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Call of the Highland Moon    by Kendra Leigh Castle order for
Call of the Highland Moon
by Kendra Leigh Castle
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When the pressures of taking over as his Clan's Alpha becomes too great, Gideon MacInnes bids goodbye to Scotland and his father's gruff demands and heads to America. After months of sampling city life, he retreats to upstate New York to rest and think about his future - one that he's come closer to accepting. But on the eve of his return, he's attacked by rogue werewolves sent by an enemy with strange new powers. Left for dead and threatened by an approaching snowstorm, Gideon manages to drag himself to the nearest town.

When Carly spies what she believes to be a huge dog bleeding all over her bookshop's doorstep, she's more appalled than frightened. As an animal lover, she can't imagine why anyone would hurt such an impressive creature. However, said creature also has a very impressive set of teeth. With a huge storm fast approaching, she has no choice but to take the dog home and hope her rudimentary medical skills will save him. Hours later, she wakes up to find a naked man in her bed. Horrified and furious at the same time, she believes the intruder has murdered her injured dog and is planning God knows what with her. But it doesn't take long for Gideon to convince her that she's gotten the truth skewed in entirely the wrong direction.

Carly may have a knack for selling romance novels and imagining happy endings for other people, but her luck with men has always sucked. Why is it then, that she's not having a problem believing Gideon's wild tale about being a Scottish werewolf? As the storm strands them indoors longer than expected, their attraction grows, especially for Gideon, who's come to realise that Carly is his true mate. The thought both delights and terrifies him - he well remembers how his mother suffered after she'd begged his father to change her. Gideon knows he could never put Carly - or himself - through such an ordeal. As their idyll ends, Gideon makes a hard choice. He will return home to accept the mantle of his responsibilities - without Carly. But his enemies have discovered how precious Carly has become to him - and will stop at nothing to destroy them both.

Kendra Leigh Castle, who has devised an intriguing new take on werewolf mythology, displays a sure hand generating atmosphere and setting. Most impressive are her characters, particularly leads Carly and Gideon. Their dynamic crackles with smart, crisp dialogue sweetened with lively dashes of humour. And their sexual attraction sizzles from the moment they meet. Carly and Gideon's path to love is offset nicely with the darker and much more dangerous reality of Gideon's destiny as future Pack Alpha and the emergence of dark enemies he and his clan must battle to keep the Earthly realm and the legendary Stone of Destiny secure.

Kendra Leigh Castle is an impressive new voice in the paranormal romance genre and Call of the Highland Moon an outstanding debut and marvellous first instalment in a series sure to garner a large following.

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