In Las Vegas, Jason Cage is known as “The Beast Master.” But his onstage feats of magic are nothing compared to the abilities he keeps hidden from human eyes. Jason is Prime of his vampire family, and once used his telepathic skills to tame wild werewolves. It’s a talent that leads him to beautiful, sensual Sofia Hunyara, who instantly triggers all of Jason’s primal urges. Sofia is destined to be his bondmate, but keeping her alive long enough to convince her of that fact will not be easy.
Sofia has no reason to trust Jason, or to believe his story about her family’s secret history as Wolf Tamers. The only thing she’s sure is an overwhelming attraction that quickly develops into a scorching affair. If Jason’s claims are true, can Sofia embrace her legacy – when it means walking away from a soul-searching desire that’s deeper than any she’s ever known?
Jason Cage, the star of a magical animal show and known as the Beast Master, is summoned to an unknown location to repay an old debt to a family he hasn’t seen in over sixty years; the Hunyara.
The Hunyara family comprises werewolves who aren’t naturally born but turned by having been bit instead. This makes them outcasts in both the mortal and the supernatural world. However, a threat to both these worlds have lead to needing the help of the Hunyara’s Wolf Tamers, the only ones, human or werewolf, who can control the feral, bitten werewolves. Sofia Hunyara is the next great Wolf Tamer of her people but she is not aware of it. Jason is brought in to train her for this task and help her save mankind, both human and supernatural.
Sofia is sassy, stubborn and outspoken. She is yearning for a harmonious life and a family, a sense of belonging. Her dislike for dogs, wolfs and those alike is rather ironic since she is supposed to be a Wolf Tamer and the one to train her to do so, Jason, is known as the Beast Master. Sofia is very hesitant at first about all that is happening to her, especially about her newly discovered werewolf family and her role in it and her blossoming feelings for Jason, a vampire of all things. Despite her hesitations, once she accepts things, she becomes very dedicated in both aspects.
Jason is a true Prime: cocky, self-assured and a bit arrogant. In short, he’s alpha to the core and doesn’t apologize for it. I really liked his character. He had just enough of that self-deprecating humor I like to see in my heroes and his attitude towards Sofia was endearing despite the little bouts of cockiness now and then, but well that comes with being a Prime.
When I was looking at the TBR-mountain for books for the reading challenge, PRIMAL DESIRES was one of the first ones I picked because it really had been a while since I left the Primes’ world and I did enjoy the previous books. I read Susan Sizemore’s first five books in the Primes series a very long time ago and liked them. It was when I just started reading English romance novels and when I first discovered the paranormal romance genre. I didn’t do reviews back then so there are no reviews of those first five books. (Maybe one day…but I wouldn’t count on it). Now, having read PRIMAL DESIRES and ready to review it, I must say I am a bit disappointed with the book. I can’t recall having these feelings with the other books but this one really didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the book or the plot; it’s just that I wasn’t overwhelmed by it either.
It’s difficult to name exactly what bothered me but I will give it a try. For example I would have loved to have a more in-depth look into Sofia and Jason’s characters and lives and the Hunyara’s background instead of the extensive general and repetitive descriptions of the Clan and Family’s customs and traditions. The story was entertaining and definitely had potential but especially in the plot and main characters it stayed too much on the surface of things, never diving deep into the intriguing world it seems to be.
Also, the focus on Jason and Sofia is often interrupted by storylines and POVs of two other, secondary characters in the book. Admittedly the two side stories are tightly linked to the main plot and they were definitely interesting storylines leaving me curious how they will work out in future books but still I would have liked to see more focus on Jason, Sofia and their story. Related to this was the fact that the build-up of the relationship between Sofia and Jason was too shallow for my liking. They went from total strangers to feeding and lovemaking in roughly 60 pages and Sofia was dealing with a lot of other stuff besides her attraction to Jason. Not that I mind instant chemistry and attraction but it was just a bit too much to be believable and more importantly I didn’t feel it fitted the rest of the story.
Finally, there were parts of the book that just couldn’t hold my attention, especially the parts where Sizemore fills the pages with lengthy descriptions of the hierarchy, customs and traditions within the Clans and Families. In those parts the pace slowed considerably from the faster paced action and love scenes, they took me longer to read and those were the points in the book where my mind would stray off and I’d stop reading and go do other things. This is never a good thing when I’m reading; I like to be enthralled by a book to the point of not being able to stop reading it.
When I combine all of the above with the little plot and character inconsistencies I found, I can only come to the conclusion that PRIMAL DESIRES is an nice addition to the Primes series but didn’t blow me off my socks, not by a long shot.
Sofia and Jason:
“It actually happened –sixty years ago.”
“How old are you?”
“Obviously over sixty.” He flashed a bright white smile at her. “Well preserved, aren’t I?”
Sofia and Jason talking about Tolkien/LOTR:
“The council is actually my favorite part of The Lord of the Rings.”
“Mine too,” he answered. “I was never fond of Tolkien’s anti-technology stance but I love his world-building and the history and mythology–“
“Keep talking sexy to me like that, and I’m going to throw you on the bed and have my way with you.” She grinned.