Cougar shifter Joey has been feeling pretty sick for a while now, but on a rare night when he’s feeling good, he decides to go out and enjoy some dancing. It turns out to be the wrong move when he is kidnapped by three lion shifters. Held hostage, Joey bides his time until he can escape. When he finally makes a break for it, he takes refuge in a cave.
Vance has known all along he’s needed to keep his sexuality hidden from his alpha and his pride. Lion shifters can’t be gay. He’s never really fit in with his pride anyway. On an early morning run in his lion form, Vance heads up to the cave he’s claimed as his own, only to find a sick and injured man hiding there. Vance feels drawn to the man, and when he awakes, he hears Joey’s story of kidnapping. But even greater than his sympathy for the man, Vance feels the mating pull. He and Joey have sex, and then Vance delivers the mating bite.
Though Vance knows his alpha will never condone their relationship, Vance is determined to have his pride and Joey. First he must gather evidence about the kidnapping and get Joey’s things back. With the help of the alpha heir, Vance and Joey head back to the place where Joey was held. But the plot goes deeper than anyone anticipated. And once everything is revealed, they might not all make it out alive.
I was drawn to this one because of I’m a sucker for mates and big cat shifters, and here we have both. I found the story to be enjoyable, even if it didn’t have as much development as I would of liked. The world building was lacking here and that detracted for me. I needed more as to how shifter culture worked. There was only a barebones here, and a few more paragraphs with a bit of explanation wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The characters, for the most part, were well done. Joey is a stereotypical cougar in that he’s a loner and mostly happy with that. I really liked his determination to survive his kidnapping and to get free. Vance is big hearted and doesn’t fit in with his pride. Rhodes gave us a good sense of them both and it was easy to see how they fit together, though I admit I would have liked a bit more in that area as well. They feel the pull of being mates, but this was partially glossed over. Had the feelings and thoughts been described a little bit more, I would have felt their connection deeper. Still, it worked and I enjoyed where the author took it.
This is a shorter read, and while I think it could have benefited from a slight expansion of detail, it was pretty well done for what it was. If you like fated mates and big cat shifters, then I suggest you pick this one up.