Rating: 3.5 stars
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Brian is taken by surprise when a neighboring alpha takes him to the border of the Moon Ceremony where he had discovered a human who’s somehow gotten past the guards. Brian had only two options: let the head alpha kill the man or Brian can claim him as his mate. So Brian claims him. He promises Luke that when the Moon Ceremony ends he can leave if that’s what Luke wants, but inside, he hopes to have Luke in his life for a long, long time.
Being a human in a wolf’s world is not an easy task, especially for Luke, who has never known what having a true family was like. Learning of the existence of wolf shifters is one thing, but learning their customs, their lives, and learning to live with them is an entirely different thing. When his feelings for Brian grow into something more, Luke chooses to stay with him after the Moon Ceremony ends.
Having Luke in his life is like a dream come true for Brian. He makes Brian’s house a home. And when lost and broken wolves begin showing up on their doorstep, Luke gives Brian the family and the pack he never knew he wanted.
Brian’s Mate is a sweet tale of unexpected love and chosen family. It has its high points and lower points, but all around it’s a decent read and quite precious.
So let’s talk about what worked for me.
The characters. Yes. There are a lot of them. Luckily we only “hear” two points of view. I like Brian for his ability to compromise and grow as his life changes around him. As an alpha, he’s okay. He’s not as fierce as I’d expect an alpha to be and he’s kind of a pushover. But as a partner to Luke, I like him. He’s very accepting and caring. Luke on the other hand is sweet. I’ll be honest, though. In the beginning, I was a little annoyed with him because he’s so wishy-washy and needy, but he stabilizes about halfway through the story and it’s easier to get a read on him. I like his huge heart. His need to love and be loved. And together these men are cavity-inducingly sweet.
There are also the multitude of pack members that give the world a little more depth and intrigue. Gary is probably my favorite. He’s a mystery. He is a man who refuses to shift from his wolf form, yet he shows so much humanity and heart. Then Nate and Peter, the two younger wolves. They’re connection is precious and I find myself wanting to know what happens between them.
The other thing that works for me is the meaning of family created in this book. It’s sweet the way Luke, who is human and pretty much knows nothing about wolf culture, dives in and makes the pack his own. He makes a family where one wasn’t before. It’s kind of beautiful.
Now let me tell you about the parts I thought could have used a little more work.
The world. I’m not much of a fan of this world. It was awkward, to say the least. The rules were odd and a little weak. I mean, cooking your mate’s favorite meat and presenting it to them in front of everybody. It’s different, yes, but still mind-riddling. I like different and unique but only when it makes sense.
The story. The plot is weak. I’ve read it, and the more I’ve thought about it, I just don’t see much of a plot. With the whole “let’s kill the human intruder” thing in the beginning, I was hoping for something more spectacular from this story, maybe even something a little more intense. But the story is certainly not intense and not very spectacular. I’ve said before that it’s sweet. And it is, but that’s about all it is.
Holes. Yes, holes. There are a few. My biggest question: what happened to Brian’s actual family? Where did his brother, sister-in-law, and nephews disappear to? One moment they were part of the story and the next, they were not even mentioned. As always, I like my stories tied up in nice little (or big) bows, but that’s not entirely the case with this book.
So, as you can see there are some good points and some not so good points to this book. Now that you have my thoughts on the story, I’ll let you make your own decisions about it.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.