So, I liked this one more than the last. Both Bride and Vane had appeared previously and although their first meeting was clearly a cue for a future relationship it didn't feel AS forced as some of the others.
So Vane is a wolf, not a man who turns into a wolf, but a wolf who can turn into a man (I found this a bit off-putting at first being used to the Kate Daniels world and the idea of Beastkin). Although this didn't seem to be true either – to be honest I didn't get this part, did he change races when he hit puberty and changed human for the first time? Or was it that he was a Sentinel? Was that what the face tattoo meant?
Anyhoo, Bride is six foot tall and a size 18 (I can't convert American sizes to UK but I think that is a 20 or 22 – but then again six foot tall) and has body issues, especially after her TV presenter boyfriend dumps her because she doesn't suit his image.
Vane and his brother have been ostracised by their Alpha (and father) who has betrayed them to Daimons who have left his brother Fang comatose. There is a price on both their heads and so they head to Sanctuary (Mama Bear's biker bar) in New Orleans. Vane sees Bride in her shop crying and goes to talk to her, one thing leads to another and they end up spending the night together. They part the next morning with both of them secretly wishing for something more, however later that day they both notice a strange henna-like tattoo on their palms – they are mated!
Vane is torn, he is delighted that gentle, kind Bride is his mate but she is human and he is a wolf – he has no idea how humans behave and things like smiling and crying when happy are a mystery to him. Also, his father imprisoned and raped his mother to force her to accept the mating ritual so he doesn't want to force Bride to do anything she doesn't want to but they only have three weeks to complete the ritual or he will be unable to have sex with any woman ever again. In addition, the fatwa his father has called down on him involves demons and time-travelling from the middle-ages – how can he explain all of this to a human?
Unlike other Kenyon heroes Vane is really suffering angst per se. He wants to mate with Bride but he can't imagine how to tell her that he is a wolf – or that she might give birth to a litter of puppies – but give him his due he was trying to tell her before it all got taken out of his hands. Also it turns out that Bride was more perturbed when she thought he was a deranged serial killer than when she found out he was a wolf.
This book introduced us to some nice/interesting characters and gave us further glimpses of others we have seen before. I liked Bride's family and Fury and Otto, clearly Valerius is coming up soon (annoyingly in order to find out how to spell his name I went onto Wikipedia and now I know who he ends up with, grrr – my own fault). We also got to know more of the other shifters at Sanctuary – I'm sure we'll see more of them soon.