Currently Reading: Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert

I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown and Take a Hint, Dani Brown this summer and fell madly in love with Talia Hibbert’s writing. She writes some of the funniest, sexiest, and deeply heartfelt romance I’ve ever read. She dives in to deeply human flaws and fears while creating a sexy, fully romantic reading experience. It’s the best of depth and safety that hits a perfect romance sweet spot.

Needless to say, I dove straight into her back list.

Among all her sexy contemporaries I found a shifter paranormal romance and I felt like it was too good to be true. Talia Hibbert’s style and paranormal romance seemed like a natural fit. I smashed the order button instantly.

The book takes place on and around Halloween, so I tucked it away for a seasonal read. I’m so glad I waited because I had a fantastic experience reading this book.

My Immortals After Dark reading group has been on hiatus for the month, as many of us are participating in a different buddy read and we opted out of juggling too many books. Like smart adults.

However, we missed each other. So we squeezed in this novella as a spooky season group read. So worth it!

It was a huge hit and many of us have said that this little gem has landed firmly on the “seasonal re-read” shelf of our libraries.

Yup. It’s that good.

Summary

This Halloween, love bites back… hard.

Chastity Adofo knows a monster when she sees one. As soon as Luke Anthony wanders into her family’s coffee shop, she recognises the evil lurking beneath his charming smile and fantastic arse. The handsome werewolf is determined to have her—but she’s determined to cut out his heart.

Little does she know, Luke’s plans for her are far more pleasurable than murder. And when the full moon rises, all bets are off…

Warning: Mating the Huntress is 30,000+ words of red-hot, Halloween-themed romance. This novella contains one flirtatious, cursed creature of the night, one badass, knife-happy heroine, and forbidden lust at first sight. Please read responsibly!

Tiny But Mighty

This tiny book does some heavy living. It’s a tight 135 pages of sweet, snackable, romantic fun. Hibbert packs in a full, fulfilling arc with amazing character development, great world building, and a freckling of wonderful side characters.

Our shifter, Luke, is an absolute cinnamon roll hero. There’s a fated mate element to the world building and Luke has sensed that Chastity is his mate. He’s doing his best to work through his social awkwardness. It’s not easy being a monster. He’s not the best with human interaction. I think many of us can empathize.

However, he’s determined to impress the woman he’s destined to love for the rest of his life. No pressure!

Chastity comes off as shy and quiet when Luke is chatting her up at her cafe job. Little does he know that she’s fully aware that he’s a monster and she’s plotting all the various ways she can rip his heart out from his chest.

Chastity is no joke.

Writer Emily Appears and Geeks Out

There are several pieces here that I’d like to explore. First, the inverted expectation.

Luke is the monster of the story, and he’s fully aware of it. However, he’s so smitten, so in love, so desperate to connect and get it right that he is the vulnerable member of the paring.

Luke wants Chastity to feel comfortable around him and he wants to treat her the way she deserves to be treated. He’s a lovely soul and I would protect him with my life.

And I need to protect him because Chastity is dangerous af.

Chastity hasn’t been allowed to become a full huntress, for fun plot reasons I’ll leave out. But she has trained with her family, so she knows how to protect herself. When the shifter starts sniffing around she sees the opportunity to get her first kill and become the huntress she longs to be.

What really makes this dynamic work is some amazing point of view work done by Talia. As the reader we are so deeply connected to Luke’s loving intentions. He’s powerful, and scary, but his intentions are good, and he’s nervous.

He’s likable, relatable, and we are in love with him. We see Chastity through his point of view first. She’s professional, and a little aloof – but he sees it as shy.

As the reader we’re a little worried about this human woman Luke has his sights on. Even if his intentions are good, he’s still a danger to her.

Then we flip into her point of view and learn just how dangerous and calculating she is. Luke is the one truly in danger in this novel and it spikes the tension and drama through the roof.

My little writer brain was geeking out just as hard as my romance reader brain about how this was executed. So well done.

Will There Be a Series?

It’s the first thing most of the readers in our group read asked as soon as we finished reading. And wow, I hope so. I want to get to know the other huntresses, of course. But mostly I want more time with the intuitive brother. He was amazing and I just absolutely need that book.

I just … I need it. Please.

Recommendation Station

This book is a perfect gateway into paranormal romance. It’s great for contemporary romance readers who are looking for heat and humor and don’t mind getting a little crazy for Halloween.

It’s for the Kresley Cole fans, of course. Mating the Huntress is a fated mates story, but it isn’t shy about exploring the complications around this divisive trope.

If you love Talia Hibbert, it’s probably already on your Kindle. So just read it. ‘Tis the season!

Really looking forward to many happy seasonal re-readings of this little gem. Hope you check it out. It’s only $.99, so it’s a perfect grab for a quick read.

Also, I’m just putting it out into the universe: Please, please, please give us a full series. Please!

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