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Review: The Awakening: Liam by Abby Niles

The Awakening: Liam (The Awakening #2) by Abby Niles
Category Romance, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 26th, 2013
Ebook $2.99 (158 pages, COVET)
Shifter, Liam Doyle knows Hell. At least he believed he did. The night he feels his mate die, he learns how very wrong he was. Nothing he’d struggled with since Ava’s rejection compares to the emptiness that fills his soul by her death. Lost in his grief, he’s taken by surprise and drugged. When he wakes, everything changes. Nothing is what it seems, and someone is dead set on making him pay.
When Ava Michaels is taken captive, she’s thrust into a dark and terrifying world along with the man she was forced to leave behind. While being near Liam again is heartbreaking, the motive behind her kidnapping is gradually revealed. The more she learns, the more she worries Liam isn’t the man she believed him to be. He has enemies willing to do anything to extract their revenge. Can their love survive a crazy man’s vengeance?

Author Site: website

Sympathy for the devil... (3 stars)

In the previous installment in The Awakening series, Liam's mate refusing the bond was what brought the hero and heroine together. As they worked to help him get his life to a manageable place they fell in love. When Ava rejected Liam it was much more complicated than he knew and when he suddenly feels her die his world is flipped upside down.

Liam and Ava find themselves at the mercy of a masked mad-man who claims that he owes Liam the torment he puts them through. But with no clue as to whom he has made an enemy there's only so much he can do to protect his mate. As they struggle with their deep secrets and the unlost feelings between them they'll have to find some way to unmask the predator without anyone else getting hurt. Especially avoiding more heartbreak of their own.

Hmmm, I'm finding this one a tough one to review. Generally, I'm not a huge fan of fated mates but Niles has given it a fresh and interesting twist that makes the world intriguing. The plot of this one wasn't very original, yet managed to be a tense read. I think most readers will find the villain's plot twist to be a surprise and that's always good. One thing that really killed it for me though was the lack of sympathy shown to the villain. I honestly felt like everything he had been doing was a little too understandable once it was revealed why he was doing it. It all felt very brushed under the rug and discounted when I'm pretty sure Liam and most heroes would have done the same thing.

As much as I wanted to really like Ava and Liam—and I did to a point—their lack of communication and secret keeping was just plain stupid. Sure, without it there wouldn't have been much of a story, but if you get frustrated when characters are very stubborn about something this important you might find yourself disliking them for it. That said, if you love steamy scenes, they might make up for it there. ;)

Overall, I was just very meh on this one. Didn't dislike it but wasn't super thrilled with it either. I think a lot of fated mates fans will absolutely love it if they can get past the frustrating 'just tell him already' moments. I said it with the previous installment and it bears noting again... I'm not loving this series but I think I'll keep giving it a read because it's a different take on a trope I don't usually enjoy.

Notes: ARC received via publisher.

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