Fans of the paranormal looking for something unique will find it in Danica Winters' newest release, Montana Mustangs, which features horse shifters. Throw in an exciting mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat and you have a satisfying read from start to finish. So keep reading to discover more about this book along with my impressions of it too.
A Nymph. A woman with the ability to seduce at will, shift to protect, but cursed with the fate to have the man she falls in love with die a tragic death. As one of the ill-fated nymphs, Aura Montgarten has spent her lifetime drifting from one place to another hiding from love. Until she meets Dane.
When a body washes up on the shore of a rural Montana lake, police officer Dane Burke is faced with the task of finding the killer—even if it means he will be forced to put his life and heart at risk by working with a drifter. As the truth of Aura’s Mustang-shifting Nymph ways are revealed, Dane learns exactly the amount of danger he and Aura are in, but can’t force himself to leave a case unsolved when the truth is right outside of his grasp.
When the killer decides he needs to take another victim—Dane—Aura must choose between their forbidden love and her immortal life… Can there be life without love, or is death her only choice?
The waves of the lake crashed next to Dane Burke like greedy reporters descending onto a crime scene. Dane picked up the severed hand, careful to touch it only with the tips of his gloved fingers, all in an attempt to save what little evidence remained.
The fingers were wrinkled and pale, the color of rotting fish. The skin of the palm flapped back, exposing the white lines of the tendons and the bloated pink muscles of the victim’s hand. He pushed back the skin, covering the hand’s viscera. The flesh was rubbed raw in several places, but whether it was from the time in the water or something else Dane couldn’t be sure.
Behind him, the secondary officer, Grant, talked with the woman who’d phoned in the find. The woman was blonde, thin, and uncomfortably beautiful.
“So, Aura, are you in Montana for business or pleasure?” Officer Grant asked, with just a little too much glee in his voice.
Dane tried to ignore the amateurish come-ons the officer threw at the blonde with the large blue eyes and plump lips that pulsed with the pink hues of life.
He turned the gruesome hand over in his. The fingernails of the victim were painted a vivid red, now brighter than the blood that had settled in the person’s flesh. He snickered quietly as he thought about the stark difference between the woman behind him who was the embodiment of life and the macabre sloughing object of death he stared upon.
Maybe the kid wasn’t so wrong for focusing on the woman. If he’d been just a few years younger, maybe he would have been acting that way too—focusing on the beauty of the woman instead of the gore of the job. But he’d long since given up on the things in life that only brought bitterness—death was easier to handle…
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
As the second book in the the Nymph series the action now takes place back in the States, the wilds of Montana to be precise. There's a sense of freedom and peace here until the bodies of young women start turning up. A crime scene is actually our first glimpse of the story's protagonists and you can sense their mutual hardheadedness and sexual tension from the moment their eyes meet. From that intense beginning their journey to a HEA is one ripe with danger. It's going to take a lot of trust in their evolving emotions for them to stay one step ahead of the murderer.
Aura is devoted to her sister Natalie, who is rather flighty. After not hearing from her, Aura comes to Montana which is her last known location. Aura then spends the remainder of the book looking for her sister while assisting Deputy Dane Burke in finding the murderer as it appears that the victims are shifters themselves. Aura is attracted to Dane from the beginning but fights it every step of the way as a curse will consign him to death the moment they admit their feelings. Forever keeping her heart hidden has left Aura a bit standoffish. I actually had a hard time warming up to her. She's smart but keeps her true feelings to herself which makes her a woman lacking in warm fuzzies. That doesn't mean she's not highly sexual though, since as a nymph she is. Along with her abilities of seduction comes the ability to talk to animals which adds another unique layer to these shifters.
Dane has a dark past he's trying to hide too that we slowly learn about as he and Aura get closer together. This in no way detracts from his sexiness though. He has all the qualities of a perfect hero in that he values her assistance with searching for the murderer and he'll do anything to keep Aura safe, including dying for her if necessary. The romance between him and Aura is intense as knowing that it means death gives a constant sense of foreboding. You value each time they're together and can't help rooting for their almost impossible HEA.
The mystery that permeates this story is full of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. There's plenty of characters, among them Dane's brooding brother, that at one time or another landed on my list of possible murderers and I congratulate Ms. Winters on her satisfyingly written mystery. The paranormal aspects were unique and I commend the author further in breathing fresh air into a familiar genre. Even though this is the continuation of a series this book can easily stand on its own.
My rating for this is a B+
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Danica Winters is a bestselling author who is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. When she’s not working she can be found in the wilds of Montana working on her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery and painting are not her thing). She always believe the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine.
Please feel free to contact her. You can find her at DanicaWinters (at) DanicaWinters (dot) net
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