Rating: 4.25 stars
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It’s been three years since shifters revealed themselves to the human population and chaos quickly ensued. Fear drove some humans to hunt down and destroy entire packs of shifters. In turn, packs were dissolved and, without that structure, fear drove some shifters to hunt humans. Finally the human government allocated a piece of land the size of a small town to be a sanctuary for those shifters looking to live a normal life, known as the desert sanctuary.
Captain Jace Bryson didn’t pay that much attention to reports of a man being attacked by a “wolf-man.” All shifters know there is no such thing. But there has been an attack on a human, and that means that Jace and his team must investigate and hunt down the rogue wolf. When he arrives at the hospital to investigate, he discovers that not only is the victim a shifter, but he’s also Jace’s mate. But the mystery lies with Deacon Fairchild. When he entered the hospital less than twenty-four hours ago, he was completely human — hospital records prove it — but now he is undoubtedly a wolf shifter. And everyone knows that shifters are born, not made.
Deacon is as surprised as everyone else to hear the news and see the proof that he is a shifter. When he woke up in the hospital, Deacon felt like a new man, but remembered nothing after leaving work the previous night. And now his entire world has changed. Not only is he now a shifter, but his is being forced to uproot his life and move to the desert sanctuary. To add to the mystery that follows him, Deacon’s wolf is half man/half wolf, which is thought to be more of a myth than reality.
When Jace hears of another attack by the same wolf, this time ending in murder, he is forced to return to Vegas to hunt down the rogue wolf with Deacon by his side. Evidence leads Jace and his team to believe the attack on Deacon was personal and not a random incident. Then Jace and Deacon uncover a plot of jealousy, misunderstandings, and deceit that threatens to destroy their mating before they’ve really had a chance to really begin.
An Improbable Wolf is the first book in Lavinia Lewis’ new series, Desert Sanctuary. I like this story. The author presents a twist on the usual shifter world, creating likeable characters, and an entertaining plot without any angst.
I like both Jace and Deacon for their strength – not so much physical but mental. That pertains mostly to Deacon. Jace is strong in character to begin with, and continues to exercise that strength as the story progresses. But Deacon’s life does a complete one-eighty and, yeah, he’s nervous and afraid of what this new world has in store for him, but he faces it head on and refuses to hide from it.
The bond between Jace and Deacon is instantaneous, but Deacon doesn’t understand it and Jace refuses to push him. Whereas this is a story of mating, it is not an insta-love story. In fact, the word love is never mentioned, which I appreciate since the entire span of the story (minus the epilogue) is two days.
This storyline is filled with action, mystery, and deceit. Things aren’t always what they seem in this story. It’s very fast paced from beginning to end, but easy to keep up with. I can’t say the storyline is believable in the real world sense, but in the world Lewis created, it is quite good and works well.
And speaking of the world building, An Improbable Wolf is set in a world where shifters are known to humans, but instead of being accepted they are hunted out of fear, almost to extinction, which has caused a sort of war between the species. The desert sanctuary is the safe haven for shifters, a sort of military base of protection and supportive community of shifters. The world itself is very well written and exciting.
My biggest pet peeve when reading any story is lack of consistency. In this story there is a little confusion as to the number of shifters on the team that travelled to Vegas the second time, and which shifters were actually there. And, yes, it’s a small detail, but it makes my minor OCD kick in and then I spend too much time flipping back and forth between pages to try and figure out if I missed something or if it was, in fact, a mistake. There are also a few unanswered questions, but I believe they are left open-ended on purpose in order to lead into the next installment.
Overall, An Improbable Wolf by Lavinia Lewis is very entertaining and quite creative. The new world is my favorite part of the story, but the characters are great too. There are several secondary characters that I’m sure will have a story of their own in the future. I’m looking forward to those stories.
Cover: A great cover by Posh Gosh with seriously gorgeous depictions of Jace and Deacon. It’s not a cover that tells a story, but it is one that grabs reader’s attention. Well done.