Release Date: March 8, 2011
More Info: goodreads
Series: #1 in the Bloodhounds series
Book Blurb: Think a vampire-hunting bloodhound is dangerous?
Try threatening his woman.
Bloodhounds, Book 1
Wilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to hunt down and kill vampires on America’s frontier. His enhanced abilities come with a high price: on the full moon, he becomes capable of savagery beyond telling, while the new moon brings a sexual hunger that borders on madness.
Rescuing a weapons inventor from undead kidnappers is just another assignment, though one with an added complication—keeping his hands off the man’s pretty young apprentice, who insists on tagging along.
At odds with polite society, Satira’s only constant has been the aging weapons inventor who treats her like a daughter. She isn’t going to trust Wilder with Nathaniel’s life, not when the Guild might decide the old man isn’t worth saving. Besides, if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that brains are more important than brawn.
As the search stretches far longer than Wilder planned, he finds himself fighting against time. If Satira is still at his side when the new moon comes, nothing will stop him from claiming her. Worse, she seems all too willing. If their passion unlocks the beast inside, no one will be safe. Not even the man they’re fighting to save.
Warning: This book contains a crude, gun-slinging, vampire-hunting hero who howls at the full moon and a smart, stubborn heroine who invents mad-scientist weapons. Also included: wild frontier adventures, brothels, danger, betrayal and a good dose of wicked loving in an alternate Wild West.
Wilder's Mate is a blend of steampunk, urban fantasy, western, mystery, romance, and erotica. The two ladies who write as Moira Rogers have stirred and mixed the ingredients together to make an intriguing story.
Wilder is a Bloodhound, created specifically for the purpose of hunting vampires. He has both a human form and a wolf form but the wolf personality seems to rule. Unlike other bloodhounds, he has an ego strong enough to recognize what others can contribute and not just assume that he can do it all. He knows what he is good at and he knows what other people are good at and he's able and willing to use any and all tools and skills available to him. He is smart, quiet, deadly, and compassionate.
Satira comes to appreciate that quality in Wilder, along with many of his others. She is a human raised by her human mother and a bloodhound who is apprenticed to an inventor, a male inventor. Her world doesn't appreciate women who have technical skills or think for themselves. Satira needs Wilder's help to retrieve the inventor who has been a surrogate father to her.
The story unfolds slowly, nothing is rushed. The characters are fleshed out, but not all at once in an info dump. The story may be only a hundred or so pages but nothing is forgotten - characterization, plot, dialogue, smex, everything is there. I liked that our heroine, Satira, was not a blushing virgin. She had sexual experience if not much experience with actual relationships, but she was able to meet Wilder on a more or less even playing field (well, overlooking the differences between humans and bloodhounds). Overall, Satira and Wilder are equals in many respects and that makes for a refreshing change from many other romances.
I was a little unclear on what made this story steampunk as opposed to say a UF novel set in the old West of the USA. I have read very little steampunk so I'm still learning. That aside, I liked the mix of gadgets, paranormal creatures, details of the American old West, and romance. The story has some twists and turns, the characters are likable and engaging and the story was fast-paced but not rushed.
This eARC was received from the authors for review.