A short story set between Wilder’s Mate and Hunter’s Prey.
Merrick Wood is a wild man–literally. For six decades he’s stalked the Rocky Mountains as a bloodhound, fighting a losing battle against the vampires who have taken over most of the American frontier. He’s sure he’s seen it all, until an airship crash leaves him caught behind enemy lines with a concussion and a mate he doesn’t remember taking.
Paralee Colton is a wild woman. She enjoys her freedom and makes a good living flying over the Deadlands. Until, that is, bloodsuckers shoot down her ship, and she’s forced to deal with an irritatingly attractive man who isn’t a man at all.
Trapped together in the wilderness, Merrick and Paralee must fight to find a safe camp before the new moon drags Merrick into three days of sexual madness. But as enticing as Paralee finds the bloodhound, she doesn’t realize the stakes of their courtship game.
Getting out of the Deadlands is only half of Merrick’s battle for survival. If he can’t convince Paralee to stay with him, he’ll follow the footsteps of every bloodhound who’s ever lost a mate–straight into the grave.
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
E: I had heard through the twitterwebs that Moira Rogers had a short story coming out in All Romance Ebooks Valentines special anthology I was pretty excited. Then I found out it was one of the Bloodhounds and I was even more excited because I have to admit that I am addicted to them. When we were offered the chance to review this I about broke my fingers trying to type my acceptance. If anything this short story just fueled my addiction to this particular series.
Has: I really loved Wilder’s Mate and the setting and premise of a western with steampunk elements and hawt smexy weres as heroes is just full of WIN for me. So I was definitely looking forward to the next installment, and dare I say it – I think Merrick’s Destiny almost topped Wilder’s Mate! I loved how sexy and intense the romance even though it was short. I adored the opening scene which hooked me straight into the story.
E: Talk about starting off with an impact! With a short story I think it is even more important to have the reader hooked quickly because you don’t have the room for a gradual build-up. That scene certainly set their characters and gave them a reason for having to work together. I also liked that Merrick was hurt and in a way owed his life to Paralee. It seemed to almost level the playing field between the two of them.
Has: I loved that scene so much! It packed so much info and emotions in such a short time period and the tension between them sizzled! And I totally agree that there was such an equal footing and their partnership on surviving their crash landing and the tentative beginnings of their emotional part of their relationship. I liked how Merrick didn’t want to push her and gave Paralee the space to make the moves.
I have to say that each love scene that they shared really ratcheted the tension and the intensity of their romance. I really do think that this was hottest story that Moria Rogers has written yet because if my Kindle could live up to its name. The words would be smoking!
E: Merrick was great. For such an old gruff Bloodhound he certainly had a hidden soft side. He tried so hard to let Paralee make her decision without any pressure. My favorite line that displayed how much he cared for more then the physical is:
You’re going to be the most important thing in my world, and if you’ve got a scrap of compassion for me… Well, you’ll let me care for you a little, whether you need it or not.
OMG talk about swoon and certainly telling Paralee that she had a lot of power over him. And the continual build-up of sexual tension…*fans self*
Has: *Sigh* I know! That scene was pure utter scrumptiousness! I don’t think that a lot of short stories can carry that aspect well. But seriously Merrick’s Destiny really did deliver! Even though it was such a short story, the romance, the characterisation and the setting all worked. I felt very satisfied towards the end and although I was sad when I got to the end of the story and wished for more but that is because I wanted to know more about the characters and their future adventures. I thought that it was a wonderfully sweet but passionate Bloodhound entry to the series and for such a short story – it packed a memorable punch! Frankly I <3 this story!
I give Merrick’s Destiny an A
E: I also liked how the authors were able to sprinkle in bits of world building and Bloodhound history. I felt it added to the story both for readers familiar with the world and those who might be visiting for the first time. This was a great installment in their series and I can’t wait for the next. This short story delivered everything I was looking for. I can’t even complain about the short length, even though I didn’t want to stop reading, because the story felt complete.
I give Merrick’s Destiny an A+
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