Laylah Le Croix lives her teen years in the shadow of an unloving and invisible father, Henry Le Croix. Cared for by Jacques, her father's right-hand man, and Naiya, Laylah can only dream what the world is like outside her overprotective and isolated home. Little does she know that her birth resulted in the division of the Weres and the murder of her mother, Helena, who was half-panther. Then her world is turned upside down when the enemy attacks her home, wounding Jacques, and an attempt is made to kidnap her. She is rescued by Donil Silentshadow, who is enamored of her despite his past troubles with Laylah's father. The two fall in love, much to Henry Le Croix's outrage, and this causes something within Laylah to awaken. Something she has never known before yet feels so natural and a part of herself at the same time. Treachery seems to run in the Silentshadow clan, however, and Laylah's life is once again threatened after a new traitor emerges. Will Laylah survive the danger she is in? Will she ever know her heritage and what happened to her mother? Will Henry ever come to love his daughter and restore peace in his home? These are the questions that lingered as I read this novel and the suspense and plot twists held me until the very end.
Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy by Lakisha Spletzer is a story where werewolves are such a large part of a future society on earth. I'm not normally a reader of werewolf stories, but this one caught my interest. While Laylah struck me as a naive, innocent damsel-in-distress type of character who often acted as a typical teenager, she was a very inspiring and courageous young woman struggling to find her place in this world and understand who, or what, she is. It was annoying to read so many characters saying "poor Layalah" because it was as if they could not see her inner strength, but in the end, after surviving what could have been her death, she carries with her a newfound sense of self and strength that others seem to now respect.
The character I disliked the most in all of this was not the antagonist (who was a very worthy opponent!) but Laylah's father, Henry. Not one scene he was in won my appreciation of him, though I did understand him better for why he was the way he was at the moment he breaks down when remembering losing the wife he loved so much. This was his human side revealed. On the other hand, it seemed to me that he didn't realize that the more he pushed Laylah away, only handing out punishment every time he saw her, the more endangered his family became. He seemed to be more focused on his work, money, power and status than on his only child. Every situation he is “forced” into concerning his daughter seems to be one he can’t wait to get away from fast enough. At one point, when Laylah is kidnapped and everybody is frantically worried about her, he takes a few moments to check on his work! He even tells Jacques, “Did you really think I wanted to be saddled with a kid?” Even when Laylah calls him after she is safe from one of the kidnappings, he hands the e-comm to Jacques in irritation and says, “Take care of this.”
A story full of mystery, action and suspense, Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy is a new twist on an old genre that leaves readers with a satisfied adventure to enjoy and remember.