Review: Surrender to the Moonlight – Dria Andersen

Review: Surrender to the Moonlight – Dria AndersenSurrender to the Moonlight
by Dria Andersen
Series: The Georgia Arcane Series #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 21, 2021
Genres: Romance
Pages: 268
Source: BookSprout

I received an advance review copy of this book from BookSprout. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Nicole Oliver had been warned that stepping even one foot on the Fouche land in Georgia would stir up a whole host of family secrets. But her grandmother had been murdered and she had no intentions of letting the murderer get away with it, family curse or not. Solving a murder wouldn’t be easy, and local help would go a long way to helping…even if help came from a distracting and super sexy alpha werewolf. It was said that the Fouche curse never missed. From a few great greats back all the way forward to the present generation, heartbreak awaited each and every woman. From Nic’s point of view love didn’t last and hadn’t proved worth the effort, so escaping the curse would be easy enough. Besides, she would be too busy solving a murder to even think about love.

Jeremiah, JT, Taylor was the leader of the local motorcycle gang and alpha of the Taylor wolf pack. Nothing magical moved down highway 95 unless he knew about...and got his cut. His pack’s reputation was well-earned and far reaching. He took the death of a practitioner on his territory personal and he had planned to find the murderer with or without Nicole’s help. But, if asked, he’d have to admit that having her help came with all types of bonuses. He didn’t believe in that curse mess, but neither was he looking for anything long term, so a no strings affair was right up his alley. He was warned that his wolf would have the last say. He wasn’t worried though, because he’s in control of the animal, not the other way around.

Nicole soon realized she’d bitten off more than she could chew, in more ways than one. One too many attempts on their lives makes them question if the curse has finally caught up with its latest victim, or if there is something more sinister at play.

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I’ve liked Dria Andersen’s other paranormal romances, so I was interested in this start of a new series. While it suffers from some first book problems, the chemistry between Nic and JT made up for those issues.

Nicole (Nic to her family) has spent most of her life away from her family in Georgia, following her mother from town to town. But when her grandmother dies and leaves her and her two cousins an inheritance, she’s looking forward to spending at least some time with her family in her childhood town. It’s soon clear, though, that her grandmother died under mysterious circumstances, and Nic is determined to get to the bottom of it. Having to get the help of JT, the hot wolf shifter alpha of the local pack, is a nice distraction, but that’s all they can ever be. But with a killer closing in, the curse may not be the biggest threat they’ll face.

“I won’t be able to rest until I find out what happened. I’ve failed my grandmother in so many other ways. I don’t want to fail her in this.”

Nic’s an interesting character from the start, one who’s curious about the extended family she left behind in Georgia, despite her mom’s hatred of the place. Watching her reconnect with her family, especially Ness and Audrey, was lovely. While Nic and her cousins were close as kids, they’ve grown apart, and even now that they’re living together they still have secrets. But they definitely have each other’s backs, no matter what, and seeing how they all came together to figure out what happened to their grandma was a lot of fun. JT’s the alpha of the pack, the owner of a dive bar, and part of a family business that deals in (the mostly legal) couriering magical ingredients to other paranormals. From the moment Nic walks into his bar, his wolf is hooked on her, and the man isn’t far behind. Luckily Nic’s interested in him, too. Nic wants to keep things light and easy, but from the first time they meet, it’s hard when all she wants to do – and all JT’s wolf wants to do – is get hot and heavy. But getting involved with him means risking the family curse. All the Fouche women are cursed to shift into pumas at the full moon, and anyone they’re romantically involved with ends up hurt, driven away, or dead. It’s something Nic seen’s over and over in her family, and it’s not like JT’s not aware of that as well, since he was close with Nic’s grandma. But they’re drawn to each other, and their banter (and inevitable feelings) were excellent.

Nic, thanks to her mom, it almost a complete outsider to the town and to magic, which works out well for the reader! It wasn’t too info-dumpy, though I do wish a bit more about the curse had been explained. A while I very much enjoyed the main relationship, the murder mystery plot didn’t work as well for me. Portions of the explanation were immediately obvious, while other bits seemed to come out of nowhere.

“I won’t be able to rest until I find out what happened. I’ve failed my grandmother in so many other ways. I don’t want to fail her in this.”

Overall, this is a good start to a new series, and I’m hoping to see what happens with the rest of the cousins. 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

Content notes: View Spoiler »

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