Rating: 5 stars
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Upon his arrival stateside from Afghanistan, newly promoted Major Tim Madison, along with his friends and fellow officers Lucas and Noah, has been tasked with re-writing the military handbook regarding werewolves, their culture, and their rules and structure. While out celebrating the promotion, Tim and his colleagues encounter a young werewolf transitioning from a mid-pack werewolf to a True Alpha. And even though the meeting was awkward and uncomfortable, Tim finds himself drawn to the young True Alpha in ways that he cannot understand.
Jeremy Wagner is lost and confused. After being cast out of his pack by a selfish tyrant of a True Alpha who should have mentored Jeremy, he finds himself as a lone wolf in True Alpha Transition, complete with overactive emotions and unexplainable feelings. His attraction to Tim is immediate, so much so that he craves the major’s praise, his attention. Mentored by the True Alpha of the United States Armed Services, Jeremy begins preparations and training to one day lead his own pack while starting a new relationship with Tim. And Tim finds himself in the middle of a relationship he didn’t necessarily want in the beginning, while trying to balance his career, his growing feelings for Jeremy, and their plans, or lack of thereof, for the future.
Read this book. I loved everything about Strength of the Wolf. You should definitely read it, and if you haven’t read the first book in Kendall McKenna’s Tameness of the Wolf series you should read that as well. There. That should be enough for you to go out and read it, right? No? Well, let’s try this. Strength of the Wolf is a fabulously written book of intrigue, growth, love, and compromise. It’s a book that I couldn’t, nor did I want to, put down. And once I was finished, I was dying for more.
You may have noticed by now how much I adore Kendall McKenna’s writing. Her books are literary crack to me. I must have them. And when I begin reading them I lose sleep because I don’t want to put them down. I have no regrets about that, though. Strength of the Wolf only proves that McKenna is a consistent storyteller while adding new dimensions to her fascinating tales of military intrigue and elaborate worlds.
So I want to begin with what I love most about this book. I know I’ve gushed over the world created in the first book in this series before, but McKenna didn’t let the world remain as it was – although it was a great world to begin with. She built on it, made it real, gave it new, well-planned rules. The distinction between military structure and pack structure is elaborated upon. Also the True Alpha Transition is a great addition to this world. And I enjoyed the contrast of military life and civilian life throughout this story. It’s a very intricate world with many details, but she also leaves room to expand this world. As with Strength of the Pack, nothing is left to the imagination. I would say the world in the Tameness of the Pack series is one of my very favorites.
And I adore the concept of mates/soul mates. It’s probably why I love paranormal stories so much. I like all levels of mates, but one of the things that I love so much about this world is the idea of chosen mates. These men find one another, and maybe fate has a say in it or maybe not, but these men work through a relationship that is not smooth and easy. Yet the werewolf chooses his mate, his perfect match. It makes this world all that much more real and almost easy to believe.
Okay, so you know I can’t go without talking about these characters. Tim and Jeremy are so great together. Tim is the strong, grounding force for Jeremy. He is the reason Jeremy wants to be a better man. But the best part is Jeremy’s growth from rebellious, confused, and lost young man to a strong, confident leader. His journey molds him into a man and it’s a beautiful thing to watch.
I also can’t leave out the reappearance of Lucas and Noah from Strength of the Pack. I absolutely adored their story and I loved that they were part of this book. I enjoyed seeing their growth. I really like that both Lucas and Noah are such a big part of this book and both have larger than life personalities, yet they don’t overshadow the main characters of this story. This author found a happy balance that kept me happy with the updates from past characters while giving me a fabulous story in which I had the chance to get to know and fall in love with new characters.
The writing as always is flawless and engaging. This book is exciting from the get go. There is action, adventure, love, romance, drama, and even a little bit of comedy. I even enjoyed the addition of Adam, Tim’s brother. The family dynamic added a great deal to this story, so much so that I’m hoping that he gets his own story someday soon. I’m no longer surprised by how lost I find myself when I’m reading one of Kendall McKenna’s tales. I simply make time, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
As you can see, I absolutely adore this book. I love me some sexy military men in uniform (yes, I can totally picture them in my head – that’s good writing for you). I absolutely have a thing for werewolves, shifters, mates, etc. I am a huge fan of this ever growing world. And the story is just amazing. I cannot wait to see what McKenna has coming up next in this series. There are so many possibilities. I highly, highly recommend Strength of the Wolf by Kendall McKenna. And if you haven’t read Strength of the Pack, you must definitely do so.
Cover: Again, another masterpiece from the talent that is Jared Rackler. This cover is the perfect mate to the first book, both sexy and beautiful. Well done.