Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Review - Midnight Bay Bk1: Moonlight Warrior © Janet Chapman

 

Title: Midnight Bay Bk1: Moonlight Warrior

Author: Janet Chapman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Main Characters: Eve Anderson & Kenzie Gregor

Eve Anderson is darned tired of Kenzie Gregor meddling in her business. She might be struggling to keep herself and her ailing mother financially afloat, but she's no princess in need of a strong, capable knight in a black SUV to rescue her -- even if he is easy on the eyes. Besides, there's something very odd about him...and she's sure the strange events occurring in their small coastal Maine town are linked to his recent arrival.

Once an immortal warrior cursed to live as a panther, Kenzie is finally free to live and die as a man, and his destiny is to help other displaced souls. Of course, if he can get tiny, blue-eyed, curly blond Eve out of the deal, well...life doesn't get any better. But she's as stubborn and fierce as a lioness, and in order to win her love, he must tempt her with forbidden desires.

 

Kenzie sat down between Mabel and Daar.

She immediately turned to face him. "So, Kenzie, what is it you do?"

"Do?" he asked.

"For a living. What sort of work are you planning to do in Midnight Bay?" She gave a desolate sigh. "There's not much here, I'm afraid. Just a few clam diggers and lobstermen. The cannery closed quite a while back, and our one industry in town, the lumber mill, has been laying off workers."

"I'm in the process of buying a farm out on the point. I've had thoughts of opening an animal sanctuary. I enjoy working with animals."

Mabel's silver eyebrows arched. "You're wealthy, then?"

Kenzie ignored Daar's snort behind him. "If ye mean do I have enough money to get by, I suppose you could say that."

Mabel leaned closer. "Then I should warn you, Kenzie, that every unattached female in Midnight Bay will be showing up on your doorstep, casserole in hand, the minute word gets out that a wealthy man has moved to town." Her eyes sparkled. "Your being handsome won't hurt, either. Nor will that charming Scottish accent of yours."

Daar snorted again, and Mabel gave him a glare.

"Will your daughter bring me a casserole?" Kenzie asked, having absolutely no idea what a casserole was, but quite intrigued by the idea. "I did not see a ring on her finger."

Mabel gave a small laugh. "Sorry, but you'd probably starve to death waiting for Eve to show up on your doorstep. She swore off men when she divorced two months ago." Her expression turned sad. "It'll be years, I'm afraid, before she'll ever trust another man."

"Your daughter was married?" Kenzie remembered how delicate she'd looked. "Was she forced to divorce him because he abused her?"

Mabel looked surprised, then laughed. "Oh, good mercy, no. Parker wouldn't have dared lay a hand on her. Eve might appear all soft and feminine, but only a suicidal idiot would mess with her. No, Parker ran off with all their savings and their neighbor's wife after Eve suggested I move down to Boston to stay with them."

Mabel suddenly stood up as Eve walked out of the office. "Welcome to Midnight Bay, Kenzie. And you, too, Father Daar," Mabel said, giving the priest a cursory nod. Her eyes sparkled again when she looked at Kenzie. "We'll be neighbors -- Eve and I live out on the point. And if you need a nice woodstove to heat your new place, come to our store and we'll fix you right up. It's Bishop's Hearth and Home, just across Main Street."

Kenzie had stood when she had, and he took her extended hand and gave a slight bow. "It was wonderful to meet you, Mabel. Thank you for the warm welcome. And the warning about the casseroles," he added with a wink.

He held out his hand to Eve, who had taken her mother's elbow. "It was wonderful meeting you, too, Eve. I look forward to shopping in your store."

She gave him a small nod as she stepped away. "Yes, do stop in, Mr. Gregor. We sell the most efficient woodstoves on the market." She glanced at the office she'd just left, then back at him. "Or once we get them in stock, maybe we could interest you in a new wood-pellet stove," she said, ushering her mother from the bank.

Kenzie walked to the large window, clasping his hands behind his back as he watched the two women walk across the street.

"Aren't we buying our farm from a gentleman named Bishop?" Daar asked, coming to stand beside him.

Moonlight warrior © Janet Chapman

 

Review

I tries this books by Janet Chapman because she is an author that I have always liked and it was the first in a series and I like to be on the ground floor when a series start.  More or less from a few pages in I soon realise that this is spin off from Ms. Chapman The Highlander Series, although it did take me a while to figure this out, MOONLIGHT WARRIOR was all Kenzie Gregor’s story, there is certainly benefits of having read the previous series to have that background knowledge of his life, but I was OK starting with this book.

