Once Upon A Time, there was a cruel, heartless woman who had three sweet, beautiful little girls, all by different fathers. Tilly, a were lion, Liv, a were tiger, and Phee, a were bear. The evil woman left the two baby girls in Tilly’s care when Tilly was still very young, going off for day to drink and party, leaving the girls always hungry, often cold, and very much alone. With three growing, hungry were tummies to fill, brave Tilly quit school to work 18 and 20 hour days at two jobs, one in a stop-and-rob and one as a waitress. The days and nights were long and hard, leaving Tilly exhausted, constantly worried, and all three often hungry and destitute when the wicked woman snuck back around to their rusted out, leaky hovel in a tacky trailer park and stole all of the little family’s meager food and money. Then, when Tilly turned eighteen, the monster came back around again, signing the care of the two youngest over to Tilly, giving her all the responsibility for her baby sisters care. As if she didn’t have that already. . . at least now, it was legal, and family services couldn’t come around and separate the three girls. Who else would want the responsibility of raising two little half-were girls but their loving older sister who would do anything to keep her little family together? Then, something horrific happened – but out of horror came a bit of money, and the girls moved to the tiny were town of Wilder, where they should have been safe. But Still, the wicked, wicked woman snuck back around, stealing the food from her daughter’s mouths and the rent money from Tilly’s pockets. Then, something happens at the bakery Tilly worked so hard to build all on her own, to feed her little family and keep them safe . . .
Dear Ms. Kyle,
I want to hug you and squeeze you and bake you chocolate cakes and cookies and tell you every day how much I appreciate this book. You brave woman. You ripped the “mommies are all sugar and spice and everything nice” blinders off and told it like it is – and, well, see the whole hug you and squeeze you thing above. Tilly, Liv and Phee are wonderful characters, having to learn early on the only way to thrive is by loving and supporting one another. Each of the girls have their own issues with the creatures who share their skins, each suffers in their own way from the abuse and abandonment of the woman who donated half their DNA and makes their lives so filled with the silence of the other shoe waiting to drop. And each is a strong and well-crafted character, damaged yes, but unbroken. You are, indeed, awesomesauce!!
This is, of course, a paranormal romance in Ms. Kyle’s signature style. She writes PR stories that have actual stories to them – stories of pain and fear, jealousy and bigotry, violence – and tons of compassion. And some really squishy sex scenes. Oh, and lots of F-bombs, so if you are one of those who gets their panties in a twist over these things? Well, skip this book and forgo the sanctimonious, preachy one-star reviews. This book isn’t for you. It is for those of us who like all the things Ms. Kyle is famous for and does so very well. I, for one, am giving it ten-stars (OK, OK, sites only allow five stars, but it is the thought that counts, right?) Ms. Kyle’s brave rendition of what more families than anyone likes to admit are really like gains her my respect and thanks. Of course, the hottie-hottness was a bonus as well (grin.)
I received this book directly from Ms. Kyle in exchange for a realistic review. Realistically? I will go back and read it again and again. It has a permanent place in my “read on a rainy day” shelf!