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Hunting Season by Shelly Laurenston (The Gathering, Book 1)

I really enjoy reading Laurenston.  She is not for everyone. Her heroines are often bawdy, crass, and more than a little unbalanced.  However I adore the brash sisterhood present in her books and the physical humor and bonkers plotlines just make me laugh.  Last year during a long drive I caught up on some podcasts listening and I heard a SPTB podcast with Laurenston . It was recorded prior to the third book of her Call of Crows series. During the podcast Sarah asked her about this book, which was the first time I became aware of its existence.

The heroine in Hunting Season is also a Crow, a warrior for the Norse Goddess, Skuld. While the Call of the Crow book are set in Southern California, the Gathering books are set in NYC/NJ, but that is really the only difference.  (One caution, the younger Valkyries in this version are antagonists to the Crows, due to Odin's recent preoccupation with selecting strippers  and there is lot slut-shaming conflict between them and the Crows.)  However if you love and enjoy the Crow books you will love The Hunting Season.

 I really loved Neecy, who is a kickass professor and second in command of her clan of Crows. She is proud, brave, protective and doesn't ever back down but she has an issue with forgiving herself for the bad choice she made in boyfriends as young woman. She struggles to accept love and to trust that someone other than her sister Crows with her heart. She is especially wary of Will Yager, leader of the Ravens, because she knows that unlike the bland men she usually dates, he has the potential of breaking her heart.

Will Yager however is persistent. He has been in love with Neecy for a long-time.  He will do anything to get Neecy to give him a chance. With the cooperation of her matchmaking sisters and possibly the approval of Skuld he is finally able to be right where Neecy needs him to be, in her bed and at her back, while they take down some murderous Crow hunters.

CW: Violence, Past abuse, Abusive language

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