Kenzie is for all intense and purposes a warrior and he is proud of this. After being being freed from a curse he is now charged with helping displaced soul and he plans to starts his new life by moving to Midnight Bay, a small coastal Maine town. He has clear ideas of what he wants to do with his life - set up a sanctuary, keeps his old friends safe, and just be the best he can be with the gifts he has been blessed with.

Things doesn’t go as planned because from the moment he get to Midnight Bay he is firstly set upon by a woman who just wants him not to do business with the bank he was in – one thing leads to another and within a few days Kenzie has not only met Eve Anderson and her mother, but he finds that he has inadvertently bought their home right out from under them.

Kenzie being the gentleman that he is finds a solution to this problem and even though Eve is not pleased with it – she soon comes to realise that from a business point of view it was like having her cake and eating it too. There is a snag however in Kenzie’s plan, firstly Kenzie comes with baggage – An old priest, and a creature that cannot show himself to the people of Midnight Bay, add that to the attraction that he soon starts developing for Eve and the supernatural that has followed him to Midnight bay is really just a walk in the park.

MOONLIGHT WARRIOR is a book that bring together old world values and attitude and mixes it nicely with modern day brashness and over the top drama. My first impression of this book after I closed the last page was frustration and laughter.

Kenzie was plain as the day is long – don't get me wrong he was eye candy if the furore that he caused the ladies of Midnight bay was anything to go by, but Kenzie does everything in his own time and he wouldn’t know foreplay if it hit him on the head. Kenzie’s ideal pick up line is literally picking up the girl and dragging her off to his cave – I loved him and thought he was not only a great friend to William the soul he guards with his life, but he was the voice of reason when everything looks like it was going to hell in a hand basket.

Eve Anderson was definately a class act – not only was she determined, but she took the responsibility of home and hearth very much to heart. Her mom is everything to her and with Kenzie buying her home and slowly taking over more and more of her life she finds she has to redefine how she look at the mother that she has been coddling. Eve is also very community oriented and this is where I had some of the best moment of this book - Eve and her best friend Maggie are hilarious and does the community of Midnight Bay proud.

The characters are wonderfully developed to the point of picking out little nuances that made me burst out laughing a time or two.  I also thought the  suspenseful moment were also well done and gave just the right amount of tension to pique my interest in Williams future.

Support cast are all over the place and as I mentioned before if you had read The Highlander Series you would be well pleased to see familiar faces. I thought Ms. Chapman did a great job of cliff noting their involvement to Kenzie so I didn’t mind not reading the previous series.  One or two of these people however made a great impact on me and I am certainly looking forward to the next book in this series.

MOONLIGHT WARRIOR is a love story true and true, sacrificed are made, friendship are forged and stretched and love and companionship is found in the most unlikeliest of places…

This was lovely reintroduction to Ms. Chapman work for me….

 

10 Speak To Me:

Blodeuedd on 17 February 2010 at 16:36 said...

Hi EH
Ph it sounds good, I was tempted on over by the cover ;) Never read anything by her but the name rings a bell

Laurie on 17 February 2010 at 17:30 said...

This sound good, I will add it to my TRP. Great review!

Eyre on 17 February 2010 at 23:06 said...

It does sound really good, EH. I'll have to put it on my list.

Chris on 17 February 2010 at 23:11 said...

Ack! I don't need anything else on my TBR pile!

Erotic Horizon on 17 February 2010 at 23:31 said...

@Blodeuedd..

Chapman has been around awhile - she is an easy read and she does humour really well..

I like her contemporaries alot...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 17 February 2010 at 23:31 said...

@Laurie ..

I do hope you get to check out her work - she has a few series - hopefully one will appeal to you...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 17 February 2010 at 23:33 said...

@Eyre..

This was a definite change of pace for me - Great characters and fun....

I laughed alot with this one..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 17 February 2010 at 23:34 said...

@Chris...

Don't even attempt to reign in those piles - it makes no difference...

Just go with it.. it's easier...

E.H>

Donna [F.D. Ramblings] on 19 February 2010 at 02:59 said...

This one looks very interesting. I haven't read anything by Janet Chapman, I'll keep this one in mind.

You cracked me with "he wouldn’t know foreplay if it hit him on the head." LOL! Still laughing!

Erotic Horizon on 20 February 2010 at 10:56 said...

@Donna..

Chapman is an author you must read at least once - she has such a humourous style about her...

I like her contemporary stuff better...

E.H>