Ble MountainStory Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars

Narrator: Sean Crisden
Length: 3 hours, 38 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible
Book Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance

Having been exiled from the Blue Mountain pack at age 12 for being a male Omega wolf, Simon Moorhouse and his Omega mother have drifted from place to place until his mother’s ill health and impending death forces Simon back to Blue Mountain with the express purpose of fulfilling her last wishes: to be buried on her home pack territory.  Revered for solidifying pack bonds and nurturing others, Omega wolves are also submissive, and yet life has forced Simon to fight his instincts in order to survive.  Denying his instincts is fine in theory, but being a gay male Omega, Simon is frequently harassed by other shifters who misinterpret Simon’s scent.

Alpha wolves Mitch Grant and his twin brother, Frederick, joined the Blue Mountain pack when Frederick found his mate.  Freddy took the Alpha position, which suited Mitch, as he is more of a loner who would prefer to support his brother and to otherwise be left alone.  When pack members find an unknown shifter on pack lands, Freddy and Mitch discover that the interloper is in fact Mitch’s mate and that soon, both brothers will have mates of their own.

Mitch locates Simon in the forest, captures him, and brings Simon back to his cabin against his will.  The news that Mitch and Simon are mates is not taken well, as Simon has no interest in a mate or a pack, let alone the huge Alpha who has him held captive.  Mitch convinces Simon that his intention is not to hurt him and a deal is struck: one month.  Simon will give Mitch one month to prove his intentions, allowing Simon to relax and not feel pressured to make a decision.  Gradually Simon discovers the real wolf beneath the hulking exterior and Simon’s instincts make clear that Mitch is indeed “the one.”  The path to acceptance for both men is far from smooth, but the opportunity for Simon to finally have a home, a mate, and the support of a pack is tempting indeed.

It is no secret that I am a huge Cardeno C fan, primarily because the characters, their depth, and complexity always draw me in.  Blue Mountain is no exception.  Simon has had it rough in the 12 years that he and his mother have been on the road exiled from the pack, and his behaviour toward Mitch reflects that.  Simon has a tendency to paint all shifters with the same brush and his initial welcome on Blue Mountain territory, followed by Mitch’s “abduction” and confinement, certainly seems to confirm Simon’s feelings.

Mitch, the wolf with the terrifying reputation, has no idea how to deal with his new mate, the mate that refuses to acknowledge their bond.  I liked Mitch’s persistence, I liked how the emotionally driven Simon gradually lets go of his pre-conceived notions and finally gives himself and Mitch a chance to be happy.  The few secondary characters, such as Freddy and Donea, were nicely crafted and lent depth to the story.  There was not much in the way of world building for a good reason; the bulk of the story took place in Mitch’s home and the history there spoke volumes.

Seriously, a Cardeno C audiobook?  I was ecstatic and could not get my hands on this sucker fast enough.  Was it everything I was looking for and more? Yes and no.  This is a case where the Crisden’s performance took a good story and made it that much better.  Christen was consistent in his characterizations, both male and female, and never fell out of character. He managed both male and female voices with ease, his pace and intonation were spot-on, and his diction was excellent; no sloppy speech in this tale.

I do wonder where the next story will focus since we were not really introduced to very many other characters, but I hope that we get to see more of the Blue Mountain territory in the next installment.

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