Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: Wild Within by Melissa Hart

Wild Within
by Melissa Hart

Publisher: Lyons Press
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Melissa Hart, a desperately lonely young divorcée and L.A. transplant, finds herself stranded in rainy Eugene, Oregon, working from home in the company of her two cats and two large mutts. At the local dog park, she meets a fellow dog owner named Jonathan: a tall, handsome man with a unibrow and hawk-like nose. When he invites her to accompany him on a drive to Portland to retrieve six hundred pounds of frozen rats and a fledgling barred owl, sparks fly!

Their courtship blossoms in a raptor rehabilitation center where wounded owls, eagles, falcons, and other iconic birds of prey take refuge and become ambassadors for their species. Initially, Melissa volunteers here in order to “sink her talons” into her new love interest, but soon she falls hopelessly in love with her fine feathered charges: Archimedes, a gorgeous snowy owl; Lorax, a fractious great horned owl; and Bodhi, a baby barred with a permanently injured wing. As “human imprints,” these birds see themselves and people as the same species yet retain a wildness that hoodwinks even the most experienced handlers. Overcoming her fears, Melissa bravely suffers some puncture wounds to get closer to these magnificent creatures.

Melissa and Jonathan start out convinced they don’t want children, but caring for birds who have fallen from their nests triggers a deep longing in Melissa to mother an orphaned child. Thus they embark on a heart-wrenching journey to adoption.

Kritters Thoughts:  Melissa Hart is an interesting lady with an interesting hobby - as a raptor handler she fell in love with handling birds who have come to be rescued through horrific circumstances, but it is her and other volunteers job to nurse them back to hopefully be released or as Plan B to become a advocate for their species.  She is drawn to volunteer through a guy, but stays due to her own personal convictions.

My favorite part of the book was the ability to watch her transformation as a volunteer at the rescue center and how it paralleled with her and her husband's long story to adopting a child.  There were many moments when I had to remind myself that this wasn't fiction and that she really lived through these ups and downs and that she is one of many on the road to adopting a child.  The one part that kept me from completely falling in love with the book was all of the owl/bird/raptor terms, as a complete bird novice I enjoyed those parts, but would have loved a little definition and maybe just to give a few moments at the beginning to provide some basic bird terms.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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