Kent is trapped. Stuck between wolfdom and humanity, he has no pack and no place to call home. Worse yet, the collar around his neck binds and breaks him, preventing true freedom. Now Kent must complete one final job to see the hated collar removed forever. He is sent to the north to rescue an Alpha called Hadrian and while reaching him is easy enough, getting him back to York will not be.
Hadrian wasn’t meant to be an Alpha. There were nearly a dozen others ahead of him, but fate forced him into the position and he’s been drowning ever since. Now he’s on the run with a half mad creature from legends decades old. He’s scrambling to trust Kent while dealing with his own maturing power. Kent finds himself drawn to Hadrian, to the dream of a home and a pack, and the bond between them quickly becomes unshakeable. But he and Hadrian must each embrace their true selves if there is any hope of becoming whole.
I’m prone to enjoying shifter novels, yet the genre has become bogged down by too many bad clichés and over the top fated mates. So sometimes it’s hard to find a shifter novel that really resonates. Luckily, Wolf in King’s Clothing is one of the good ones. Well paced and written in a strong, almost fierce style that matches Kent’s personality, this book achieves an excellent balance between traditional and non-traditional shifter romances. Yes, some of the clichés are there, but they’re handled in a new light or with more deftness than I usually see. It’s action packed and never slows down to let the reader catch their breath. There are times when I felt slightly out of step with the characters and plot, as though there were pieces to a puzzle I wasn’t given. As a result, there is a chaos to Wolf in King’s Clothing that is both exhilarating and occasionally maddening. I felt jarred at times, but that wasn’t always a bad thing.
The characters steal the show here, especially Kent. We don’t know his full story, but we do know his life has been nothing but pain. Always different and trapped between one half of himself and he other, he is utterly alone. His despondency and fear and rage are all wrapped up a mixture of bravery and self-annihilation. Hadrian is not as complete a character. We know even less about his background, but he is clearly struggling to become the Alpha he must. The power is there; he just hasn’t learned what to do with it. So his natural protectiveness towards Kent is doubly endearing because as readers we know what Hadrian does not – that his ability to love fiercely and calm the wild storm of Kent’s emotions are the same things that make him such a powerful Alpha.
Wolf in King’s Clothing is a strong addition to the shifter genre. An action-packed plot, deeply emotional characters, and a powerful bond all serve to create a wonderful novel. There were some moments I found myself needing more information or wanting the plot to untangle itself ever so slightly, but on the whole, it was a truly enjoyable read.