denying yourselfRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: 
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Length: Novel

Matt and Shane are best friends. Shane has always harbored a crush on Matt, but lately has been feeling an extreme physical compulsion to want to be with him just when he’s in Matt’s presence. Things aren’t right for Shane. He has been experiencing anxiety, his body isn’t feeling normal, and when one night he turns into a werewolf, it suddenly starts to make sense.

Becoming a werewolf, unsurprisingly, makes life even more difficult. Shane’s parents, who were never all that loving to begin with, are not thrilled with him living in their house. Shane, who always found solace in the bottle, becomes even more dependent on alcohol to numb the strange new physical feelings he is experiencing. The only person he can depend on, Matt, agrees to move away with him, but Shane is deathly afraid of sharing his secret and losing him. He keeps everything bottled up, Matt starts to have feelings for Shane that’s he’s trying to fight, and everything adds up to a very explosive and destructive relationship.

When things come to a head and Shane and Matt act on their feelings, exposing Shane’s secret, he runs before he has to see the horror in Matt’s eyes. Shane has to reach rock bottom before he ends up dead, and when he does, he is rescued by Carl, the leader of a local pack of wolves who gets him in rehab and welcomes him to the pack when he’s clean. Shane’s life is a million times better now, but he can’t make himself forget about Matt, who will always be the love of his life but may never forgive him for who he is and what he’s done.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it may have some elements that would be a no go for some readers, so let me warn you about them. Because werewolves are such a physical species and find comfort with other members of the pack, there are descriptions of group orgies, which include the main character at times. The MCs, while they are soul mates who tore my heart out and who I desperately wanted to see get their HEA, spend many years apart and have other relationships. It is a frustrating and disheartening journey at times, but it’s so worth it.

Shane and Matt are best friends and have an insanely hot chemistry as well. It’s not all unicorns and rainbows. It’s punishing and animalistic at times, but I really did love them together and thought the inner struggles that kept them apart for so long, instead of being contrived as you often see in books, felt realistic and was better for both of them. As for the group sex thing, I’m of the mindset that more is always better. I like being carried away in a story that has a little more fantasy than normal. If there can be shifters, why can’t there be societies where group touching and cuddling and sex is the norm? Why can’t the huge beautiful werewolf pack leader be a magnificent lover to get you through the rough times? It’s certainly what I would dream up if I could.

One little technical thing that kind of got to me was the author’s habit of writing conversation that didn’t always make clear the identity of the speaker. Sometimes, the dialogue went back and forth without a “said Shane” frequently enough that it became confusing to me and I found myself rereading several parts to make sense of it.

I hope the author will take the big beautiful pack leader, Carl, and give him his own happy ending. He was the knight in shining armor to Shane who unexpectedly fell in love and then ends up alone when our MC gets the man of his dreams. It’s bittersweet for the reader. We want Shane and Matt to find their happiness, but Carl needs someone too. I’d love for this tale to continue. I loved the werewolf pack and could see many stories in their future.

Not your traditional romance here and things are a little spicier and heated than they are in most books, but the story kept me reading late into the night and the characters are ones you easily become invested in. I definitely recommend it, especially if you enjoy a shifter book.

Amy sig