Training Their Mate
Training Their Mate is the first book in Vella Day's new Pack Wars series. I reviewed this book for NetGalley.
I have a confession to make...I ADORE alpha male characters, but as a rule I'm not usually drawn to shifter/werewolf style romances and it takes a very special book from that genre to reel me in and keep me interested. When I read the synopsis I thought to myself, "Stacey, why not give it a go...I mean, there are TWO alpha males in this book. That's double the alpha-awesomeness!" So I jumped into it with an open mind and I have to say that I was really disappointed. The book had all the ingredients for a smokin' hot romance but there was just no spark at all. The storyline came across as a little convoluted and silly, and it covers some very harsh topics but no real angst or pain manages to break through. The relationship between the three main characters, Liz Wharton and Trax and Dante came across as very forced. The dialogue was appropriate, but there wasn't really any oomph or sizzle behind it.
Now, most of that could have been forgiven if the characters were relatable but honestly, they really weren’t, and not just because two of them were werewolves! Liz Wharton has this grand plan of revenge, she’s meant to be strong and empowered but she comes across as weak-willed, silly and contrived. I mean, at the start she's all gung-ho to kill Harvey Couch, she's attacked and then isn't even a little suspicious when two men essentially kidnap her and sequester her away, and then she just gives up on her plans for revenge and wallows in Trax and Dante's dominance? Really? And then there’s Dante and Trax. It appears that all they think about is sex and there isn’t really any substance to them at all.
Now, the sex scenes. Training Their Mate has a reasonable amount of BDSM (Master/sub) related sex. If this is done well, it’s usually very sexy. But there’s no real lead up to them all jumping into bed, and because of that, there’s very little chemistry or tension between the characters. And this lack of a lead up, and the aforementioned silliness with the heroine just jumping into bed with two guys who have kidnapped her, really doesn’t come off all that well. Having said that, the sex scenes are descriptive enough to be entertaining.
Sex Scenes: Descriptive, BDSM elements, not very well developed
Plot: Slightly contrived and convoluted
Characters: Un-relatable and silly
Dialogue: Suitable for the story, but lacking in enough emotion to portray the intense subject matter.