Review: Once Bitten (The Wolves of Hemlock Hollow, #1) by Heather McCorkle

April 25, 2017 Review 0

Review: Once Bitten (The Wolves of Hemlock Hollow, #1) by Heather McCorkle

One night was all it took to change everything. One moment of weakness, and now I’m becoming. Werewolves were supposed to be things only seen in movies, not things that exist in real life. Instead of med school and homework, my life is filled with a laundry list of things that were once impossibilities. Groups fighting over whom I belong to. The possibility of dying if I don’t learn everything before the next full moon. Figuring out how to survive in a world I never knew existed. But the biggest danger? Ty: history professor, super sexy Viking werewolf, and the man who’s been assigned by the Council to teach me how to survive becoming a werewolf.

Title: Once Bitten
Author: Heather McCorkle
Series: The Wolves of Hemlock Hollow #1
Published by Entangled Publishing
Source: Publisher
Published: April 24th 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 289
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page

Stars: three-stars
Flames: three-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

Reading the blurb for Once Bitten and I’m realizing what was it that made me want to read it: Viking werewolf. I’ve read all sorts of books that contain the combination of a Viking and some other kind of being, but I have yet to encounter this unique to me combo. Shifters are some of my most favorite books and throw in Vikings, heck yay! And…things did not go off quite like I had expected.

Normally, if a story isn’t working for me, it usually falls on the heroine. Either she’s too weak, or too dumb. In this case, Sonya isn’t either of those. She’s a fairly strong character. Okay, granted she took what was happening to her, the whole situation, a bit too easily. Probably her family history played its part in keeping her from screaming because I would have completely lost it. Nope, in this case, it was the hero that drove me nuts. Ty was supposed to be a Viking werewolf. Instead, he comes off as way too calm, almost impassive. I like my leading males, especially shifters, to have a bit more Alpha to them. Come on Ty, embrace the animal and show me your Grrr side!

So the story itself was good although I do feel robbed of the whole Viking werewolf thing. History and lore do not make a Viking. Sorry, I digress. It’s told from alternating POVs so you get tho know what they are both thinking. The beginning was exciting, then it slowed down in the middle as Sonya begins to learn the new world she was forced into. I get it, this is the first book in the series and there’s a certain amount of world-building that needs to occur. Normally, I am a big fan of world-building. However, my lack of connection with the characters really killed it for me and I really wanted to start skimming but I didn’t. It wasn’t until around the last 20% of the book before my interested was piqued. Now things start to pick up when… Nope, I’m not giving anything away except of course there is an HEA. You’ll need to find out what happens to Sonya and Ty for yourself.

What I really enjoy about shifter books is the fast-paced, high emotions they tend to have. Once Bitten didn’t seem to have that for me. It had more of a slow meander to it which had my mind wandering from the story on more than one occasion. That really sucked for me because I prefer books that grab me from the get-go and make me lose sleep. It’s not that the storyline was bad, no, it held quite a bit of promise. My problem was the lack of connection I felt to the characters as well I felt the story dragging on several occasions. I’m going to guess the next book is going to be about Ayra. Maybe I’ll stick around to see how it goes for her.

 

Once Bitten

Buy links:

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y185Y6C

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/once-bitten-heather-mccorkle/1126043848?ean=9781633759312

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/once-bitten/id1222710885

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/once-bitten-29

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34414408-once-bitten

Entangled: https://entangledpublishing.com/once-bitten.html

 

About the author:

 

Heather McCorkle is an award-winning author of paranormal, steampunk, and historical fiction. When she is not writing, or editing she can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or paddleboarding. As a native Oregonian, she enjoy the outdoors nearly as much as the worlds she creates on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can connect with her on her blog and her many social networking sites. You can also find her the first Monday night of every month at 6:00 pm Pacific Time on the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter, which she co-created and moderates. Entertaining readers and uncovering stories and points of view that haven’t been covered are two of her greatest passions. For more info please visit heathermccorkle.com.

 

Connect:

 

Website: http://www.heathermccorkle.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Heather-McCorkle-211058455603533/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherMcCorkle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4957267.Heather_McCorkle

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Heather-McCorkle/e/B005GFK5AY

Newsletter: http://heathermccorkle.wixsite.com/heathermccorkle

 

Giveaway Info: $10 Amazon Gift Card
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EXCERPT

Trapped beneath Ty’s body after he executed a particularly impressive leg sweep on me, I realized the problem. How could I not? Its clear blue eyes bore a hole straight through me. The press of all that muscle against my thin tank top and mostly bare legs made me dizzy. Pink lips with the slightly raised ridge lining them drew me in, making me want to lick, bite, and suck on them. All right, it wasn’t really his lips I was thinking about at this point. By the feel of the hard line pushing against my groin, it became clear I wasn’t the only one feeling the effects.

“I think I know what the problem is,” I said between labored breaths.

It came out sounding as horny as I felt, but at the moment, I didn’t care.

Ty smiled and ran his hand along my jawline. “Too many clothes?” he suggested in a voice deepened by desire.

My traitorous eyes fluttered closed but I forced them back open as I fought the instinct to lean into his hand. Just when I thought he might be serious, the pressure of his body against mine disappeared. One moment he lay on top of me, the next he stood over me, offering me his hand. I accepted it, not because I needed it, but because I wanted to touch him. Which led me right back to the problem.

“Precisely,” I said as I stood and brushed pine needles from my jogging shorts with my free hand.

His guilt-filled eyes widened. “I am sorry. I should not have said that.”

“No, Ty. I’m sick of fighting what might be between us, and sick of wondering if it’s just the ver›a heightening my desire,” I said, keeping my tone as matter-of-fact as I could. The last part wouldn’t come out, the part about how I was terrified of going mad and sick to death of the fear.

Those delicious lips quirked up. “That is not how it works.”

I raised an eyebrow at him. “It might be. The ver›a is heightening my desire, so I need to master it.”

Shaking his head, Ty walked over and grabbed a towel that hung from a tree branch. Beads of sweat trickled down between his pectoral muscles, making me want to follow them with my tongue. His arms and chest flexed as he wiped sweat from his forehead and the back of his neck.

The reaction it stirred deep in my center only confirmed my suspicions of this being a hormonal imbalance.

“Once you have mastered your strongest emotion, you hold the key to mastering them all. And anger was definitely your strongest emotion,” he said.

From a nearby stone table, he picked up two water bottles and handed me one. “You think the ver›a is the reason for your desire, yes?”

I accepted the water bottle and took a long drink.

When I lowered it he stepped deep into my personal space. Knowing a lesson was coming, I resisted the urge to step back and instead craned my neck back to look up at him. Moments like this reminded me of how tall he was. This close his body heat radiated from him, reaching out to me as if it could draw me in. He caught a drop of water that lingered on my bottom lip and spread it across my mouth, teasing the edge of my teeth as he almost pushed his finger inside. Just like that I grew wet. Nostrils flaring as he took in
my scent, his eyes fluttered closed.

“No, maybe, I don’t know,” I breathed. “Well, the reason it’s so strong, maybe.”

His finger moved from my lips to my arm, tracing a line down it that burned deep into me in the most wonderful way.

“Then knowing the reason, you should be able to control it, to banish it like you can the anger.”

As he spoke his finger traced its way back up the inside of my arm to my waist, running upward until it outlined the edge of my breast. My nipples hardened in an instant, aching for much more than a grazing touch.

He leaned down and whispered in my ear. “So banish it.”

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