Hero by Elsa Jade

Hero by Elsa Jade
Wolves of Angels Rest #1

Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

A wandering werewolf returns to town during the mating season to become pack leader and reunites for one last fling with the high school crush he left behind, unaware of how short their time together might be…

Maddie Joplin left the high desert town of Angels Rest with the searing memory of her one night in the arms of the local golden boy nipping at her heels. Now, years later, she’s back, haunted by a need she couldn’t outrun and determined to finally set herself free from wishes that can never come true.

In the army, Kane Villalobos traveled the world, seeking other shapeshifters who’d learned to live in harmony with human, only to find secrecy and death. He’s destined to become alpha of the Mesa Diablo pack, but he can’t forget the lush curves and quick mouth of the girl he had to leave behind. Seeing her again arouses his wolf in dangerous ways, and keeping her safe—from himself and the perils of the werewolf world—might mean letting her go forever.

I’ve discovered a new addiction. The way Ms. Jade presented this world was immediately engaging with the first chapter. It’s always daunting when any author has to present to a reader their world building without sounding like it’s telling and not showing. What Ms. Jade showed me is that her heroine is strong and a good match for an equally strong hero and I enjoyed the aspect of second chances. There’s a mysticism that is woven throughout in addition to the paranormal aspect that together created a heady mix of perfection. I liked learning about their customs, beliefs, history and the secrets they keep. I learned all of that as Maddie, the heroine, put all the clues together to discover the impossible.

Kane is hunky, hard-bodied, willing and able to protect those he loves and he’s all alpha. Maddie is a good match for him and I really enjoyed watching them peel away the past to uncover their potential future. They just have to survive being hunted. The external conflict worked very well too.

The heat of their attraction and passion, and the figurative fireworks that erupts when they are skin to skin is so sexy it’s swoon-worthy. The bedroom door is wide open for those few times they explore each other in great detail but the bulk of the novella is their growing relationship, the plot that provided some drama and suspense, and the wonderful cast of characters that populate the town of Angels Rest.

One thing that surprised me about Hero was that for a short novella, the impact it made on me was as effective as a full 150 page novel. Everything balanced, everything worked, I got all the character building I needed to feel connected, engaged and vested in their happiness and safety. I am impressed.

Here’s something else that I have to mention – Ms. Jades’ word choice in dialogue and/or descriptions. I am simply astonished and delighted with so many turns of phrases and how she ‘showed’ me certain things, whether it be a person or a place or an event, in such a way that I could get a clear picture in my head of what she was trying to convey. Some authors show with words, Ms. Jade paints. Her canvas is ablaze with imagery that jumps off of the pages in Hero.

I do love me some great secondary characters and this novella gave me more than I expected. In fact, I was so completely hooked on Kane’s cousins that even before I ended this first book in the series I went book shopping and automatically ordered the next two. I am convinced that if the others are as good as this first introduction to Ms. Jade’s writing, I am going to be in reader nirvana. I’m a very happy, excited and tickled-pink reader. If you have never read this book, you are missing out. Hero is a short book that reads like a full length adventure and I highly recommend it to fans of hot paranormal romantic suspense readers, or just regular fans of paranormal romances. Can you tell I’m enamored?

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