Luke Devlin is the son of the late gamekeeper at Druids Lodge. Luke returned to Dartmoor to live with the lodge’s owner, Henry Darcy, following his father’s death. Luke is close to Henry and resentful of Henry’s son, Finn, so when Finn returns to Druids Lodge for Henry’s funeral, the atmosphere is tense. However, Finn’s powerful presence awakens memories in Luke that have long been hidden, memories of a close childhood friendship between the two young men and an animal attack on Luke, to which his father reacted angrily and sent Luke far away from the lodge.
Finn has always loved Luke, but for their relationship to progress Finn must admit his darkest and most dangerous secrets: Finn is a werecat and during his first change he was the one to attack Luke, marking him as a mate. Amidst the confusion of the sexual tension between the pair, Luke consents to being claimed as Finn’s mate – little realizing the repercussions.
The relationship between Finn and Luke develops over the course of the story, but Finn’s possessiveness only grows when his clan learns that Alphas and their mates are disappearing with no trace. Is it only a matter of time before him and Luke are taken too?
Luke and Finn are multi-faceted characters whom I enjoyed reading about. Luke can be stubborn and hot-headed, but he is also sensitive and caring. He is faced with acquainting himself not only with Finn the man, but Finn the cat (affectionately named TC by Luke!). As expected, Finn’s werecat personality is rash, dominating, and lustful, but as a man Finn can be considerate, warm, and attentive.
Much of Druids Lodge follows the turbulent relationship between Finn and Luke. One minute the couple are having mind-blowing sex and the next they are fighting. Although I appreciated that there needed to be a certain period of adjustment for the pair and Kelly Clemmons ensures we have time to understand their characters, I did find the constant bickering between Luke and Finn repetitive and I wanted to rush ahead to reach the heart of the story’s mystery.
Clemmons builds the paranormal aspects of Druids Lodge well. I really liked that TC has a separate personality with a strong voice who we often see Finn converse with. The introduction of Finn’s best friend, Bren, means that there is a witch in the story whose magic is essential to Finn and Luke’s survival.
The last third of Druids Lodge is when Clemmons finally addresses the issue of the missing members of Were clans, and the reader realizes the amount of danger our protagonists may be in. The authors* have previously given us clues to who is behind the disappearances, but the events that unfold are chilling and full of suspense. I would have liked the authors to spend a little longer telling this part of the story because at this point the writing is fast-paced and absorbing, but everything that happens between then and the epilogue feels rushed.
Druids Lodge has electrifying sex scenes and solid characterization, but in my opinion, some of the authors’ decisions about the plot may leave the reader unfulfilled.
* Kelly Clemmons is the pen name of Lorraine Kelly and C.L. Clemmons
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.