by L.A. Banks
9780312949129, $6.99, St. Martin's (Macmillan)
Kick-ass, action-packed, and drama-packed. If you're in the mood for gun-totin' shapeshifters and elite trained operatives, rouge werewolves, a supernatural war fought on multiple planes, and drama between lovers, then pick up one of the Crimson Moon series today. This was my first foray into this world, of course it's the latest book, so I did have a bit of catch-up to play, but the author explained previous events fairly well while maintaining the plot and not making the series history feel like an information dump.
Sasha Trudeau is an elite, highly trained operative bent on saving both the human and supernatural worlds. She's also mated with Max Hunter, the Alpha of a werewolf pack, making her an important figure in a world where the rules are very different than what she's used to. Her team was ambushed while on their last mission; only Sasha and two of her men survived. Their mission was to find and destroy anyone who has been infected with a deadly toxin that poisons the blood of any shapeshifter. What she doesn't know is that the man she loves was infected with this toxin as an infant. At each major stage in his life, his good wolf side and bad wolf side have to fight an internal battle for supremacy. As Sasha struggles to trust Max and her mate bond with him, Max is struggling to control the outbreak of another battle within - right when Sasha needs to rely on him the most as a no-holds-barred, all-out war for supernatural supremacy breaks out. Max fights his inner demons while Sasha and Max's grandfather fight to keep him safe and alive on the eve of battle. Meanwhile, the vampires are taunting the misguided werewolves who are now addicted to the toxin like it's the latest new high-inducing drug. It's the rogues versus the pack, as many packs come together to battle this new evil, with Sasha, her trained operatives, Max, and his grandfather right in the middle.
My favorite part: Sasha really knows how to fight. Readers of the Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake series will appreciate a woman who can use her weapons well.