Fearless - Brigid Kemmerer 3.5

Considering I'm still on the fence about how I feel regarding Hunter, I really enjoyed this look into his past.

Fearless takes place before Hunter ever meets the Merrick brothers. His daily routine includes finding new routes home so that he doesn't get beat up by the local boys and training with his father and uncle. Right away you can tell how isolated Hunter is and unused to interaction with peers his own age - given how he literally takes down a girl trying to talk to him.

She pulled an arm free to rub at the back of her head again. "I probably should have just passed you a note in class."

A note? No one had ever passed him a note. What kind of note? He had no idea how to play this. He had no idea what she wanted. Had she followed him?

Throughout this entire novella, I just wanted to hug Hunter. He was just so clueless. A girl finally takes notice of him and the only advice his father can give him is "use them before they use you". His uncle is a little more personable but he understands the life they lead and what awaits Hunter in the future.

Hunter learns about trust and just how far people will go to get what they want, to the point of deception. The novella ended with his father and uncle heading out to check out a problem group of Elementals in Annapolis...and if you've read the series, you know how this ends. I felt this novella really shaped the Hunter we see in the actual books and I'm actually looking forward to reading his book now.