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Kept: A Coveted Novel by Shawntelle Madison
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Kept: A Coveted Novel (edition 2012)

by Shawntelle Madison

Series: Coveted (2)

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4512256,992 (3.85)1
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Title:Kept: A Coveted Novel
Authors:Shawntelle Madison
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Kept by Shawntelle Madison

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When I accepted this book as a review copy, I didn't realize it was the second in a series. I'm glad that I didn't know that because I might not have accepted it otherwise and I would have missed a fun read.

With urban fantasy being such a hot genre right now, I've read countless novels with vampires and werewolves. This is the first one that I've read where the main character/werewolf suffers from anxiety and OCD. I loved how Shawntelle used humor to humanize her werewolf heroine, Natalya, through her OCD. Kept has some of the most memorable characters that I've read about in long time, like a mermaid who was afraid of the water, a succubus with relationship problems and a dwarf with low self-esteem due being tall.

I love that there is probably a huge demographic of readers out there with anxiety issues that will actually be able to see themselves in the main character of this book, (well aside from the whole werewolf aspect). There was so much that I liked about this book. As a paranormal romance/ urban fantasy, it was refreshing. Natalya was a bit whiny at times but I liked how she would whine but then face her fear to accomplish whatever needed to be done.

If you are a fan of urban fantasy, I definitely think this series is worth a try. ( )
  jsamaha | Mar 14, 2014 |
At the end of Coveted, Natalya Stravinsky had battled alongside her friends and fellow pack members to protect their hunting land from invasion. Through therapy, she was working through her issues with OCD and hoarding. When a flood had wrecked most of her precious Christmas ornaments, her family came together and for the first time since having a serious panic attack at a clan event, the Stravinsky family embraced Natalya. All in all, things were looking up. Though Coveted ended in a happy place, it was clear that Natalya still had a lot of issues to deal with.

At the beginning of Kept, we see that the family bond between Natalya and the other Stravinskys has only grown stronger. The question is, has she grown strong enough to deal with the trials awaiting her? Natalya is determined to get back into the pack, though all of the werewolves still see her as strange. When she takes on her father's blood debt, the task assigned is much more difficult than she could have imagined. Being banned from taking any aid from another werewolf, Natalya is once again forced to rely on her friends from her therapy group, thus bringing herself closer to Nick the wizard. Something sparks between them, but she is not sure if she can let go of her feelings for Throne, the alpha apparent of the pack. If nothing else, the completion of this task will ensure that the Stravinsky clan will be able to remain in the pack with honour. As Natalya tries to work out her feelings for the two men that she loves, Thornes betrothed is not the least bit pleased that such a low ranking wolf still occupies his heart.

Having an ass kicking protagonist is not new in urban fantasy. In fact, it happens so often that it's almost a cliche. Natalya has a touch of the spunky agent in her, in that she rushes off without thinking things through clearly. Her motivations are good and she is most certainly honourable, but rushing into action without any plans whatsoever is ridiculous. It puts her in a position to call for help because she is overwhelmed and not because she has wisely decided that she needs it.

One of the things that I loved about this series from the very beginning, is the myriad of disabled characters. I said it in the last review but it bears repeating, this is something rare for urban fantasy and I absolutely love it. Madison could have taken the opportunity in this book to show growth of Natalya's character by erasing her disability. We have too often seen disability cast aside in the media, when it become inconvenient because it is time to see a character grow and change. While Natalya does not spend as much time caressing and loving her ornaments in this book, it's clear that her OCD is in full swing, even as she battles the bad guys and takes on difficult challenges. Natalya just doesn't play "super crip" and rise above, she still performs acts like obsessive hand washing and wiping everything down with antibacterial wipes, as she fights for her family and her place.

Read More
( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Sep 20, 2013 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: An amazing sequel that is much more engaging that the first.

Opening Sentence: Of all the things I had to face that day, the prospect of sticking my hand down someone else’s pants as part of my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, just didn’t seem right.

The Review:

I was surprised when I finished Kept by Shawntelle Madison. A sequel in the Coveted series, Kept has allowed me to appreciate this world in the way that book 1 should have. I was engaged and the story kept me interested throughout the book. Sometimes that happens in book series, and that’s okay. I’m glad that I gave Kept a chance, or else I would have missed out on an enjoyable read.

Natalysa Stravinsky is a part of the New Jersey pack of werewolves. Once an outcast, this intelligent Russian werewolf comes with a neurotic streak. And all she wants? A little rest and relaxation. Kept begins where Coveted ends and Natalya is struggling with her OCD tendencies. Therapy has done wonders for her stress, alongside the friends that she has made through it. But problems do not disappear forever. When her father disappears, Natalya and her friends assist her in locating him. Danger leads them to Atlantic City, where it’s more than just a simple game of chance.

