Review: Black Rook by Kelly Meade

black rookReviewed by Jen

I enjoyed this first installment in Kelly Meding Meade’s new shifter series, Cornerstone Run. It straddles the line between PNR and UF and I’m not one of the people who is bothered by that. In fact, I kind of dig it.  The story doesn’t exactly tread the kind of creative new ground that, say, Meta Wars or Dreg City do. It’s pretty straightforward werewolf stuff, although with minor tweaks, like calling the wolves loup garou and classifying them by the color of their fur.  But there’s a reason that so many authors go back to this tried and true premise: it works.

In this world, the wolves live in an uneasy balance with magi, vampires, and humans.  Our heroine, Byrnn, is a magus raised to disdain the loup garou.  Making matters even worse, she has had a vision that she believes shows the Alpha’s son killing her father.  She travels to wolf-territory, hoping to meet the loup and take his measure. She even considers killing him, if necessary, to stop her vision from coming true. Not only does she love her father, he is a powerful member of the magi council. His death wouldn’t just hurt her, but all of her people.  Unfortunately, her dad doesn’t take her premonition seriously, which is why she has to deal with it on her own.

Of course, Rook is nothing like she expects.  The former rocker is strong and alpha, to be sure, but he quickly shows himself to also be thoughtful and loyal.  In fact, his entire family turns out to be good men.  That’s a very good thing for Brynn, especially since her ruse blows up in her face almost right away.  This, just as a neighbor pack is attacked with magi involvement. Byrnn becomes the town’s “guest” until they can be sure she wasn’t involved.

Over the course of the story, Brynn grows closer to the wolves and has to face some uncomfortable truths about her people and herself.  At the same time, a fairly good action plot is advancing with an unknown threat to the loup garou.  I kept waiting for the big torture sequence Byrnn would inevitably be a part of, but it never came!  I guess that’s the difference between a Kelly Meding and a Kelly Meade book.  –Don’t get me wrong: there are some tough moments.  It’s just that Brynn’s not the one who bears the brunt of it.

The romance is kind of insta-love but I am always more forgiving of that with shifters and their whole mating thing.  Plus, it helped that despite the quick feelings, the couple had some serious external obstacles to consider.  And beyond that,  the romance doesn’t overshadow the overall story, so I could live with it.  There is some good sexual tension and I liked the main characters. But I would be remiss if I did not tell you that secondary character Knight steals the show.  His book is going to rock.

The story development was a bit predictable. Meade was a little heavy handed with her clues on the villain-reveal. But overall, I liked the book. It was engaging from the very beginning and I look forward to the next installment.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by InterMix

Click to purchase: Amazon

Black Rook
by Kelly Meade
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: InterMix


  1. This is definitely on my TBR list. Great review.

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