Monday, April 22, 2019

Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood

A healer and a warrior fight to survive the winter... and each other.

Grif is tired of life as a mercenary—tired of life, period. So he heads off into the mountains, not much caring whether he lives or dies. But when his indifference leaves him unconscious in a snowbank, a stranger finds him and insists on dragging him back from death.

Kiernan doesn’t really have time to nurse a stranger back to health; he’s on an important mission. He doesn’t know why the message he’s carrying is significant, but he’s determined to deliver it, even if it means risking his life in the winter mountains. Still, he can’t just walk away from a fellow traveler in need.

Grif didn’t want to be saved, and he sure as hell doesn’t want to be stuck with an annoying, naïve do-gooder. But since when do the mountains give men what they want? The snow is too deep to travel. Food is scarce. Grif and Kiernan learn to depend on each other, and eventually to care about each other. Neither of them wanted it to happen. But sometimes the mountains don’t give men what they want; sometimes, the mountains give men what they need.

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Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I’m still not quite sure what to make of this story. Part fantasy and part romance, there isn’t quite enough world building for readers to understand where it sits in time and place and the characters share far too few emotions for a romance.

It took me far too long to engage with either Grif or Kiernan. Grif starts out brutish and cruel while Kiernan is whiny and helpless. Not enough backstory is shared to give readers any real insight into either of these characters, so I struggled to care about their survival. And at its core, this is a survival story. Most of the book focuses on the men’s daily struggle for food and shelter.

There is sex in the book but while descriptions are quite graphic, the scenes lack heat and the sex often feels somewhat utilitarian. The relationship between Kiernan and Grif builds to an unconvincing happy for now.

I struggled with this story. I’m not a huge fantasy fan and I need a whole lot of world and character building when I do engage with fantasy. This sits somewhere between fantasy and historic fiction and it lacks the human emotion I need to engage with a story. Parts of it read like Game of Thrones fanfic and I’m guessing GOT fans might enjoy this more than I did.

Kate Sherwood, Cate Cameron, Catherine Dale... and probably a few new names, eventually. They’re all one person.

One person who’s lucky enough to get to live a bunch of extra lives through all the characters in her books, and who’s trying desperately to keep all the lives organized into some sort of categories... so each name writes a different type of story.

But really, beneath the genre categories? All the stories will have some kind of humour, even in the darkest times. They’ll all show characters who are far from perfect, but who are trying to be better.

Basic bio stuff? Kate/Cate/Catherine lives in Cottage Country, the water-filled world north of Toronto, Canada, the land where summers are sunny and crowded with visitors and winters are snowy and isolated. She loves it there. Not that she doesn’t sometimes miss the city, especially when her internet is acting up or she wants something delivered!

She works full-time at a nonwriting job but would love to shift into a more writing-centred life. There’s a five-year plan. It might work...

Connect with Kate

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood to read and review.

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