Rating: 3.75 stars
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After an illness left the Angel Hills Pack with many omegas dead, the pack brought in five new omegas to help them grow. Now the pack is thriving, with new couples, new babies, and new buildings.
Gabriel had his first child with his mates Grey and Ian. He is pregnant again with their second child, and his health seems to be even worse this time around. Omegas are built for pregnancy, so it makes no sense to Gabriel why he is so sick and tired all the time. Not to mention the stress he feels knowing that their first child might be Ian’s and not alpha Grey’s as they let him believe. Part of Gabriel wonders if his mates might be better off without him, especially now that he is so sick with this pregnancy.
Christopher is pining away for the handsome alpha Xavier. But X seems to see Christopher as nothing more than a kid. Plus, X is still mourning the loss of his former mate. Can Christopher ever get X to see him as an adult and a potential partner?
Vincent has been struggling to settle in with his new mates, Kale and Craig. While he feels a strong connection with alpha Kale, Craig seems to resent that Vincent has become their third, even though he agreed to Kale’s desire to take Vincent on as a mate. But Kale has an idea that might help smooth things along with Craig and Vincent, and when it does, Vincent finally feels he has found his place in his new pack.
Canaan has been sleeping with Xavier off and on, but when X ends things between them, Canaan is not too surprised. He knew it was nothing serious. Now Canaan finds himself with a new interest, Duncan, a reclusive alpha. Duncan has a taste for kink that totally works for Canaan and the two begin to explore a relationship.
Roanan lost his mate years ago and has spent the last 10 years focused on raising his sons. Now a new omega, Emory, has come to the pack and Roanan is beginning to consider whether it might be time to once again seek a mate.
Life is good for the pack members, but there is some trouble too, particularly worries over Gabriel’s difficult pregnancy and signs that he may not be the only omega wolf with these problems. But even as they explore what could be going, things continue to thrive for the pack.
Ripples of Threat is the second book in the Angel Hills Pack series, following Omega Arrival. In that first story, we see the pack bring in five new omegas, including Gabriel and Vincent. That book focused primarily on Gabriel’s mating, as well as that of omega Justin, who mates with the pack’s second in command. While we see bits of the other three new omegas as they settle in, that story focuses almost exclusively on these two. This book picks up the story, this time expanding the focus much wider to a variety of the couples/triads in the pack and we have multiple storylines going on throughout the book.
I think this approach is what works best, but also what causes the most challenges for the book. On the positive end, I liked getting to know so many members of the pack and hearing their stories. It works particularly well in a shifter/pack story because these members are so connected already, and so the story flows naturally among the different members. While some of the stories get more page time than others, we get to know a variety of characters and James is able to get a surprising amount of information about each of them across even with their limited focus. So I think the author manages to intertwine these stories in interesting ways and I found the book to be entertaining.
However, I did struggle with this format at times as well. There is so much going on here, and so many characters, it is hard to keep up with everyone. I counted eight POV characters who have their own chapters, plus there are numerous mates and children to keep track of, not to mention a host of other side characters who are not featured in their own mini stories. So there is a lot going on here. While some of the stories felt complete, like the triad of Vincent, Craig, and Kale, others seemed to be left quite unresolved. For example, Christopher is having some sexual issues that affect his relationship with Xavier, and he is examined and told the doctors are looking into it, but we never get a resolution to the problem. Gabriel’s storyline with the problematic pregnancy seems similarly left hanging. And the overall issue of what is going on to cause these health problems is also left open ended. Given that this is a series, I expect that this topics will be addressed in future books. But the mini storyline format means that some people’s stories just stop as we move on to other characters and never really get closed out in the way they might have in a more traditionally structured book.
There are also some time jumps between stories that at times were confusing. For example, we learn Vincent is pregnant, move away to some other stories, and then suddenly it is months later the next time we come back to him. I didn’t think that in itself was an issue, but it was sometimes confusing to follow the timeline.
That said, I found this one enjoyable and entertaining. There is a bit of a learning curve to figuring out who everyone is and how they are connected, but once I got into the book I was able to follow along pretty easily. I found these characters interesting enough that their stories kept my attention, and I am definitely curious to see how things play out for them in future books.