Are the thrills of love—and the potential pitfalls—worth giving up a life of quiet contentment? This is just one of the questions explored by Primal Instincts, the latest book in Gabrielle Evans’s Moonlight Breed series, in which Evans uses a tale of paranormal romance to ponder some aspects of love and relationships that even we mere mortals have to deal with.
Mild-mannered Aspen St. Paul has always been a pretty content guy, never experiencing extreme anger or sadness but never having felt extreme joy, either. His ability to slip into a happy dream world has served him well, helping him survive childhood as an orphan and then a very solitary and painful stay in the lab known as The Hive, where Cyrus Redway conducted unthinkable experiments on him and other paranormals. Yet, when Layke Winters is around, Aspen’s usually calm demeanor vanishes, and he can’t help but give in to primal instincts he didn’t even know he had, causing him to nearly mount the handsome elf every time he sees him. Aspen doesn’t know what to make of his own puzzling actions, but he figures irrational behavior must be a natural, if sometimes embarrassing, side effect of falling in love.
Like Aspen, Layke Winters has also led a solitary existence, though for different reasons. As an Elder on The Council, people treat him with reverence, expecting him to always have all the answers, and as a result, it’s hard for him to form normal relationships. When a younger man almost mauls him in public, Layke is shocked and thrilled to have found a sexy, charming mate who treats him like a regular person. At first, Layke is flattered by Aspen’s fiercely possessive displays, but as Aspen’s behavior grows more erratic and uncontrollable, Layke begins to worry. Something doesn’t add up. Aspen’s unusual traits and strange conduct suggest that the experiments performed at The Hive may have been more twisted and have more far-reaching consequences than anyone initially suspected. Those consequences threaten not only Aspen’s life and newfound romance, but everything Layke and the others thought they knew about the paranormal world.
For faithful readers of the Moonlight Breed books, and those just getting into the series, Primal Instincts is a must-read, a book that balances insightful meditations on the perils and joys of love with exciting plot twists and some surprising revelations.
Review by Staff Contributor