Ever since the Northwest Pack saved a group of wolves being held captive, Sean has barely been able to concentrate on anything other than the newly rescued Liam. Liam and his brothers were kidnapped and tortured by wolves intent on learning the secret to the Pack of Light’s powers, until they were ultimately rescued by Sean’s pack. Now Sean feels himself drawn to Liam, having a fierce need to care for him and protect him. Sean’s inner wolf definitely wants Liam, but Liam has no scent, so Sean can’t tell if they are mates.
The torturous experiments Liam suffered not only left him without a scent, but also blinded him and made him incredibly ill. Liam recognizes Sean as his mate right away, but he knows that once fated mates bond, if one dies, so does the other. There is no way he is letting Sean risk himself by mating Liam, so he keeps it a secret. Despite that, Liam can’t help but get close to Sean, as his wolf needs Sean just as much as Sean needs him.
The two men grow closer, falling for one another and ultimately acting on their attraction. But with Liam hiding their mate status, Sean finds himself more confused and frustrated about his feelings. At the same time, the men who held the Pack of Light wolves have been spotted around town and are becoming a threat to the safety of the Northwest Pack. Liam is determined not to let those he cares about be in danger, and so he risks everything to help them track down the wolves, even at risk to his own life. Even if he manages to survive, he must somehow explain to his mate all the secrets he has been keeping.
Wolf’s Sacrifice is the second book in St. James’ Pack of Light series and it picks up after the Pack of Light wolves have begun to settle in with the Northwest Pack. The previous book, Scent of a Wolf, introduces the overarching story of the Pack of Light, their decimation and capture, and ultimately their rescue by the Northwest Pack. Here we continue the story, focusing on Liam and Sean, as well as the continued threats against the pack for their efforts in the rescue.
I found Liam and Sean a likable couple, facing some interesting challenges. Liam is very sick from the experiments and medical intervention is failing. He is basically dying, and he is keeping that fact from pretty much everyone other than his brother Cory and the pack healer. He worries if he tells Sean, Sean will risk his life to help him. Or worse, that if they mate, when Liam dies, Sean will die as well. So despite knowing Sean’s feelings about the importance of fated mates, he keeps both the secret about his health and their fated mate status. For his part, Sean is so drawn to Liam, and his inner wolf is screaming for him, but at the same time, he believes Liam that they are not mates and it is making him crazy. I will admit, I am not usually a fan of plots where one character unilaterally decides what is best for other, hurting someone else in the name of protecting them. For some reason, this is a common storyline in romance novels and one I find very frustrating generally. Here I did not find it quite as bad, I think mostly because I really liked these guys together and I could understand where they both were coming from. Liam, in particular, is very likable, strong and brave and determined despite what he is facing. The story gives us both a sweet growth to their relationship, as well as some intense chemistry and heat, and it makes a nice balance.
We also get a continuation of the larger story arc here focused on the kidnappers and their experiments on the Pack of Light. We learn more about the men behind the acts and more about their overall goals and plans. I am finding this storyline really interesting and we are getting just enough to advance each individual book while still keeping an engaging overall story arc. I am really looking forward to not just how things play out with this plot, but also the (presumably) upcoming stories of some of the additional secondary characters.
My biggest complaint here is with the realism of how these guys are faring post captivity. We never get a clear timeline, but although obviously some time has passed since the rescue, it appears to be weeks or months, not years. Liam and his brothers were kidnapped, kept in cages, and brutally and violently tortured for most (all?) of their lives. Yet here they are, basically totally adjusted. While Liam is sick from some tests they did, otherwise they are basically healthy. His brother’s are strong enough to be trained as enforcers. They seem to have virtually no emotional scars and are almost completely socially adjusted. Not only that, but they seem to have complete understanding of pop culture, language, and all other facets of everyday life that they would never have been exposed to in captivity. They make witty sex jokes, understand computers, and for all intents and purposes act as if they grew up in the Northwest Pack. I just feel like aside from the complete lack of realism, it was a missed opportunity to really show how these guys move on from their pasts. It would have been quite interesting to see Liam adjusting to his new life, struggling with day to day issues, etc. So I will say I found this distracting, especially as they would talk and joke in ways that just seemed so impossible given their pasts.
Overall though I enjoyed this story. I really liked Liam and Sean and found them sweet and sexy together. And I am finding the overarching suspense plot interesting and well developed. I am really looking forward to future installments.