Rating: 3.5 stars
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Omega wolf Julian has finally managed to escape his abusive alpha. On the run, he ends up on Tillamook pack lands. Alpha Clint sees an omega in need and offers refuge. For the first time ever, Julian learns that omegas are supposed to be cherished and protected. His own experience is the exact opposite.
Slowly, Julian learns that Clint means what he says. Julian gets the help he needs and is settling in and becoming what an omega wolf should be. But he’s also drawn to Clint in ways he doesn’t understand, and doesn’t think he wants. Clint wants Julian as well, but vows to show Julian he can be trusted before he makes a move.
But their good intentions go awry, and Clint thinks he’s being rejected. So he tries to alleviate his tension elsewhere. Which sends Julian into his very first heat. Both men made mistakes, but they finally talk and agree to give it another chance. But just as they are finding their way, something unknown and dangerous starts stealing omegas from other packs.
So if it seems I ended my summary abruptly, it’s because the book ends that way too. Which was disappointing. This story started out really strong, and then kind of bottomed out for me. I liked the characters and I enjoyed their journey. So this story was a bit of a mixed bag for me.
As I said, it started out strong. Julian is on the run for his life, and fortunately, he runs right into Clint’s pack lands. He’s saved by Clint, Jacob (Clint’s son), and some betas. Julian is at war with himself. His instinct has him wanting to submit to the strong alpha, but his experience has taught him that alphas are something to fear and loathe. Clint pretty quickly shows he’s nothing like Julian’s old alpha, and Julian takes the chance to be safe. What’s more, Clint actually listens to Julian’s very real concerns. Not to mention, there’s something about 12-year-old Jacob that soothes Julian. So there’s a real connection between the MCs, along with the main secondary characters, that I really enjoyed watching unfold.
But things started to unravel a bit with the world building. Or should I say, lack thereof. There was a passing attempt at world building, but there wasn’t enough information. I’m not entirely sure if there were only wolves, or if humans populate the world as well. There was a Great War, in which wolves won the right to be free, so I’m thinking there are people. There was a very brief mention of other kinds of shifters. Pack structure got a little bit more page time, but there was also a lot of politics with the Council and The Elders that wasn’t developed fully enough. I suppose this might be fleshed out if this is the start to a series, and I think it might be, but again, I’m not sure.
So after Clint and Julian’s shaky beginning, they start to feel comfortable around one another and begin a sexual relationship as well. Here’s where I also had trouble, as all of a sudden these guys were moving fast. Then Clint does something really stupid, because of a big miscommunication, and things go downhill. Once they have the conversation, which fortunately didn’t take too long, they move toward a better relationship. Again, things move really fast here, and I was having a hard time really getting into it, as it didn’t feel like it had enough development to me. All of a sudden, they are talking about being mates and bonding. Part of that was the lack of world building, but also not enough development in the relationship. As much as I wanted these guys to get together and be solid, I needed more to really be invested in it.
In this last part of the book, things take a shift. Julian and Clint are exploring their relationship, and then out of nowhere, there’s a threat to all the packs. Julian and Clint decide to cement their bond, and then they go off to a Council meeting. Everything kind of explodes at that point…and then the book just ends. I love cliff hangers in a series when I know the next book is coming. But this…did not work as well for me. For one thing, there was no real lead up to the big danger (which I’m being vague about on purpose), and for another, it just drops in and the intensity is just there. The author ends the book with the ominous “The end….for now” so I’m assuming there will be more to the series. But the end of this book didn’t work that well for me.
So like I said, this one was kind of a mixed bag. There were definitely things working for it, but others that kind of brought it down for me. That being said, I’d be open to reading more and seeing where the author takes things. The story had decent bones, even if I needed more flesh, and I’d like to see where these guys, and the mystery, go next.
Thanks for your review, Kris. I think I’ll pass on this one for now as I’m one who does not care for cliffhangers.