Review – Hunter’s Rise by Shiloh Walker

Hunter's Rise Cover
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: April 3d
How I got this book: ARC from the author

His past is a mystery, even to him-a werewolf with memories so lost in a fog that even the Hunter’s healers cannot help him. More than a century ago, Toronto awakened on an unfamiliar street, naked and alone- and dogged by the unanswered questions of his enigmatic existence.
The vampire Sylvia is no Hunter. She’s a mercenary who just barely skates this side of what the Hunters consider acceptable. All she wants is to hunt her quarry, and make a lot of money. Her newest prey is a devious killer. But her newest complication is of a more intimate sort: a blonde, blue-eyed werewolf who interferes with her plans in so many exquisite ways.
This blurb came from Goodreads.

I have a confession to make. I first discovered Ms Walker’s writing through one of her Hunter’s books. I don’t remember exactly which one but it was before the series moved to NY publishing. After reading the first one I found the backlist, and have eagerly anticipated each new release. When Ms Walker asked if any of The Book Pushers were interested in reviewing it I leaped at the chance. Unfortunately the publisher has decided that Hunter’s Rise will be the last of the Hunter’s series they will be offering so that made me almost want to save the book because if I never read it then the series can never end. Since I had agreed to review Hunter’s Rise I sucked my bottom lip back up and got started. I was hooked from the opening lines. This is one of those books that I sat in my car in the parking lot reading because I really didn’t want to have to stop.

Ms Walker took two people who had been so broken by the cause of their transition, one to a shifter the other to a vampire, that they couldn’t tolerate being around others for a long period of time and made them fit each other. They do what they have found they are good at, but they are haunted by memories or in Toronto’s case a lack of memories. It is that very haunting that causes Sylvia to take on some of her jobs pro-bono, to decline other jobs and sometimes provide information to the police. She also doesn’t really have a home and has used a variety of names as she moves from place to place. Toronto does have a place that he calls home but doesn’t feel like he really belongs there. If anything he lives to provoke fights so people will leave him alone. He also makes trips back to the location where he was found as he tried to find out about his past. His obsession with his past has kept him from progressing any further towards what he COULD be.

I am not going to talk much about what drew Sylvia and Toronto together because it is so very interwoven with who they are that I am afraid of spoiling the book. They are both after the same person; Sylvia because she was hired and Toronto because the Hunters need to find the person of interest before Sylvia does. The Hunters want answers and information while Silvia just wants him dead. I will give this warning, Ms Walker brings up and deals with some harsh realities that could be a trigger to certain people. They are handled extremely well and not glossed over with the actions and their aftermath.

I loved Sylvia and Toronto, and their interactions had me alternating between laughing and sighing. They were both so wounded and mistrusting yet couldn’t resist depending on each other. Each had a certain skill that they needed as they continued to try to track down their target. I also liked how I found out about their previous lives through flashbacks and nightmares. As they learned about each other I also learned about them, what made them tick, what drove them. I also enjoyed how each had to grow individually and decide what they wanted then work to get it. This was certainly not an easy path to their HEA even after they gave into their mutual physical attraction.

I also enjoyed seeing how previous couples were doing. I liked being able to know that their HEAs were continuing and they continued to settle in and explore their relationships. The supporting cast was also important in fleshing out the story and the fact that Sylvia and Toronto didn’t live in their own isolated bubbles.

As some of you might have seen on my comment on Goodreads that Ms Walker has done it again. I partially guessed one of her twists but despite how much attention I pay I am always caught by surprise as all the pieces fall into place. I think one of the things I really enjoyed with Hunter’s Rise is that the book didn’t end when the bad guys were vanquished because that would have tied things up too conveniently. I am sad that this will be the last one and wish I could continue to read more.

I give Hunter’s Rise an A

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