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New Release Review: Claiming Ana by Brynna Curry (Triple Star Ranch #1)

A brand-new series by author Brynna Curry is off to an action-packed start!

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Claiming Ana
by Brynna Curry

“I’ll take you, turn you, until I’m the sun that warms you, the moon that calls to you at night.” – Howl Raven

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…and passion that won’t be denied.

Triple Star Ranch, #1

The child of a gypsy and fey, small-town veterinarian Dr. Anastasia Brannon has always hidden her magic for fear of ridicule. A red-hot encounter with the new PI in town makes their attraction impossible to deny. Throwing caution to the wind, she indulges her desires but keeps her secrets close.

A man with a shady past and secrets of his own, Howl Raven uses his feral talents and tracking skills to make a living, doing his best to lay low and hide the curse that haunts him every month. So far, so good…until an uncontrollable shift outside the full moon leaves him the victim of a werewolf hunter.

When she finds the enigmatic investigator wounded in the woods near her cabin during a storm, Ana provides medical care on instinct. She may be the only one who can banish the wolf from Howl’s blood, but at what cost?

CONTENT WARNING: Contains a brief, mostly off-page, violent scene which may disturb some readers. Violence, strong language and graphic love scenes.

 

Review:

Claiming Ana was a quick, entertaining read with likable characters and an intriguing setting. Ana and Howl’s relationship developed really quickly, but with the paranormal “mate” bonding aspect of it it’s almost to be expected, and it didn’t bother me as it might have otherwise.

Since Ana is a veterinarian, animals play a big part in the novella. I especially enjoyed Circe the mama cat and Taffy the golden retriever, and watching them interact with each other and especially with Howl was fun. When he tells the dog she’s not his “kind of girl”, it really made me smile.

The story is very fast-paced; not only do our characters progress quickly in their relationship, but the drama that enfolds them moves along at a fast clip. We no sooner met Howl but his life’s in danger; a few short chapters later Ana’s life is threatened as well. Not a dull moment here!

The book as a whole, though, often felt rushed. It is the first in a series of three, so hopefully some of the plot elements that didn’t get a full treatment here will be more fully developed later. (Perfect example–the case that brings Howl to town, investigating the murder of the father of Ana’s high school boyfriend and the mystery of why he took so much money out of his ranch before his death, is left hanging. It seems to get lost in the more immediate drama–understandably–of Howl being chased by an angry man with silver bullets in his gun. Still, though, I’d like to see what is going on there.)

A larger word count could have given this story more body and made it ultimately more satisfying. As it is, we’re left with some vague information about curses and the bonds between several characters that I’d like to have seen explored more fully. I’d also love to know more about Ana’s magical powers and abilities–what, exactly is she capable of?

What is here is definitely enough to arouse interest in the next two books, though–and it can be read in an afternoon.

Rating: C+, or 3 1/2 stars

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt:

The tinkling of a bell announced the arrival of another customer. Ana looked toward the door. The newcomer was tall, with black hair. His leather jacket and jeans accentuated a muscled but lean form. Sunglasses hid his eyes from view. He didn’t stop at the counter, instead making his way over to their table. “Sorry to interrupt, chief. Got a minute?”

“Sure. Have a seat.”

The stranger shook Cade’s hand before moving on to Jace. The scent of pine and crisp soap tempted her into curiosity. Slipping off his glasses, he hooked them in the V of his jacket. He turned, his golden eyes meeting hers. A wave of pure heat swept over her, washing away her common sense with the tide.

“Howl, this is Dr. Anastasia Brannon, our local vet and a close friend of the family. Ana, this is Howl Raven.”

Noting Cade deliberately left Howl’s occupation out of the introduction, she smiled and held out her hand to shake his. “Nice to meet you.”

“The pleasure is all mine, Anastasia.”

God, his voice was like the finest whiskey. Rich, dark and damning as it rolled over her name. The air changed at his touch. He didn’t shake her hand, instead held it warm in his just a second longer than was polite. She didn’t miss the frown on Jace’s face. Even old lovers were territorial.

“Ah, yes. Likewise. Well, I hate to run, but I have to get going. Got a full day of appointments scheduled.” Flustered, she tugged her hand out of Howl’s. “Hey, Cade, tell Taylor to call me when she gets in. We need to catch up. Spa day.”

“Yep. Thanks.”

“Any time.” She retreated to the safety of her Jeep, but couldn’t resist a second look toward the door before driving away. He was watching her through the glass. She still felt his touch and ached for more. Howl Raven was a flash fire. And she was a moth to that flame, begging him to consume her.

Author’s Bio:

Brynna Curry was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line. After living all over the southern states, she finally landed in North Alabama where she lives with her husband and their three children. Growing up, books fueled her dreams and imagination, ultimately becoming her salvation during the hardest times in her life.
Writing is her passion, but she enjoys the fun of sharing those stories with others by reviewing books and working in publicity. When she isn’t writing or promoting, she’s often found haunting the library for new books to read, at the park with her children (when she can wrangle them into it) or just spending an quiet evening at home with Jackie watching old westerns on TV. Although her wizards, shifters and vampires are as real to her as anyone, she insists love is the truest magic and with it every day is another wonderful adventure.

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