March 28, 2015

ARC Review: Cravings by Lynn Crandall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*I received a digital ARC of this book from Irresistible Reads in exchange for an honest review.*

Get a copy here!

So, my only reason to read this book was because it was said the genre was paranormal-romance (see the bold? Yes, that’s pretty much explained everything…). I thought this gonna be the same old paranormal-themed story but Cravings brought new creature to the story called were-animals. Cravings was my first book of Ms. Crandall so as usual I made no expectations and focus only on my first anticipation of every newfound author: writing style. I found this as an enjoyable read (I finished this in one sitting!) with a cute couple under a very good writing style!

For the past 22 years of her life, Kennedy only knew that the only family she had was mother and father who loved to control her every move. She only knew that every single gesture of affections should be paid with pain and torture. She was the only were-lynx, that’s why she needed to be trained in a special program day and night unlike other normal people. She was shaped to please people around her and ignore her own wanting. She was impressed that she was an object, thus, she had no right to do things as she wanted; she’s told to do things as people wanted of her. She was told there was no need to socialize with people. Until one night when a group of were-lynxes colony rescued her from the cage she was in on one of drug research project of William Carter Enterprises. Being away from the awful parents and rough life she had before, Kennedy should be grateful for her rescuers. Only, she couldn’t help but feeling wary of these new people ―thanks to her parents’ constant lying. The colony understood her need of space to process the abrupt change of Kennedy’s life but one of the members, Asher Monroe, seemed not shared the same idea.
As the most cautious member of the colony, Asher felt the need to stick with Kennedy everywhere. Yes, it was obvious Kennedy was the victim that night but Asher did not want to just innocently trusting the newcomer. Who knows later he found something different in Kennedy. Something he could not exactly pinpoint but it certainly made his guard for this girl wavered. The more days they spent together, the more they could not deny the craving they felt to the other’s presence. Both Kennedy and Asher should know better than completely broke their wall of guards to each other. When they finally let it down for once, that’s when they discovered the actual issue that stood between them. And it was surely far worse than the trust issue that’s been haunting them.

Truthfully, my mind was at daze on the first several chapters. I started reading this book without any clear preamble of what I was going to get myself into. And suddenly I was hit by lots of unique terms in the beginning and I had to suffer for a while trying to get my mind on track with the plot. Fortunately, Ms. Crandall built the plot very well so once I got myself familiarized with all those unique terms and when the character Asher was introduced; I started to get a grip of the story. I truthfully thought that Ms. Crandall had built the background story of William Carter’s project up very well but just simply put the explanation in long narrations instead of showing them in actual scenes which I thought would make the story even richer and more engaging to readers who seeking for more than just a romance story (obviously not me, anyway).
I found Asher here had quite a charm that made me drawn to him. He was actually a bit shy at showing his feeling at first but at the same time he had no idea how to deny what he felt when he interested in something or someone. His protectiveness to his colony showed that Asher had a high level of loyalty to those who he loved. And I also loved it that Asher was not that kind of hero who went around flaunting his ability as he wanted but he actually was willing to restrain from using it to control when needed to.
As for Kennedy, I am in this love/hate relationship with her. I saw Kennedy as this lovely girl with an I-love-you-and-I-want-to-save-you-with-my-weakness-and-reckless-moves attitude. I kind of sympathize to her at first for being insecure, confuse, and lonely after going through such a nightmare kind of life. And she being attracted to Asher was something so natural it was so cute and I just wished that she could start to let her guards down for him. But then she kind of ruined it by showing these reckless acts in the name of saving-her-beloved-ones. Yes, it should’ve been seen as sweet act despite the melodramatic vibes but I saw it more as reckless acts that’s done without clear thinking first. No offense, but I really don’t put much interest in this type of heroine.
I loved it when Asher finally brought out the best in Kennedy. How he lifted her spirit, made her see the value inside herself, and erased the insecure feelings and doubts within her heart at the same time she erased his. They really suited each other with both their perfectness and flaws. I loved how Ms. Crandall opted for step by step progress of relationship between Asher and Kennedy. How they started as friends at first with these haunting little doubts occasionally slipping on their sleeves, then they slowly built care towards each other, and the magic words finally said after going through so many things together. It was natural. It was sweet. It was cute. This was exactly how I loved a relationship to build up!
Oh, and I liked the side characters here! Casey, for example, had a characteristic of real leader in the colony. At seeing how the members of the colony interacted, I wondered if they might have their own stories...
I loved the simple yet sweet ending (yes, our HEA buddy is present here…) even though I do not know for sure if this story is going to continue in another book or what because I sensed that there was part that was left unfinished here. But really, I enjoyed reading this book and would like to recommend this to people with a craving of paranormal romance :)

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.