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Winners Choice
ends 5.31

May 15, 2014

Liked It: Compelled by Shawntelle Madison

Series: Coveted 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: May 5, 2014
Publisher: Self
Source: Author via NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
For the past five years, Natalya Stravinsky has dreamed of two things: to rejoin the South Toms River werewolf pack and to be reunited with Thorn Grantham. Fate may have brought the pack back into her life, but unless she journeys to Russia to save Thorn, the love she’s found may be lost again. For a stubborn werewolf like Natalya, no distance is too far, no magic spell too complex to master, because one way or another she will find a way to have everything she has ever wanted.


How things had changed. 

This is an apt description for COMPELLED by Shawntelle Madison, the last book of her Coveted series. I've been looking forward to this book because the first two, Coveted and Kept, blew me away. Sadly COMPELLED left me wanting and here's why. 
I was the queen, the overlord, you name it, of planning to reduce my anxiety. But when it came to saving Thorn, I was willing to toss most of that planning aside. Damn! Love made folks do stupid stuff. - Nat
My first reaction after reading COMPELLED was what happened?! Kept was such a badass sequel and Natalya Stravinsky really did a complete 180 in that book. However I hardly recognized her in this series finale. Granted that she's now the Alpha female of her pack but gone are the little nuances that made Natalya a stand-out heroine. For one, Nat has OCD and she has a thing for hoarding and order among other things and a Nat who can easily forgo basic hygiene just doesn't add up for me. Yes this critic can be viewed as being nitpicky but if you're a follower of this series, Nat's OCD played a huge role in her life and like I said, this and her introverted personality is what made Nat quite the reluctant but endearing heroine. Though I appreciate Nat growing into a butt kicking heroine, Nat from Kept to Nat in COMPELLED are almost two different characters and that question above kept reverberating in my head throughout the novel. 

Aside from an unrecognizable Natalya Stravinsky, her consort, Thorn, was pretty much absent in this final novel. Granted that Nat's his savior now, as the Alpha, I was expecting him to play a bigger role than an invalid spouse. Nick, the wizard who played a major role in both Coveted and Kept is MIA as well, the man simply vanished with a too simple explanation that he's out pursuing personal stuff. Some things are even suggested as sort of a blanket explanation for the plot holes which left me scratching my head on a few occasions.
[case in point] He said you've [Nat] had a lot of personal growth on this journey. That you've done everything in your power, and, like any heroine, should receive a reward for your sacrifice.
Now COMPELLED wasn't all bad, per usual, SMadison delivered in the action/adventure department. The war between warlocks and wizards was intense and it involved a lot of badass magic and more badass characters. Nat's time in Russia was a great change from the usual small-town setting of Coveted, lending it an exotic and more deadly feel. Ultimately Nat's mission to save Thorn from a deathly curse was a success so everything ended happily for the lovers. 

Overall COMPELLED felt like a rushed ending. I feel like there should be one more book between Kept and COMPELLED to bridge the gaps I mentioned above. Maybe it's just me but I feel like there could've been more to the story but for some reason, SMadison ended the series. And she did so in haste IMO. SMadison is usually very thorough with her world-building and myth but things aren't as defined in COMPELLED as compared to the previous books. So it is with a heavy heart that I bid this series adieu, thankfully there's Repossessed, a spin-off of this series and hopefully this latest release will fill the void Coveted left.


Coveted Series Reading Order

24 comments:

  1. I'm 3/4 of the way through this one, and I'm definitely feeling like Madison is rushing her ending, plus I'm finding that a lot of the story just isn't jiving so well. It's looking like 2/3 of the novels in this series (not counting the novellas) are going to be a miss for me.

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    1. Exactly! It felt to incomplete which is a bummer since this is the last one. Will wait for your thoughts then

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  2. Oh boy, there's not a lot worse in reading a series than an underwhelming series ending. Sorry Compelled felt rushed for you, Braine. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Yeah, I have my theories why she rushed it, this is self published and the first two were under a publisher, maybe that's one of the drivers there but I'm speculating.

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  3. I read the first book in this series a while back, and remember the heroine's major OCD, which I found a little weird...haha It was a good start but I didn't continue. I think I'll wait until all the books are out and catch up. I hate when an author rushes an ending...hope you enjoy Repossessed, I did read that and enjoyed it! :)

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    1. I saw your review, and I'm looking forward to reading Repossessed, I do love this world, I just wish she did better with the ending.

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  4. Hmm, is it worth reading this series if the finale fell flat, Braine? I've been intrigued with this one, but I'm not sure I could get past the heroine being so different and the hero not even being present?!? Not even if there's lots of action...

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    1. I don't know, I'm an "ending" "the end should justify the means" kind of reader. I'll leave it to you to decide, sorry if I'm not of much help. The first books were really good, worth taking a jab at it but at the same time since the ending is underwhelming you might feel it anti-climactic. All the build-up minus the follow thru...

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  5. I hate when endings are rushed. It kind of ruins the read, of course cliffhangers and open endings are worse, but still.....

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    1. I feel you, endings are tricky to do

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  6. I'd like to try this series one day, sighs, oh that one day

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    1. I feel you, so many good books, so little time!

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  7. Sounds interesting, but I don't like when books in a series do a 180 and rush the ending :/

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  8. The Natalya you talk about sounds like a heroine I'd wanna read about for sure, even if she's a bit not herself in the last book of the series. The cover is fantastic, I've seen it around and it stuck to mind, and from your review I'm getting the vibe the world-building is also awesome. Lots to look forward to :)

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    1. You're welcome and maybe you're take on it will be different/better than mine.

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  9. I really hate rush endings that feel different from the other books. I had my eye on this series but to be honest, I would only read it if it ended on a powerful note.

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  10. It sucks when a book doesn't live up to it's predecessors. This is the first I've read of this series but since it has a bit of a dissapointing end, I'm not sure if I should check it out now. :-/

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    1. Again, I'm sorry if I discouraged you from checking it out.

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  11. I've been curious about this series, mostly because I loved the cover for the first book. I hate to hear that this one didn't hit the mark, but it sounds like the overall ride is pretty good. I'll keep it in mind.

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    1. Yup, book 2 got a 5 cauldron rating for me so this one is a huge miss for me

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  12. Yay I can finally read your review! I agree with you I didn't understand her in this book, I was so surprised to see how she was acting... I was also sad the second characters weren't there. I didn't know if it was the last book but now I'm sad if it is because I want the other characters and some appearances for her too. I felt rushed too, the ideas are interesting but everything was just too fast...

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    1. I will have to revisit your Repossessed review, see if that's will ease the sting of this one

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