryn comes to realize that the pack doesn’t just want her safe; they want her kept in the dark as well.

Bryn tries unsuccessfully to pry some information out of Devon. When Ali goes into labor, Bryn is on edge and if she cannot be by her side, she is going to leave the house. She sneaks out and decides to head to Callum’s house. When she is discovered by Marcus who doesn’t like either Ali or Bryn, she fibs and says Callum is hurt and needs help. Marcus leaves but Devon’s mother Sora realizes Bryn is lying. Sora ties up Bryn and leaves to head off Marcus and keep Ali out of any more danger than she is already in. While restrained, Bryn hears someone screaming and then the words come. “Is somebody up there? Please, please, help me. Ca n you hear me? Can anybody hear me?” They are coming from Callum’s basement. Bryn manages to free herself and she knows she shouldn’t, but soon she is descending into the basement.

First thing Bryn notices are the cages, lots and lots of cages. She doesn’t realize she has her back to the caged person until he speaks. She is surprised to see that it is a boy her age and she immediately sees that he is a werewolf but not a member of Callum’s pack. He introduces himself as Chase and tells Bryn that Callum was supposed to let him out at nightfall. Bryn lets Chase know that he is busy with pack business. Chase tells her that Callum believes he is adjusting to his situation well since he got bit just a month earlier. Bryn is sent reeling by Chase’s words, “I got bit” and suddenly changes into his wolf form. She realizes she shouldn’t be there but is floored by Chase’s confession. Werewolves are born and for Chase to be changed a pack alpha would have to be present to forge the bond and no one could survive the attack it would take to change someone. Yet Chase is standing in front of Bryn. Her mind keeps flashing back to the attack that killed her family, even though she can only recall snippets of the event. Callum finds her and offers comfort. He lets Bryn know that Ali is fine and that she gave birth to twins. Bryn is relieved but unsettled that a Rabin werewolf is on the loose.

Bryn feels a draw to Chase and she needs to see him again. They are both survivors of a rabid werewolf attack and she needs answers about her past. Callum agrees to let Bryn see Chase but only after she meets certain conditions set forth by him. Three members of the pack will act as chaperones/bodyguards and Bryn must yield to their dominance. Lastly Bryn must open her bond to the pack and become one of them. She agrees because she wants her memories back and to know that the Rabid who bit Chase is dead, just like the one who killed her parents are. Over the next several months, Bryn fulfills her conditions that Callum placed and integrates herself into the pack. She is pleasantly surprised when Callum lets her meet Chase. Bryn becomes frustrated when her chaperones deny them the opportunity to talk about their attacks. She soon realizes that the two of them are able to talk in each other’s minds. Even though Callum has made Chase part of their pack, everyone in the room is floored when Chase struggles to keep from changing. Not only has he been marked by Callum but he also carries the mark if the Rabid who bit him. As Bryn is pulled from the room and Chase is restrained, he answers one final question in Bryn’s mind. “You asked what I liked, before. Before, I loved cars, Yeats, having a bedroom that locked from the inside, and you.” Bryn is stunned and answers back, “You didn’t even know me then.”

Why does Bryn feel this sudden pull towards Chase, a boy she has never met? What is their connection and how deep does it run? Has Callum been truthful to Bryn or is he keeping secrets from her? Who is the rabid werewolf? And what transpires when the Alpha Senate becomes involved? Join Bryn on her adventure of self-discovery as she realizes her role in the pack.

Book Two - Trial by Fire
Nine months have transpired since the conclusion of Raised by Wolves. Bryn and the wolves of the Cedar Ridge pack are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, werewolf style. Steaks are the main course. Tensions are already running high around the table when Ali’s ex, Casey, shows up for a visit. When Bryn and the pack smell a foreign wolf other than Casey, everyone is on full alert. With the young wolves, Ali and Casey in the kitchen; Bryn, Mitch, Lake, Devon and Chase are left to confront whoever is at the door. Putting all of her fears for her safety behind when she smells blood, Bryn makes Mitch open the door. She is horrified to see a wolf near her age bleeding on the doorstep. Lucas has been brutally beaten within an inch of his life. Just when it seems things can’t get any worse, Devon informs Bryn that he belongs to the Snake Bend pack, who’s Alpha is Shay. Shay is Devon’s older brother and Bryn’s biggest enemy.

When Lucas has recovered enough for Bryn to visit, he informs her that he wants to transfer packs. Shay is a brutal Alpha who no doubt will kill him if her returns. Mitch lets her know that claiming another Alpha’s wolf without permission is considered a declaration of war. It’s a war that Shay already desires. As an Alpha, Bryn is up against her toughest and gut wrenching decision yet. Does she send Lucas back to a brutal and cruel Alpha or risk her pack’s safety for one stranger? Is Lucas telling the Cedar Ridge pack the truth or is he there under sinister circumstances? Will Shay see Lucas’ defection as the perfect opportunity to exact revenge against Bryn? What happens when Shay turns out not to be the pack’s biggest threat? And who can Bryn trust when she needs help the most?

The conclusion to the Raised by Wolves trilogy is Taken by Storm is due out in June 2012.

Visit Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ website.

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