Primal Hunger by Sydney Somers
Series: Pendragon Gargoyles #1
Source: Personal shelf
Excerpt: Yes (click on Excerpt tab)
When the sun goes down, passion is unleashed.
Pendragon Gargoyles Book 1
Kennedy Beaumont loves her bartending job, even if her spirited nature sometimes gets her in trouble. Like threatening to hose down one of Pendragon’s co-owners. When it comes to Tristan, she could use a good hosing down herself—maybe it’ll help her stop casting him as the star of her wickedest dreams. Since he goes out of his way to avoid her, it ought to be easy to put him out of her head—until he reluctantly offers her a ride home.
Gargoyle shape-shifter Tristan Callaghan hasn’t had time for anything other than recovering the mystical dagger that was used to permanently lock his brother in a prison of stone. The cat inside him should have stopped craving Kennedy’s touch long ago, but now that she’s sitting next to him in his car, his very human need for her is sharper than ever.
The distraction is costly. In a split second, Kennedy finds herself thrust into a dangerous, millennia-old hunt for Excalibur. A hunt that marks her for death—and leaves Tristan with a painful choice—sacrifice his family, his quest…or the one woman meant to be his.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Important: There’s a wee spoiler that doesn’t give anything major away towards the end. The book is old enough that I think it’s okay to hint at what happens towards the end but I’ve put up a spoiler alert so you can skip it if you’re so inclined.
I discovered Sydney Somers while reading the Promise Harbor series from Samhain. I really enjoyed her contribution to the quadrology so I figured I’d give her paranormal stuff a shot. The first series I tried: her Pendragon Gargoyles books. I picked this one because I loved the idea of gargoyles as central characters, since we don’t see that all that often.
In PRIMAL HUNGER, we are thrown into a world in which all things supernatural are hidden from human eyes. Kennedy works in a bar for supernaturals but doesn’t know it until she gets drawn into things after her car breaks down and Tristan reluctantly rescues her. We learn about the world as Kennedy does. This means that we get some answers and these answers are quite interesting since they tie into the King Arthur story (hence Pendragons). The gargoyles (and other supernaturals) can go back and forth between our world and Avalon. Avalon’s not the happiest place since Morgana took over Camelot after Arthur fell. There is a way to get him back, if six enchanted daggers are united to point the way to Excalibur. Both Team Arthur and the Team Morgana are trying to get the daggers. Tristan falls on Team Arthur but he’s really motivated to find one particular dagger to release his brother Cian from a curse so there’s a nice blend of loyalty to family and loyalty to leader in there. There’s also a cool take on the gargoyle myth: Rhiannon cursed the gargoyles to turn to stone in the daytime because they failed to protect Arthur and gargoyles can only fight the change when they have found their one and only mate. And because this is paranormal romance, Kennedy is Tristan’s mate.
I really enjoyed the worldbuilding — definitely the most interesting aspect of the novel for me — but I also liked the relationship between Kennedy and Tristan. They have a very sparky connection and the love scenes are pretty intense. Kennedy is your typical tough-but-vulnerable heroine and Tristan is very alpha male but I didn’t mind the tropes in the novel since I truly liked both characters and was rooting for their romance to succeed.
The one part of PRIMAL HUNGER I didn’t really like was the ending. **SMALL SPOILER** The resolution to Kennedy being marked for death by the wraith seemed very convenient since it also solved the whole mortal/immortal issue but it was a development that I didn’t expect. **END SPOILER**
On the whole, I enjoyed PRIMAL HUNGER. It’s a good start the the series. It’s not the best first book I’ve read but I liked it enough to want to keep going with the series. I hope the next book is just as sexy but with some more worldbuilding (because it’s so interesting) and a less pat ending.