by Claudia Gray
Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.
Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .
Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over. (description from Amazon.com)
To be totally honest, I had no idea if I was going to like this book or not! It's one of those premises that I was like, "this could be totally AWESOME, or it could really suck." Thankfully, it turned out really good!!
I felt an immediate connection to Tess and just kept hoping against hope that she would be able to get herself out of the awful situation that she was living in. Surprisingly, what I had been worrying about the most, the werewolves...on a ship..., turned out to be pretty believable. I really liked the mythology behind the werewolves and the explanation of why they might end up on a transatlantic cruise.
I also really liked the fact that though Tess and Alec meet and develop feelings for each other very quickly, that the author went to pains to make their interactions feel realistic. Tess wanted to avoid all confrontations, but kept getting thrust into dangerous situations. Alec wanted to keep Tess, a strange and vulnerable girl, safe, but as he got to know her inner strength, he came to want to spend time with her. It was NOT instant goo-goo eyes love. *thank god.*
The very end felt a little too easily wrapped up in some ways, but I enjoyed the beginning so much that I'm hoping the author will follow this book up with another Tess and Alec adventure!
2011 Shifter Reading Challenge title