Goodreads/Amazon rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In Patti's Imagination rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars
I like paranormal and fantasy stories, but I don't tend to read a lot of them compared to romance or straight fiction. Little Red seemed like it might be another typical paranormal story, so I was prepared for that. What I didn't expect was the fascinating twist that sets this story apart from so many others. If you like zero spoilers, stop reading and know that it's a good surprise and the story is well worth a read if you're into paranormal.
Now, for the rest of you who can handle a spoiler or two, male lead, Ethan - who plays the Big Bad Wolf in this paranormal/fairytale story - is part of a pack, which consists of him and his six brothers. I expected this to be a typical shifter story, where these guys were cursed werewolves. Nope. Not even close. Which is what made this so interesting.
Ethan and his brothers all have the curse of the wolf - they have dog-like skills while still retaining their human forms. Their curse is not to shape-shift into a wolf and be consumed by the beast at a full moon, but to be forced to endure those same feelings without the benefit of being an animal at the time it takes place. The primal feelings, the rage, the passion, these things overwhelm the Parker brothers each full moon, and they have to control their urges.
On one such night, Ethan comes across Samantha, a woman on the run from an abusive man. The pull between them is intense and it turns out, Sam - or Red, as Ethan calls her because of her red leather jacket - is destined to be Ethan's mate. If I tell you more than that, well, I'll ruin the rest of the story for you, and I don't want to do that. It's a great read, compelling and easy, action-packed and well-paced. The details are abundant but not overwhelming and the settings, though in the south, could probably have been anywhere and still work. Little twists and turns here and there added to the narrative.
I really liked these characters, and anyone who knows my reviews can recall that I love a story with characters that make me feel. Ethan and Red were a great couple, chemistry that burned the pages and a love that was amplified by the pull of the moon. But what made this story for me were the supporting characters - the brothers Parker made me laugh, cry, swoon and shake my head. I thought that Trista did an amazing job illustrating how it might actually feel to BE a wolf in human skin. For this alone, the story automatically gets 3 stars from me, even if the rest is awful. It wasn't.
Given that I had an ARC version, I think the quality of the manuscript was excellent and that bumped it up another whole star. I'll admit that my personal biases probably prevent me from giving it a full 5-star rating, so that's why, in the rating on my blog, I'm giving it another half star. For anyone who likes paranormal or fairy tales, I'd recommend the book and suggest that you'll probably feel inclined to bump the rating above mine.
Overall, a quick, exciting and rewarding read. I'd definitely be interested in reading more from this author.
Author PlaylistHere's Trista Jaszczak's playlist for the book. I was especially interested in this because I make playlists for every story I write and I listen to them on repeat as I work whenever that's possible. I can't wait to check out the songs and artists on Spotify! With the hard pace and adrenaline that pumps through this story, I have a feeling that some of these songs will be making it onto playlists for an upcoming story I'm writing.
Please share your favorite songs you listen to when you are writing:
I just have a list of A7X and Coheed and Cambria and it plays at random. But these three are always on every one I make
So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold
The Suffering by Coheed and Cambria
Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria
But anything A7X and Coheed honestly.