Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Joint Review: Jace by Sarah McCarty

This review is the third in a series of joint reviews done between Deanna (Paperback DayDreamer) and myself on The Shadow Wranglers series by Sarah McCarty.

Right now there are four books in this series:
1. Caleb (posted on my blog Nov. 28)
2. Jared (posted on Deanna's blog Nov. 29)
3. Jace  (here)
4. Slade (releasing Dec. 6th)

Title: Jace
Author: Sarah McCarty
My Rating: A+
Deanna's Rating: 5*****

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Shadow Wranglers #3
Main Characters: Jace & Miri
Release Date: May 2011

ISBN: 978-0425240892

Publisher: Penguin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
He had one need.
She had one hope.
Together they have one chance...
Vampire Jace Johnson was not a family man until he met Miri. But their forbidden relationship ended when she disappeared. After a year of searching, Jace finds Miri in a Sanctuary enclave.
After a year of cruel experimentation by the Sanctuary on her werewolf form, Miri is no longer the passionate wife Jace remembers. She only lives to rescue the daughter Jace never knew they had.
Now, they must overcome the tragedy of their pasts if they are to reclaim the future they both desire...

Our Review:
Warning: This is a series where the story builds upon itself. As such, there are spoilers below for book #1 and #2.

Jace is the third book in the Shadow Wranglers series about the four Johnson brothers: Caleb, Jared, Jace, and Slade. We have been teased with Jace's story from the very beginning of the series. In the first book, it was a mystery as to what was happening when he was mysteriously battling with the the D'Nally werewolf pack. In book #2, we found out that the reason was because he was trying to locate his mate, and Alpha were shifter,Miri, who was part of the D'Nally pack. 

She has been missing for an entire year, where she has been held and tortured by Sanctuary. The book starts with her rescue from that prison by Jace, the other brothers, and their allies, the McClaren were pack. But who isn't recovered is their baby Faith, whom Jace didn't even know existed until the end of book #2.

Christi: This is the book that I have been waiting for since the series began. Talk about a tortured guy...Jace is that guy and it wasn't until the end of book #2 that we found out exactly what had been happening. More is revealed throughout this book and almost all of it is heartbreaking...for Miri, for Jace, for Faith. 

It's an emotional book. It's also really interesting, as a lot of this book focuses in on the weres and their traditions and how they differ from the vampires. Miri is a were and it was a simple misunderstanding between were tradition and vampire tradition which caused her capture in the first place. Jace blames himself and Miri agrees, but as the book progresses, she begins to see the misunderstanding was simply that they don't see things the same as a species. But the fact remains that Miri has had a torturous year and is incredibly fragile because of that. I loved watching Jace handle her. He shows such care and insight into her needs. It's really beautiful to watch his interactions with her...even when they are fighting. 

Deanna, what did you think about the place where Miri is after her rescue and the things that it added to the story? What about the theme of the differences between the two species' tradition?

Deanna: Very well put Christi! This was a very emotional book and I think for me it was the fact that Jace and Miri have a relationship history...then on top of that you throw in the missing baby and I was a puddle.

For me I understood Miri's feelings after she was first rescued.  She felt betrayed by a member of her pack, she felt betrayed by Jace, she has been seperated from her child and used and abused by the Sanctuary for a year.  The whole time holding out hope that her mate will come and rescue her.  The worse part is that even after Jace rescues her she holds a grudge toward him believing that since he's a vampire he is nothing like a Were and he can't treat her the way she should be treated.  However it did get a little frustrating for me because I know the Johnson boys are loyal and when they mate they mate for life, Miri just can't see what we can and I wanted to shake some sense into her.  I did enjoy how Jace was patient with her no matter how much her words hurt him.

There are babies everywhere in this book. After so much talk at the beginning of the series on how it's so hard for were's and vampires alike to have babies, this book showed us several babies and some young kids.  What were your thoughts on baby Joseph finally being born and little Faith missing?