Natalya has changed since the pages of Coveted. What downfalls I may have had before have been turned into attributes that I adore. The new Natalya is someone who has accepted who she is and has taken the steps to control it. I was interested in her character, her personality, and what she wanted to do throughout the book. I appreciate that Madison wrote Natalya with flaws. The struggle is easy to relate to and makes her a realistic and relatable character.

Sometimes, it’s hard to say certain things in a book review. I never want to seem unappreciative of an author’s work. In the case of Kept, I really appreciated how Madison seemed to re-evaluate her characters and her world, giving a new light to them all. The main character seemed to gain a more engaging persona, allowing me to relate to her much more than I did before.

The plot is complicated, and that’s okay. At times, I felt that there was a lot going on, but I think it allowed the reader to fully understand why Natalya longed for so much control. Madison wrote a strong heroine, with some delicious supporting characters and it made for an enjoyable read.

I urge you to pick up Kept by Shawntelle Madison and give it a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Notable Scene:

“After I check on your dad, I’ll be there.”

But that wasn’t what happened.

“Stay out of trouble, Natalya.”

“I will,” I said softly.

Then he hung up.

Thorn wasn’t behind me. A flash of disappointment hit my gut. I guess I’d gotten used to him protecting me. But he’d done a great deal for my family by delivering Dad to the healer. It was a damn shame Erica played tagalong to watch him while he waited for news.

Which brought another question to mind. Who the hell was driving behind me?

A second later, whoever it was rammed into the dump truck.

FTC Advisory: Ballentine/Random House provided me with a copy of Kept. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Jul 28, 2013 |
www.booksforcompany.com
In Short
- The storyline was constantly 'throwing' different things at me, so much going on at once.
- I really liked that the characters continued to grow in Kept.
- Thorn is a very addictive character who brings so much to the story.
- I was gripped right until the end.

In Long
Kept follows on nicely from the first book in the series, Coveted. However I found myself getting into Kept much quicker than Coveted. Everything seemed to move more quickly in Kept, the storyline constantly has something going on.

All the characters grew in Kept which I really liked. I always think characters should never stop growing and Shawntelle made sure her characters continued to grow. I became even fonder of Nat in this book, she is such a strong character who deals with everything in the way she sees best, often putting herself last. Her character is such a realistic one because she does have her flaws but at the same time there is such much to like about her.

Thorn is so swoon worthy, he really keeps me guessing as to what his thinking which I love about male characters. His all mysterious and then he will suddenly open up but at the same time hold back from revealing everything. It definitely kept me guessing throughout the whole book. One moment I think something then his next actions make me think something different. It was like it’s own little storyline within itself.

Kept is such a different sort of paranormal book, I love how werewolves are the main paranormal creatures but there are also wizards, mermaids and many other paranormal creatures involved. It’s so interesting to see them altogether and how Shawntelle puts them into the storyline in a way which could make the storyline go in many different directions.

The ending is a great one, so much is still going on right up until the last sentence!! I could never predict the exact ending, although I thought it might end in a certain way I was never totally sure and I was definitely ‘on the edge of my seat’ throughout the book, especially the last 50 pages.
Final Thoughts
Kept is a great follow on from Coveted. I actually enjoyed Kept a bit more than Coveted which was a nice suprise. ( )
  BooksforCompany | May 4, 2013 |
I was really nervous when I started reading Kept. I did not like Coveted very much so I was worried that Kept would be more of the same. It wasn’t! Kept is so much better in every way possible. The plot was there from the get go and the lead character Nat went from being the most dislike main character to one I actually could stand.

Nat is still a very OCD and a Christmas Ornament hoarder with anxiety issues. As a werewolf that means she is weak and now has to go through a set of trials to get back in the pack her family belongs to. Just when she starts training her father disappears. She and her brother Nick along with the second in command of the pack Thorn (who is also her ex boyfriend) chase her father’s trail only to find he owes a debt and is unable to pay it. Her brother can’t help because he gets news that his first child is coming and Thorn is forbidden to help her. So she call on her friend Nick to help her pay the debt and restore honor to her family.

The good news is that I really don’t think you have to read Coveted to enjoy Kept. The only thing I think you would gain from reading Coveted first is that you can get a better look at who the characters are. If I had known that I most likely would have skipped Coveted and just read Kept. If you like urban fantasy that involves werewolves, goblins and fairies and has just a bit of romance I would totally recommend Kept to you! ( )
  dpchapman | Dec 1, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345529170, Mass Market Paperback)

A funny and sexy new paranormal romance, perfect for fans of Charlaine Harris and Patricia Briggs, Kept features the charmingly quirky werewolf, Natalya Stravinsky, as she navigates the minefields of love and war in the Garden State.
 
Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she's now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door.
 
Nat's father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss's deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected . . . or else risk losing everything.  

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:17 -0400)

"Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she's now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door. Nat's father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss's deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected . . . or else risk losing everything."--Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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