I've read all the books in the Lupi World and enjoy the series enough to pre-order this book. I realize the longer a series goes on, the more background data is needed to keep up. With that in mind, I still think the opening chapters in Mortal Ties and all the background information, up to this point, was a bit much. To appreciate the book you've had to have read the earlier books. And those that read the earlier books know all the ins and out of the Lupi clans, the fact that Lilly works for the FBI, her grandmother, Sam, and all the characters that continue on in each book. To open Mortal Ties and just repeat what we already know was tedious in my book.
So we have another case to solve. We have new characters come into play. We have some old ones show up and a bit more fleshed out. Beth, Lilly's sister was one. I almost felt her love interest should have been played up more, because *** SPOILER*** Sean does get rescued yet we don't hear how that impacts Beth. Beth meets more hunky Lupi yet whatever was going on in an earlier book with one showing interest in her, she is still single and looking. Yes, Beth was fleshed out more but not enough 'meat' for me.
Cullen -- I am so glad he wasn't kidnapped, beaten up, shot, and inprisioned. He only got burned and that was self inflicted. Yes, he was an intented kidnap target but that never materialized. That was good. Cullen has had it rough in every single book and it's nice to see a break in that routine. His wife isn't even in danger.
So Rule finds a brother he didn't know about and this book goes into his emotions. He had to resolve issues with his mother. Add in a brother that is gay and a thief, one who sold out Rule's best friend and his clan. Then he has to deal with Lilly missing, the mate bond going bonkers, and unable to cope. His Rho mantle kicking in. All these things happening in this book yet I didn't feel the connection to where all this was going for Rule. All his emotions and fall out were second place to the plot of solving the case. It was sidelined. Rule and Lilly were so busy with everything else they didn't take time to connect and once Lilly was missing, Rule basically had a breakdown. He couldn't function, couldn't think. Yet once grandmother came, he snapped out of it, let her lead, and I wonder what that tells us about women in Rules life and how he wants them to take over when bad things happen. And through all this soul searching with Rule, he never really connects well with Lilly. It all starts with Mick's anniversary and sorrow over that and witholding that heartbreak from her. And he's still doing it.
I would LOVE for something on Ruben and how he's doing as a Rho. How he's adjusting to his wolf. How his wife is adjusting and the new clan adjusting to him. But no, nothing on that. Instead we get brief phone calls with Ruben and he's always there for Lilly, sending planes, getting research coordinated, he's just in the background making things happen. He was like a fairy godfather in this book. Have a problem? Call Ruben. Forget that it's late, he always answers the phone. Just call. He'll make it happen. And it does. It was almost too trite.
I'm not sure how I feel about Sam shutting the door on Lilly. For once she isn't the center of everyone's world and I know that shocked her. She is ignored. Frankly, I thought her mental thoughts were too long, it's no wonder Rule got the message all garbled. No wonder Sam cut her off, regardless of what he was doing, if you had a huge paragraph mentally coming, wouldn't you cut it off, too? I don't think I even read her whole message, I was more concerned if it got through.
I also wonder what happened to the two teens that belong to both the Nokolai and Leidolf. Rule only took Leidolf guards with him to San Francisco so yeah, I'm wondering what happened to those two. .. .
So Beth's bodyguard gets shot, goes to the hospital, and sent out to the Laban clan to recover. No follow up on him, no check up on him by Rule or even Beth, even after her heartfelt confession in the hospital to her sister.
And this problem with Beth not knowing the full facts on Robert Friar. Really? After all that happened to her and all the news stuff on Robert Friar? Sorry, not believable. That mention of Beth interested in a guy named Sean, the shoes, and the sweater, getting ready for his ride. .. . To hear the guys name is Sean Friar. You bet I perked up! But. ... Then I wait chapters not knowing if Sean is with his brother and duping Beth or what. I'm left hanging and not knowing until pages and pages later. Stupid.
Yeah, we don't know if Cullen recovered his proto-type. It's assumed. No resolve with Lilly and Rule or Rule confessing how his 'losing' her impacted him, no sharing between Lilly and Rule. Lilly almost dies yet she's still on the job, making sure her half-elf friend lives and has time to scratch her grandmother in tiger form.
Nothing on Leo and how his being kicked from Rho and what he's doing, how that's impacting his clan. The new Rho could have mentioned it but he doesn't.
The details on who sits where, who sleeps where, who is inside and outside guarding, which security cameras are operational, which aren't, who is driving, who is following, what car they're driving, who's sitting up front, who needs to 'promise not to share clan secrets' while chatting in the car, where they're going, how many miles away, what weapons they have, what weapons they don't have, PLEASE! All those details were just too much and slowed the story down. It's great Rule feeds his people. But again, details. How many room service calls do we have to read about? What type of food? Sandwiches? Cullen, "These look good" and grabs a bite. PLEASE!
While I enjoyed some parts of the book, others just came up short.