Once upon a time, their was an avid reader who had been recommended a series by a friend, and loved it so much that once she was done binge reading the 13 books, she tweeted the author to thank her for the books, because she had fallen in love. The author shared the tweet, and the reader was followed by other writers and one of them had a book in promotion, the first of a series with cat shifters. So the reader got the book, and promptly read it and fell madly in love. She fell so much in love that she bought the rest of the series and read all five books within a month. Now the reader returns the favour to everyone who will listen, to create more new readers in love with those cat shifters.
Yes, the reader is me, after reading Charley Davidson, being retweeted by Darynda Jones, and followed by a few more authors, including Michelle M. Pillow. The book was The Savage King, the first book of Michelle’s I have read. The series? Lords of the Var (click on the image to view the series’ page), which became one of my favourite series ever.
There is something about those cat shifters that really got to me. Maybe the fact that the stories are set on a whole new planet (Qurilixen), maybe the fact that the five brothers (Kirill, Quinn, Falke, Reid, and Jarek, in book order) are drop dead gorgeous, maybe because they shift into felines (I’m a cat lover), maybe because their love interests are absolutely wonderful, strong-willed women. All right, not maybe: all of those reasons!
Furthermore, Michelle M. Pillow has a knack for showing the humanity of her characters, making them relatable, likeable, true to reality. Even her secondary characters are so lifelike that you can’t help but want more of them (and we do in further books).
Brothers on the mend
The five brothers of the Lords of the Var series are sons of a tyrannic king, who wanted to conquer their neighbours, the Draig (dragon shifters), to the point where he made some extremely bad decisions, which could have cost more than his enemies’ lives. He also raised his sons in believing that for a man to lose his heart and mate with only one woman was a sign of weakness.
Starting with Kirill, the new king of the Var, this is a situation that is wont to change. At what cost? Their hearts, of course. After all, we are talking about romance. However, we are also talking about strong-willed, sometimes stubborn, women to these shifter males. Nothing that follows a stereotyped script, nothing predictable (except for the happy ending).
In fact, those books, like everything written by Michelle M. Pillow, are sweet, yes, but also, at times, extremely funny (wait until you read about Prince Quinn trying to woo his lady, you will laugh until you cry), with situations and action that will leave you glued to the pages of each book until the end.
Do I have a favourite? No. But I admit that as far as the main female characters are concerned, the one who got to me the most was Jasmine (The Rogue Prince). Her backstory broke my heart and the book left me unable to read the next one for a few days because I really was feeling a lot for her.
When I talk about relatable, that is what I mean. I talk about Jasmine, but I can also refer to Ulyssa, Tori, Samantha, and Mei. They really were their respective cat’s match!
On Kindle Unlimited for the summer
The Lords of the Var series, as are all of the backlist books of the Qurilixen world, is currently available on Kindle Unlimited and will be until August. As I mentioned when I wrote about Mandy M. Roth’s Immortal Ops World books, Michelle M. Pillow didn’t have to make them all available like this. She knows that times are currently financially difficult for many, which is why those beloved series are currently “free” for the readers (with a KU subscription).
However, this is an important note, of which I have written about before: every book put on KU pays the author per page read. For the reader, this means that each book borrowed must be read from the first to the last page. If you like the book, this is the best way to ensure that the author gets paid in full: reading the book, turning the pages, each page, from the cover to the 100% mark.
Of course, hoarding them is not good for the author. That is logical. Hence, if you borrow a book, it is best to read it whenever possible. This way, you get the pleasure of reading a great book, and you ensure that your favourite author receives his or her revenue from it.
Is this the reason why I promote them all? Yes. Because those authors work hard to offer us the best stories, and they don’t have to put their books on KU. They do it for us readers. For me, recommending them on this blog and on my social networks is my way to thank them. I also review the books when I finish them, which we should all do. The reader-author circle. A line, a couple of spoiler free sentences. It doesn’t need to be much.
And hopefully you will enjoy those recommendations of mine!