Christi: Joseph....ack, what can I say without giving away spoilers?? Both of these baby story lines are simply heartbreaking to me. The difficult things about babies is how helpless they are so it brings out everyone's protective side and when there is a situation that, as an adult, can't be controlled or helped, it's shattering. I have faith that Slade is going to figure it all out in his book. Then there is baby Peanut...the scenes between her and Miri literally hurt to read. Miri wants so badly to reach out to her, but there is that mental block because Faith is missing and, to love another baby, in Miri's mind, means a rejection of hope of ever finding her own baby. Yes, the emotional level in this book was WAY higher than it has been in the other two books.

We really got a huge introduction into the were packs and their traditions in this book. What did you think about the fact that Jace, as a vampire, gets put in charge of the Tragallion pack? The Tragallion pack is tough and they have had a hard time of it. It was interesting to see the flip-side of were tradition and how a pack can be decimated by a bad Alpha. How did you like that story line especially the way that they treated Miri and Jace when they first arrived?

Deanna: I will agree that it's difficult to tell everyone about this book without spilling too many spoilers. It was nice to see that even though Allie is a vampire she struggles through child birth.  I was wondering how Ms. McCarty was going to pull off a vampire giving birth and it was nice to see that it was realistic.  As for Joseph, I really do hope Slade can figure something out to help the little newborn.  When Peanut (aka, Penny) was found I was devastated! I can't believe how little the Sanctuary cares for children, how they view them as experiments.  But I do agree that it was nice to see the the softer sides of our vampires and weres.  I completely understand how Miri was feeling when it came to little Peanut and feeling that if she came to care for her that she was giving up hope on her own little one...but I'm happy she came around.  Now the whole thing with Faith had me worrying after Jace discovered Peanut and the state she was in.  It was nerve wracking the whole book with their search for the child.

I was in SHOCK when Jace was appointed Alpha to the Tragallion pack. I know that it is because of Miri, but I couldn't believe who was behind supporting him.  I do think it will be good for the pack once they get over their feelings about him being a vampire and they realize how his thinking is so similar to their own.  I was also in shock at how the previous Alpha had torn his own pack down and used them for his own advantages. Oh, it just made me so mad! The role of the Alpha is to make sure that their pack is taken better care of then themselves but the previous one didn't care about anyone but himself.  I love how Miri stood beside Jace. 

My question for you Christi is about Miri and the fact that she didn't want to mark Jace.  I mean when a female mates she will leave her mark on him stating that she is satisfied with him and claiming him as her one and only, yet she didn't want to and she kept dragging her feet.  Why do you think she did that?

Christi: Personally, I think that Miri was held back simply because she was so emotionally scarred from the last year. I don't think that she trusts herself to believe anything anymore, especially when it comes to her emotions and her feelings for Jace. But it was so hard reading about the issues that he was having within the were's knowing that all she had to do was mark him and all those issues would be null.

Okay, so do you have any last thoughts? Who do you see Sarah McCarty putting with your boy Slade? Are we still in agreement that there has to be more books coming in this series featuring those gorgeous Alpha weres?? What's your overall rating for this book?

Deanna: I would agree with what you said about Miri. She did go through so much and had so many emotions going on, plus scars from the last year. I'm sure it was really hard for her to trust someone again. Again, I can't even beginning to imagine everything that she went through.

This was definitely a good addition to the series! That I will revisit at a later date.  For Slade, I'm not sure who the heck she is going to pair him up with. I hope it is someone who is just as smart as he is and can help take some weight off his shoulders! They all rely on him for so much that he needs some major help! I am very, VERY excited because I don't think Ms. McCarty can get away with not doing some spin-offs for our gorgeous Alpha weres! I'm very, very excited about that!

What are your final thoughts Christi?? Do you have a different idea for who Ms. McCarty is going to pair Slade up with?
(My overall rating is 5 Stars) :-D

Christi: I agree. I gave this one an A+. It was a fabulous book.

I hadn't even thought about the fact that Slade's mate could possibly be the one to help relieve some of the pressure off of him and all the technical stuff that he is handling. I like the way that you are thinking. Hmmm, maybe someone from Sanctuary that ended up working for them without realizing what they were doing and then she found herself stuck?? I don't know, but I sure am excited about the possibilities! This whole series is turning out to be so good. I am glad that we decided to review these together or else they may have gotten lost in my piles of TBR books, and I would have hated to miss out. Now I am ready for Slade's book. Comeon December 6th!

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