Coveted, is the first title in the new urban fantasy series by author Shawntelle Madison. We are introduced to Natalya Stravinsky, an OCD, holiday knickknack obsessed-werewolf. Natalya had her world crumble after the love of her life, soon to be Alpha South River Toms Pack, Thorn walked out on her shortly after college. In Coveted, Thorn has now returned, Natalya has been declared rogue and a pack of shifters from Long Island (yes, I did say Long Island, who knew there were werewolves with a Long Island accent?) is looking to take over and exterminate any weak links.
Natalya goes into psycho-therapy where she meets Nick, a white wizard with a hoarding disorder. While some readers may feel the author is poking fun at various compulsion disorders at times, what is underscored is the loneliness and helplessness that can go hand in hand with these afflictions. As someone who cannot sleep unless my remote control is lined up on the coffee table just so, I could relate to some of the frustration that her therapy buddies (a Muse, a Deity, and a dwarf – who looks like Brad Pitt) experienced.
There is the traditional hint of a love triangle between Natalya-Thorn and Nick, a bad date with a necromancer, some Mean Girl type behavior from South River Toms pack members and fabulous hijinks behavior from her BFF Aggie.
I normally prefer my heroines to kick butt and take names, all while maintaining their femininity (is that even possible in real life?) I found Natalya to be quirking and endearing. In Coveted I think readers will discover that we are seeing flashes of strength that will grow as the series grows.
While the beginning started off a little shaky, Shawntelle Madison picked up steam with every turn of the page. Coveted was a good effort by the fledgling urban fantasy author and I look forward to seeing how the story develops in her sophomore effort, Kept (Coveted #2) due out in November of 2012.