This is the first book in the Alliance of the Amazons series by Sandy James, and what an amazing first book it was. You know things are going to be good when the story opens on the bride punching the groom because he is jilting her at the alter, in front of all their friends and family - the big momma's boy!
Rebecca Massee is almost your stereotypical earth mother. She is a kindergarten teacher who helps put together and maintain neighborhood garden plots, who dreams of a home of her own with a husband and children. Unfortunately, her husband-to-be jilts her at the alter and shatters her dreams. Just as her wedding and future is falling to pieces, a handsome man in a kilt shows up and tells her to follow him that "it is time." Astair MacKay is the centuries old Sentinel that trains Amazons as they are called up for duty. And Rebecca has just been called up. Each generation has 4 Amazons, Earth, Fire, Water & Air. Whether they are needed is dependent upon the health of the previous Amazons and how many demigods and demons are trying to take over.
After the last world war, the then current Amazons thought that they would be the last generation needed. But when some being strips the powers from an Amazon and then kills her, the 4 goddesses who each sponsor a particular Amazon know that something big coming and calls up the next generation. Astair is planning on retiring from Sentinel duty, but agrees to help the new Sentinel train one last generation. They each take 2 Amazons to train. Astair goes for Rebecca, and as the Earth Amazon, she leads them to the other Amazon nearby, Fire. Typically the Earth Amazon has the role of Guardian for the Amazons and helps to lead the next generation into their powers. But this time the Earth Amazon is missing and Sparks, the last generations Fire has taken on this role. The new Amazons must train and learn to use their powers quickly to try and save the lives of their sisters. At first Astair does everything in his power to make her angry, as this is the typical trigger for the Amazons powers. But he eventually figures out that doesn't work with Becca. Her powers are triggered by another emotion, Love.
I really liked this book. It caught my attention from the very beginning and kept things moving. Where the author could have gone with a cliche, she went with originality. I was kept guessing and was never was quite sure where we were going to end up, but what a ride. The next book is Fire's story. Here's to hoping that it shares in the ups, downs and wild ride of the first. The Reluctant Amazon got a 4 star rating for me on Goodreads.