Author: Kait Nolan
Release Date: 14 August 2011
Source: ebook provided by author for review
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, All Romance EBooks, Amazon UK, Amazon DE,
Every fairy tale has a dark side…
Elodie Rose has a secret. Any day, she’ll become a wolf and succumb to the violence that’s cursed her family for centuries. For seventeen years she’s hidden who and what she is. But now someone knows the truth and is determined to exterminate her family line. Living on borrowed time in the midst of this dangerous game of hide and seek, the last thing Elodie needs to do is fall in love. But Sawyer is determined to protect her, and the brooding, angry boy is more than what he seems. Can they outsmart a madman? And if they survive, will they find a way to beat the curse for good?
My Thoughts: I read my first book by Kait Nolan a couple of months ago and was spellbound by her vivid storytelling and original worldbuilding, so when I heard that her new story to be released soon was an urban fantasy retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood I was excited and curious and my excitement wasn't even tempered by the fact that Red is a YA novel. If you know me you know I'm not a fan of YA novels, the immaturity and whining of the characters irritate me, but having already had a first taste of Kait Nolan's writing I knew that I was in for a treat and had no qualms about reading a YA story written by her, and I was proven right.
Red is Elodie's story. Elodie is about to turn seventeen and has lived in fear for the past 4 years: because on her 13th birthday she read a letter left for her by her deceased mother revealing to her the curse of the family: that just as all her female ancestors she will turn into a werewolf and be a danger to others and herself. Elodie subordinated all her life since that revelation to trying to prevent the change and come to terms of ending her life if/when it happens. Due to this she lives a pretty isolated life and tries to stay under the radar. She keeps herself away from others, she doesn't have friends and there is an emotional gulf between her and her dad.
Elodie's emotional suffering is heartbreaking. She lives each day of her life not knowing if the thing she's the most terrified of will happen that day or not but she knows that when it happens she will have to die. She accepted this fate with such sad resignation that it touched my heart.
Enter Sawyer, the new boy in town and our irresistible hero. He has his own grief and demons to wrestle, but he is intrigued by Elodie and wants to help her. The more he sees and gets to know her his interest starts to become much more, until his whole world is centered around Elodie.
It was very easy and natural to come to love both main characters. Elodie is an exceptionally mature and serious young woman, her fears and pain grabbed at my heart. And I instantly became a fan of Sawyer seeing what a deeply protective, warmhearted and thoughtful guy he is. His humour also endeared him to me:
After my questionable rescue of the girl in the woods yesterday, I’d trailed her home. It’s not like I was turning into some sparkly, blood-sucker wannabe, who hung out staring into her room while she slept or something. Give me some credit.Can you just say: LOL? :-D
"Give me your reasons, I’ll give you my silence," he said.Ditto :-D
I grit my teeth, bit back a growl. "That’s blackmail."
"I call it curiosity, but hey, potato, potahtoh."
Have you been having headaches? Body chills? Super sensitive hearing and smell? I know just the diagnosis for you. Please dial 1-800-456-WOLF.
Though there is an immediate chemistry and connection between them, I loved how slow Elodie and Sawyer took things, they let things develop gradually and even put on the brakes several times when instinct and attraction would have taken them further and deeper. I rooted for them because their relationship was based on so much more than a physical and superficial attraction, it had substance and depth. Sawyer was attentive to Elodie's wellbeing, her peace of mind and serenity were the most important to him.
"Elodie..." He snagged my arm, turning me toward him, tipping my chin up so I had to meet his eyes. He looked grave and intense and . . . I don’t know . . . purposeful in a way that made my mouth go dry and my stomach drop somewhere around my feet.
"You are amazing," he said in a measured voice. "You’re smart, funny, beautiful, and any guy would be lucky to have you in his life. You have no idea how lucky I am to have you in mine."
But that doesn't mean the air doesn't sizzle between them:
"You stopped being afraid of me," he said softly.
"I was never afraid of you specifically. I’m terrified of how you make me feel."
"And how is that?" he asked.
"Electrified," I said breathlessly. "When I’m with you I want—" Needs and desires tangled my tongue, and my skin, where he touched it, was on fire.
"What do you want?" he asked, lips against my throat.
"You," I whispered, closing my eyes to ride the sensation. "Just you."
Red is an amazing story, I remember I started reading it and when I looked up noticed that several hours have passed without me even noticing! Kait Nolan's evocative storytelling will grip you and suck you in, the characters are fleshed out so well they step off the pages, and the emotional intensity is brilliantly highlighted throughout the story irrespective of whose POV you are reading. Because Red is told from both the hero and the heroine's point of view, and that way the reader is able to see and understand the thoughts and feelings behind the acts and dialogues, giving them a deeper meaning.
Verdict: There is everything you might wish for in Red: heartrate speeding up mystery, tingle inducing romance and chuckle out loud humour which alleviates the heartbreaking/heartwarming emotional tangles of Elodie's and Sawyer's relationships with each other and their respective dads.
Though Red is categorized as a YA novel, it is a wonderfully written exciting urban fantasy tale, one I would recommend to everyone irrespective of age!