Dual Review: West of Want by Laura Kaye

Format read: e-ARC provided by publisher
Release Date: 10 July 2012
Series: Book #2 in the Hearts of the Anemoi series
Number of pages: 222 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Formats available: ebook
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author’s Website, Amazon, KindleBarnes and Noble, Read an excerpt


Betrayal is all he’s ever known, but in her, he’ll find a love strong enough to be trusted…

When Marcella Raines’ twin brother dies, she honors his request to be buried at sea, never expecting the violent storm that swamps her boat. Though she’s gravely injured–and still emotionally damaged from her recent divorce–Ella fights to survive.

Zephyros Martius is the Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring, but being the strongest Anemoi hasn’t protected him from betrayal and loss. Worse, he’s sure his brother Eurus is behind it. When Zeph’s heartbreak whips up a storm that shipwrecks a human, his guilt forces him to save her.

Ella is drawn to the vulnerability Zeph hides beneath his otherworldly masculinity and ancient blue eyes. And her honesty, empathy, and unique, calming influence leave Zeph wanting…everything. When Eurus threatens Ella, she and Zeph struggle to let go of the past, defend their future, and embrace what they most want–a love that can be trusted.

Our Thoughts:

Marlene: North of Need was one of those utterly marvelous stories that comes along once in a “blue moon”, a story that was absolutely magical. When West of Want came out, I was hoping for another fantastic experience, but unfortunately the lightning wasn’t captured in the bottle the second time around. West of Want is pretty good, but it just isn’t up to the high bar set by North of Need.

Stella: *sighs* Yes, I pretty much agree Marlene. For the past couple of years I haven’t been a big PNR fan as I find it way too clichéd nowadays, but North of Need was such a breath of fresh air, I loved how unique Owen was, his innocent discovery of the world (and ice creams!), I just loved their story! So naturally I started West of Want with high expectations: I wanted the same original and entertaining story with memorable and unique characters I got used to in North of Need, but West of Want fell short on both accounts.

Marlene: One of the issues that I had with the story from the very beginning was “what the hell was wrong with Zeph?” We never do get complete clarity on why he caused the storm that starts off the story. I often found myself floundering in the backstory of this book. All of Zeph’s and Ella’s problems with trusting each other have to do with their past bad relationships, but we don’t get a whole lot of info on what happened. Ella’s backstory is fairly clear, but Zeph, not so much. And his family feud with Eurus, OMG. There’s a whole other novel’s worth of stuff in what’s wrong with Eurus.

Stella: Yes, sadly I felt that the plot of West of Want was all over the place. While I enjoy mythological references (hello, history/mythology junkie here!), I felt that there was too much crammed into West of Want. We got the whole run down on Zeph’s every paramour, family dysfunctions among many other things, one of them namely the main storyline…

While I was fairly engrossed in Zeph and Ella’s story they weren’t the memorable and unique characters that made me wonder and ponder things long after I have turned the page. I had problems understanding (and accepting) their insta-love connection (especially on Zeph’s side, he is a god after all, has been around for millenia and I didn’t get a clear answer to why this woman, what does he see in her?).

Marlene: The ending of the story, and the convenient explanation for Zeph’s and Ella’s insta-love at the beginning, smacked way too much of deus ex machina. Although Stella, my Latin scholar friend will probably correct that to dei, since there are multiple gods involved in cleaning up the mess that Eurus causes, and more gods than just the Anemoi. Was it truly necessary to bring both the Greek and Roman pantheons in on this? Really? Either/or would have been reasonable, since the Anemoi are the Greek wind gods after all. But both? Mars and Ares?

Stella: Lol Marlene, thanks first for including a bit of Latin, it’s really a pity we don’t use this language more 😉 And second of all thanks for mentioning the combination of BOTH mythological worlds. Ares is the Greek counterpart of Mars, they are one and the same god just either perceived by the Greeks (Ares) or the Romans (Mars), so I was stumped why a Roman god (Mars) was introduced in a story which featured Greek gods (the Anemoi). I thought it was a shallow, typo-kind of mistake that an editor should have corrected. I get that they needed the names to rhyme (Mars – Marcella – March), but it still screwed with the rules of the world-building.

Marlene: That was an “off the rails” moment for me. Zeph actually refers to “Mars and his brother Ares” late in the story as sharing a “legendary masculine aggression”, but while Ares directs his towards literal war-making, Mars focuses on peace-making. However you slice and dice this, both pantheons seem to co-exist simultanously. That’s just too many gods at one time. The only author who can successfully put this many gods in one story is Neil Gaiman, and that’s not the kind of story we’re talking about here.

Stella: I’m all for re-interpreting legends and stuff, but messing with the main characteristics of gods this way is just not something I can take in stride. Mars as the peacemaker, oh yeah… *snorts*

Marlene: I’ll see your snort and raise you an eyebrow.

Stella: You’re on 😉 So anyway I found the ending, the resolution of everything way too easy and convenient, too neatly tied off.

Marlene: Exactly! Deus (or dei) ex machina. Except in this case there’s no machina, just lots and lots of dei.

Stella: Lol, perfectly said! 😀


Marlene: The insta-connection and insta-love was highly improbable, but I really liked Ella as a character. She may have accepted Zeph a bit (a lot) too easily, but who wouldn’t accept someone that gorgeous who could heal that much damage?

Eurus came across as much too “Bwahaha” evil, and there wasn’t enough backstory to explain why Zeph was so incredibly down on himself. He was, after all, a god. Even though the author’s writing made the story entertaining enough to carry me along, it was still a disappointment after the astonishment and wonder of North of Need.

I give West of Want 3.5 stars.

Stella: After having North of Need give back my love and hope for PNR I was very excited and looking forward to West of Want, which sadly didn’t live up to the first story 🙁 I found it too clichéd, too generic, the typical paranormal romance. Don’t misunderstand me, West of Want wasn’t bad, but it was just ‘nice’, which after the wonder and great surprise that North of Need was, felt like a let down. Laura Kaye’s writing is still amazingly captivating, but the characters felt flat and cardboard-like. If you are a fan of paranormal romances and/or Laura Kaye you’ll enjoy West of Want, but if you are looking for something a bit different and more original (and fun) than the “six of one, half a dozen of the other” PNR stories, try North of Need instead.

I give West of Want 3.5 stars.

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3 thoughts on “Dual Review: West of Want by Laura Kaye

  1. I am not really reading your review, as I have the book on my TBR. But I did not really enjoy North of Need as much as you both apparently did. I wanted more paranormal in it.

    1. Well since I’m not a big fan of paranormal romances (in the past 2 years or so they have disappointed me), I was happy with the amount of supernatural that was in North of Need, but indeed it wasn’t really heavy on that.

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