The Rogue Wolf is the third book in the Sapphire Ranch Wolves series and is a direct continuation of the second book, The Hidden Wolf, and as such, this review may not make sense if you haven’t read the previous books.
Six years after being banished from his pack for daring to speak his mind, Owen Pope has made his way to Texas, starving and broke, looking for work. Having located a deserted ranch, Owen proceeds to hunt, desperately trying to stay alive. During the hunt, Owen comes across a man with a rifle, followed by two shifters, one of which is the Omega of his former pack.
Knowing his time in Texas is up, Owen steals some clothes and money and heads out of town, but not before grabbing himself some breakfast. At the local diner, Owen is approached by the sheriff who gives Owen two choices, to come with him to Sapphire Ranch and return the stolen money and clothes, or go to jail.
Choosing what he hopes is the lesser of two evils, Owen arrives at the ranch and meets his mate, Zeke, a member of the Cavalry protecting Sapphire Ranch from the hunters out to kill all shifters. Owen is confused, wondering how his mate can be human and what it means for him. When the hunters finally attack the ranch, Owen’s life is on the line and Zeke will stop at nothing to save him.
The saga continues, with the hunters continuing their systematic elimination of shifters, versus the Sapphire Ranch and the Cavalry. This time, we are introduced to a former pack mate of Cal’s, Owen Pope. I found it easy to feel empathy for Owen, not being pack (LOL!) makes it easy to understand where he was coming from, and his six years of wandering without a pack, without a home, and the effects it had on him were very well described and believable.
I thought it was nice to use an existing Cavalry member as the second MC, especially one as strong and intimidating as Zeke. The typical “wolf is stronger than the human” concept is not adhered to, Zeke turning out to be the stronger of the two men, at least psychologically, and in the sack, physically. I know that in most of the stories I read, the wolf, regardless of its status in the pack, is considered stronger, and in that regard, I found the change refreshing. This deviation from the norm certainly made the dynamic in the bedroom and other places rather hot as well, since Zeke knows his own mind and is not afraid to speak it.
Brown has been maintaining the Sapphire Ranch series for a while now, and has maintained a good level of consistency with the world building. I have also found that the eBooks have come to me nicely formatted, with excellent editing, and I can see that Brown has pre-determined the course of the series in advance, otherwise the flow from story to story would not be as smooth as it is.
I actually said to a friend that I like Brown’s books specifically because they are short novels I can start and finish generally in one sitting, and feel satisfied with the outcome. These are definitely stories that I will revisit in the future and can easily recommend to all you shifter and ranch lovers out there.