Note: As I was preparing my post for tomorrow’s review of the third book in Ms. DeLima’s Celtic Wolf series, I discovered that I never posted my review of the second book! Eep! So here is a no-frills review of the title; no links, no book info, etc. I hope you enjoy the review!
Summer Moon is the follow up title to Jan DeLima’s delightful debut, Celtic Moon. Set in northern New England, the series follows a werewolf pack/community who views its Celtic roots and the Guardians of its race with unease. Summer Moon picks up the story of these wolves and their families shortly after the conclusion of the first title. I do recommend reading Celtic Moon first, as the story provides a great deal of world building for the series and setting. Also note, this review has spoilers from the first book.
When Dylan exacted his revenge by killing Math, a Guardian married to Rosa, he unknowingly sped up Rosa’s secret plans to take over Avon, her home, and protect its citizens. Seeking out Dylan’s help in protecting her home from the Guardians, Rosa proposes an arrangement of marriage with Dylan’s brother, Luc, in an effort to thwart the Guardian’s plans to use Rosa to produce werewolf offspring. Soon, Rosa and Luc find themselves torn between duty, history, and the desires of their wolves.
Summer Moon is an enjoyable story and excellent addition to the Celtic Wolves series. I really liked how the author brings Luc and Rosa together though an arranged marriage of convenience rather than having them long for one another for days and weeks. However, preventing the couple from a simple romance is both Rosa’s history of mental and emotional abuse from her first husband and the memory of Luc’s only love and long-decesed wife, Koko. Their romance had both emotional and physical fulfillment. I found myself even tearing up once or twice.
“‘I want her,’ he whispered to the woman who’d taught him how to love. ‘I’m sorry, Koko… I’ll never forget you. Never. But I ache for another and I don’t know how much longer I’ll last.'”
While I found their romance both sweet and steamy, and I enjoyed it immensely, I do wish that more time was spent on the pair’s relationship during the course of the book. It’s not that their story was lacking, but I felt that at times their scenes were spread out and sparse, taking a back seat to the larger plot.
As for the story arc, it was both tense and exciting. Up against a deadline and unsure of the repercussions from their marriage, Luc and Rosa, along with family and friends, tentatively begin to enjoy new found freedoms while preparing for war. I especially enjoyed learning more about Merin and Taliesin; both I believe, will have larger rolls in future books (and each had a few pivotal moments in Summer Moon). Several factors come into play and weave in and out of the plot, some of which confused me. One thing I would have liked was a more comprehensive glossary that included ALL of the italicized Celtic words and names because I couldn’t keep everything straight. (Note: I did just discover that the author provided a more extensive glossary on her website, which may have helped while reading the book.) Another thing that bothered me a little is the inclusion of Koko’s journal entries. Luc read one at the beginning of the book, noting it was the final time he’d read it. Yet, the entries continued to appear throughout the book – and not in chronological order. It was confusing – who was reading them? Or were they just there for the reader’s FYI?
Overall, I really enjoyed Summer Moon. Rosa and Luc’s story is both sexy and sweet. Getting a deeper look at the world and mythology was exciting. While the storyline ended in a good place, readers discover how certain events will have a major impact on the future. I really liked this twist, and it creates both excitement and trepidation in anticipation of reading the next book.