Tanner has been lucky enough to find his destined mate. It’s not something that happens to every wolf and he knows he’s lucky to have discovered Finley at such a young age. They’ve had years to get to know one another and to become friends before becoming mates. But that’s part of the problem. Tanner continues to feel Finley is too young to seal their bond and seems determined to hold the younger man at arm’s length rather than move their relationship forward.
At eighteen, Finley is no child and he knows that he and Tanner have waited long enough. When Tanner fails yet again to acknowledge their bond, Finley flees across the country to his grandparents’ home. With so much distance between them, Finley must decide if the bond he shares with Tanner is strong enough to survive so much hurt. And Tanner must finally accept what he has with Finley or risk losing him forever.
I am always a little hesitant when it comes to novels involving shifter characters, because they are either really good or barely tolerable. Unfortunately Devotion falls into the latter category. While it certainly isn’t the worst I’ve read of this genre, the author’s writing style and a plot that stretched well past its usefulness left me disappointed.
The plot of Devotion was better suited to the confines of a novella. While the overall story was simple but interesting, it dragged out for too long. There were whole stretches of minimal forward motion and far too much inane description. There was very little character development for either Tanner or Finley. Both were charming in their own way and they definitely made a sweet couple, but the conflicts they faced seemed prolonged and contrived. Had the novel been edited more tightly, perhaps the evolution of their relationship would have felt more natural. As it was they both were terribly immature and neither of them seemed particularly ready for the seriousness of the commitment they were making.
The real issue with Devotion came from the author’s writing style. It bordered on cloying and saccharine and lacked real substance. And while fluff has its place, I dislike when a novel pretends to be something its not. The characters felt somewhat unrealistic because of this and as a result, while I didn’t dislike Tanner and Finley as a couple, I wasn’t able to connect with them either. They were caricatures rather fully formed and there was very little depth to their characters. They acted and spoke without much behavioral or emotional realism.
There was nothing particularly new or different about the shifter world portrayed in Devotion. It’s filled with more than a few tired plot devices and genre related tropes. That doesn’t make it utterly devoid of enjoyment, but it would have been nice to see something a bit more original in the text.
If you really enjoy paranormal romances, you might like Devotion, but for my part this novel was too long and had no original substance to make up for the author’s awkward writing style and the characters limited growth.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.