I've read a couple of books, though the few I've read has not inspired me to write any glowing reviews. Then I came across Lynn Hagen's Rise of the Changelings series. I was hesitant at first, because I usually like my books to be MM or MF, not MMF or MFM, which is funny because I had to use google to find out the difference between MMF & MFM. Anyway I bit the bullet and took a chance, mainly because Lynn Hagen is one of my favorite MM authors.
Before making the risky leap of purchasing any of the books, I searched bookstrand for reviews and found none. The five that's out had high marks but virtually no reviews. I do not count, "great book" and "love it" as reviews, because that does nothing but frustrate me. I want to know what's so great about it and why you love it.
Anyway, this is a broad overview of five of the seven books so far. The series, Rise to Love, starts out showcasing the uneasy alliance between humans and changelings. Humans have just learned of the existence of otherworldly beings and are not taking it well. Changelings have no rights, and later into the series are thrown into detention centers and experimented on.
Dorian Campbell, a human, and Enrique Marcelo, alpha werewolf, are the main protagonists of the series. Dorian wishes for more excitement in his life and Enrique must choose from 3 of the candidates chosen by his pack to mate. However, Dorian gets more excitement than he bargained for when he finds himself becoming an unwilling candidate for alpha mate. Not only is he human, but he is regarded as weak and a possible food source for Rick's pack.
As Dorian and Rick attempt to get to know each other, danger finds Rick and the two find themselves on the run from the Death Squad sent out by our finest US military and a master vampire with his own death squad.
Other secondary characters are introduced and have their own stories; Isabelle(Rick's sister) and Edward Costello(rat king), Rise to Trust. Edward kidnapped Isabelle as revenge on Rick for not rescuing him when he was kidnapped by werehyenas. As is normally the case, she gets Stockholm syndrome and the two fall in love with each other.
Next we have Willow (werecoyote), Brooke & Deluca(both humans). It took me awhile to finish this book as this wasn't as good as the others. I felt like Willow and Brooke were a better pair than the three of them together. But Lynn Hagen pulled it off and the three become an instant family, which they always dreamed of. Rick & Dorian are still on the run from the death squad and Rick is faced with numerous betrayals from people he thought he could trust. This just makes me want to slap Rick for being so trusting. Meanwhile Dorian, the gun crazy nut is acting more of a badass than Rick, which I find funny.
In Rise to Submit, we have Ian(Dorian's brother) and Mason(a rebel who joined Rick's group). Ian is a fang addict and submissive. Ian is confused and ashamed of his needs. He needs someone to guide him,, however, he looked for it in the wrong place and is beaten and raped. Mason(werejaguar) is sent to rescue Ian and is instantly drawn to him. Mason guides Ian gently and eventually Ian is able to deal with his addiction and begin to come to terms with his past. I love this book because it doesn't end with a big red bow all neatly tied, we are left knowing Ian is still working through his issues.
The last, Rise to Seduction features Nate(Rick's top enforcer), Selene(another of Rick's enforcers) & Sasha(a leopard alpha). I could not wait for this story to become available. I liked how even though everyone was attracted to each other they didn't instantly fall into bed with each other. Nate is in love with both Sasha & Selene, Selene is in love with Nate, but constantly threatens to shoot Sasha because she sees him as a rival for Nate & Sasha wants both of them but is afraid to claim either of them because of a secret he is carrying. Their journey to each other is filled with danger, humor and passion. Its a great book, but by the end I still felt that Sasha was a mystery. Maybe that was Ms. Hagen's intention, and if so, she did an amazing job.
Overall, I give this series an 8 out of 10 and recommend anyone to purchase. The storyline is amazing and clever and reminds me of what happened with our own history with people who are different. The characters are refreshing and memorable. The sex scenes are scorching. I think the only thing keeping me from truly losing myself in this series is the many sex scenes where Dorian takes Rick's thick ten-inch cock without lube. From the way Rick pounds into Dorian, Dorian shouldn't be heading toward nirvana but rather to the nearest emergency room for stiches. My eyes kept rolling and I repeatedly kept thinking yeah right. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it is possible for some people. What do you think? I'd love to hear from others on their thoughts about this topic.