Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Black Rook
Author: Kelly Meade
Series: Cornerstone Run Trilogy #1
Hero/Heroine: Rook/Brynn/Knight (No, this isn’t menage!)
Genre: M/F Paranormal
Length: 334 pages
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Available at: InterMix (Penguin), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: She never saw this coming…
Brynn Atwood is a low-level Magus whose unpredictable precognitive powers have made her an outcast among her people—and an embarrassment to her highly-regarded father. After a frightening vision in which her father is murdered by a loup garou man, Brynn decides to prove herself by finding the killer, and stopping them at any cost.
Her target is Rook McQueen, the son of a small-town loup garou Alpha. Despite being the youngest of three, Rook is first in line to inherit the role of Alpha, a duty he isn’t sure he’s capable of fulfilling. When Brynn finally meets Rook, she doesn’t expect the attraction that draws her to him—and him to her.
No longer believing him a murderer, Brynn and Rook strike an alliance to find her father’s real killer. But when his older brother is targeted by an unknown enemy, Rook will have to choose between his growing feelings for Brynn and his duty as the future Alpha of his community.
When Brynn’s father dismisses her vision of him being murdered by a loup garou, Brynn takes it upon herself to track down the loup and stop the murder before it happens. But when she finally meets Rook McQueen, her attraction to him and closer inspection of the vision convinces her that Rook’s not the killer. Being in close contact with so many loup has unexpected surprises like having multiple visions in such a short time frame, having a weird connection to her enemy and finding out what she really is. The longer Brynn stays with the loup, the more her loyalty changes and the more she wants to help them find the killers that are massacring loup towns for no reason. But as they get closer to the culprits, more surprises become known that rock not just Brynn’s world but Rook’s and his family’s as well.
Wow, this was such a fantastic story! At first I wasn’t too excited about having three major POVs – Brynn’s, Rook’s and Rook’s brother, Knight – but as the story progressed, I realized that this worked really well for the book and gave it the kind of depth that really let me understand all aspects of not just the plot but the world and others’ emotions. I adored Brynn and Rook. They’re enemies with Brynn being a magus and Rook being a loup garou. All logic says that they would never work as a couple but that doesn’t stop them from being drawn to one another. I absolutely loved that.
As characters, Brynn is just coming out of her shell. She’s spent her life as an outcast. Unwanted by her father and her people, she hasn’t known many friends or even what real love feels like of any kind. She’s timid and scared but has a spine made of steel and gains a lot of confidence just by being with the loup. I loved that she ended up finding herself in her journey to find the possible killer of her father. Rook also comes into himself in this one because he’s supposed to be the next Alpha for his run but he’s confused and misguided on whether that’s what is right for the run and himself but during this book he finally realizes what he wants out of life. I really, really adored them. I loved that they were so different but yet the same in some ways. On top of that, I LOVED that while they both knew they shouldn’t be together, they couldn’t help but seek each other out and offer instinctual comfort when the other needed it.
Beyond them, I want to talk about Knight. He’s a White Wolf, which means he’s essentially the heart of the run. He’s an emotional stabilizer, so to speak, and part of his abilities as a white wolf is being able to calm aggressive or scared loup. He takes his position in the pack very seriously but this book isn’t just about that. It’s about Knight and how everything really centers around him. He has difficult decisions to make where there is no winning for him. He has to constantly choose between his run and himself. Should he sacrifice himself to save his family or put everyone at risk to keep his sanity? I felt SO BAD for him and what he has to go through. It’s heartbreaking and I HATED that the sweetest character had to be constantly put in crappy situations and make even harder decisions.
I don’t even know how to describe it but all I can say is that Knight being such a big part of this story, especially his POVs, really brought something special to the story for me and allowed me to really connect to not just him but to Brynn, Rook and all the other characters. There’s a lot of grieving in this book and while I wouldn’t necessarily call it angsty, I will say that this read isn’t all hearts and roses. People get hurt, some die, some sacrifice themselves and all this really grabbed me, made me tear up at times and yearn for something good to happen.
I loved the book except for the fact that there seemed to be a lot of inconsistencies and editing misses. As I read an ARC version, I’m hoping those errors were fixed before actually being released but I have no way of knowing if they were. Another thing was that I found it hard to believe no one connected the dots between Fiona and Brynn. I mean, I knew almost right away when they learned about Fiona how it was all connected.
Overall, this was still a fabulous read. I was sucked in right from the start and couldn’t put the book down. I loved the characters and the struggles they each had. The conflict with the decimated towns and the murderers who killed them made for an interesting plot. The overall conflict isn’t fully resolved though, so while this isn’t technically a cliff-hanger (at least not to me), be aware that not everything is concluded due to the sheer magnitude of its complexity. I’m looking forward to the next books, Gray Bishop and White Knight because I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*