Leah has led a sheltered life… she certainly has never attended many concerts. But even she’s pretty sure concerts don’t usually end up with you waking up on the tour bus surrounded by naked people - and sexy werewolves and witches
I am going to, again, reference my pledge to read every word SM Reine has ever typed in her entire life ever.
One of the mild downsides to this is the Tarot Witches series - because this would probably be a series I would never pick up at any time. It’s a paranormal romance where the romance and sex both is the focus - and it’s a werewolf romance. And for some reasons there’s something about the canine and furry that invites the worst tropes round to play. But with this world, with its complex and overlapping characters, I can’t guarantee some of these characters won’t be super relevant later. Especially since the underlying concept of the Tarot witches is really intriguing - these witches who have some kind of plot to resolve linked to these destiny predicting Tarot cards. All of these women can be extremely different people, facing massively different challenged with this woo-woo bringing the disparate women together. All for a deeper, richer and more mysterious purpose
And damn it I want to know what that mysterious purpose is! This is the world with the whole godslayer narrative, an author who has produced some of the most unique and genre breaking storylines I’ve read and a world so complicated and interlinked that I NEED to read all of this to appreciate the vastness and amazingness. Whatever else happens in this series, I will charge through it because I know some of these elements or characters may inform the Dana McIntyre Must Die series or the The War of the Alphas, I want them to be included, I want to see all these vastness come together because there’s so much here I love
But… this book really isn’t one of them. It has so many romance tropes I find unpleasant: inexperienced female ingenou vs experience male love interest; Magical Mating Bond that get complete strangers to fall in love without getting to know the slightest thing about it; woman instantly trusting love interest despite the extreme danger she’s in; man barking orders and commands and control over woman; woman giving no more than a token protest to all this. And there’s not even a real story like there was in Caged Wolf. No dark past to escape, no figure to defeat - no, the meaning of her card is, not-even-a-spolier, to basically do what her captors say
Yes I said captors. Innocent, naive, Leah, good mormon girl with only a couple of ex-boyfriends and little experience in the rock star lifestyle goes to a concert at the urgings of her Gay Best Friend (yes a gay character. Yes, he’s a walking stereotype. No he does nothing in the book except be Leah’s friend. We even open to him giving her a make over. Actually that’s pretty much all he does). There because of woo-woo she’s given VIP treatment which means getting this very naive woman drunk (at one point tipping her head back and pouring alcohol down her throat when she seems reluctant) after which she gets heavily groped by two men and sat in a bus witnessing. No she didn’t say no. But she was extremely drunk as she makes clear on multiple occasions. This is not ok.
And when she falls asleep that bus drives off and leaves the state. And when she expresses a wish to leave she is denied. As we go on she is repeatedly stopped from leaving and even physically picked up and carried by her love interest when she tries to leave. And then tied up. Her protests to this are minimal… and seconds after being restrained they decide her sexy smell is distracting so it’s necessary to make her orgasm. If she’s less horny her smell won’t be distracting, apparently.
Consent is not something that is considered