Marked, by Joely Skye

>> Sunday, July 10, 2011

TITLE: Marked
AUTHOR: Joely Skye

PAGES: 208

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Paranormal romance (werewolves)
SERIES: Yes, part of a series

Marked as prey, Alec refuses to fall for a werewolf. Until he's forced to turn to Liam for protection. Alec Ryerson carries a scar over his heart and scars on his psyche, ugly reminders of a nightmare that still doesn't seem quite real. Even a year later, he stays inside on full-moon nights and avoids most peopleuntil he meets the strange and beautiful Liam.

Liam feels an undeniable pull toward Alec. However Liam is a werewolf; Alec is a human who clearly has trepidations about a relationship. Then Liam discovers he is not the first werewolf Alec has encountered. Alec has been marked for death by the murderous "quad," a group of twisted werewolves who prey on humans. Now the quad's sights are set on recruiting Liam's eight-year-old brother into their murderous pack.

Liam will do everything in his power to protect both his brother and Alec from the wolves, even if it means Calling in favors and killing those with whom he once ran. Because Alec, like it or not, is Liam's chosen mate.
I downloaded this one when it was available for free for the Kindle, about a month ago. I don't often read free stories. I've said it before, but lately my limiting scarce resource is time, not money. I'd rather spend my scarce reading time on something I really want to read, even if I have to pay for it, rather than on something where the only reason for me to read it is that it's free. With Marked, however, the plot appealed to me, and since I've also heard good things about the author, I went for it.

In Skye's world, there are good werewolves and bad werewolves. Unfortunately for Alec, the first werewolves he ever ran into were the bad kind, the kind who like to capture humans, mark them as their property and keep them as pets. Alec managed to escape them, though, and since then, he's been running scared. He has a feeling that they won't let him get away from them so easily, and since he can't very well go to the authorities (the only reason he himself knows he's not crazy and imagining things is the very physical mark the werewolves left on him) and needs to protect himself, he's feeling a bit paranoid.

He's got reasons to be, because even though Alec doesn't know it at the beginning, there's another werewolf in his life. After losing his previous job, Alec is working at a library, and one of the little boys there is crazy about him. The boy insists Alec meets his older brother, and that older brother turns out to be Liam, with whom Alec had a hookup that went a bit wrong some time earlier.

The reason things went weird in their first encounter was that Liam is a werewolf himself, and he was so attracted to Alec that he was very close to not being able to contain himself him. But now that Alec has come into his life again, Liam is determined to get somewhere with him. But then he begins to realise that Alec might have a huge problem with him being a werewolf...

It's an interesting setup, and I liked the execution ok. Both heroes are well-written and there's chemistry between them. I also liked the little boy, who was a little sweetheart, and enjoyed how Liam basically brings Alec into his pack, his community, and how he's welcomed there.

However, I guess me saying that I liked this "ok" is a clue that I wasn't particularly enthusiastic about it. I wasn't really completely engaged. I just found it all a bit forgettable, I'm afraid. And when the action subplot with the bad werewolves kicks up near the end, I was bored.



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