The first book in Tiernan’s Birthright series (Eternally Yours, 2012, etc.) is both predictable and unoriginal.
Vivi Neves has known she’s one of the haguari, an ancient race of shape-shifting jaguar people, since she was 13. After five years of fighting her parents’ efforts to persuade her to embrace her heritage, Vivi is forced to change for the first time when she and her parents are attacked during a family picnic. Her parents end up dead, her father’s heart missing. Among her parents’ belongings, Vivi uncovers evidence of an aunt she never knew existed and heads to New Orleans to find her. Instead, she meets her 20-something cousin, Matéo, whose parents died a year and a half before, their hearts also taken. Vivi moves in with Matéo and his girlfriend and their many haguari friends, and she finds safety and normalcy in her barista job at a local cafe. There, she begins a will-they-won’t-they relationship with moody Rafael, the manager. Vivi’s first-person narration is an exhausting mix of back story and summary that prevents the plot from developing. She thinks and speaks in ellipses and speculative questions, and her snarky voice is whiny rather than quirky. Her jaguar voice is a stream-of-consciousness jumble of broken and run-on sentences in present tense, and the move from one voice to the other is jarring. The anticlimactic ending will leave readers too frustrated to read subsequent installments to find out who is kidnapping haguari and taking their hearts.
This lackluster addition to the bloated teen-paranormal-romance genre has nothing new to offer. (Paranormal romance. 13-18)