Fletcher’s in the midst of another crisis. This time it isn’t a cursed book, an evil enchanter, or a murderous vampire. No, this time it’s even worse. It’s his boyfriend’s parents. Despite the fact that Rowan Harbor is under attack by some nefarious power, life still goes on. Food is cooked, yarn is knit, naps are taken, and Connor, Fletcher’s boyfriend, has invited his mom and stepdad to come meet Fletcher.
Connor’s father, when he lived, was a bounty hunter who murdered supernatural creatures like Fletcher’s mother. Connor had been brought to Rowan Harbor by some of his father’s so-called friends in order to kill Fletcher, Devon, Jesse, and whoever else they could. Fortunately, Connor soon realized who his true friends were and helped save Rowan Harbor, gaining the gift — or curse — of witch powers in the process. Now he, like Fletcher and everyone else, will have to play at being a normal human for his all-too-human parents as they come for their visit.
Connor’s parents aren’t the only new arrivals to the town, though. While Fletcher is on his patrol in fox form, he comes across young boy and his mother, a little worse for wear, who are having car trouble. Fletcher can’t help but be drawn to Noah, who seems to somehow know that Fletcher is human beneath his fur, and is only a little surprised when Stephanie turns out to know Devon. She was his friend when she worked for his own mother and step father until Devon’s step father, Burt, took an interest in her, leading to their divorce, her marriage, and Noah.
It turns out Stephanie’s been the one sending them the letters, warning them of the attacks coming against the town. Somehow Burt has discovered their betrayal and now Stephanie and Noah need help, as Burt will have no hesitation killing his own son. Noah, like Devon, Fletcher, and so many others in Rowan Harbor, isn’t human. He’s a siren, and a seer, and it’s his visions that warn the Council that danger is coming, and it’s coming fast. Their hidden enemy is no longer hidden and this time Rowan Harbor itself, is the target. This time the Council of Rowan Harbor may not be able to find the answer in time. This time they will lose one of their own.
This is the sixth book in the Rowan Harbor Cycle series and is the ending of the second “chapter” of Rowan Harbor’s struggle. In the first three books, the evil was more disorganized and required the younger citizens of Rowan Harbor to step up and take their places on the Council. The next three books show us how Devon, Jesse, and Fletcher are maturing, learning to use their powers and becoming the leaders they were meant to be.
Fletcher has always viewed himself as being weaker than others. Traumatized by having to witness the murder of his mother, Fletcher has always been protected by his father who, equally devastated and damaged by the loss of his wife, also had the burden to protect his son. Now that Fletcher has been forced to step up and learned the truth of his powers, he’s also having to put some of his childishness behind him. He can no longer just coast and let other people take the burden, he has to start shouldering his own weight and, because he’s Fletcher, a little more, besides. For all that the can turn into a fox, Fletcher isn’t a werefox; he’s a shape shifter and, like his mother, can take more than one form. Oak, due to Fletcher’s fae magic and Rowan Harbor’s need, has made him an offer: Fletcher can learn to bond with the forest itself … but at a price. Once bonded, once able to feel and shape and use the magic of the woods, Fletcher will never be able to leave.
Then there’s Connor. Fletcher can’t lose him, he loves him. But he can’t give up on Rowan Harbor when it needs him the most. He also has to deal with Connor’s parents. Garry, Connor’s step father, is friendly enough but Margie, Connor’s mother, can barely look him in the eye. Connor’s birth father was, like Fletcher, a big man. But, unlike Fletcher, he wasn’t an easy going one. The way Margie watches he and Connor together is enough to make him nervous, even though Connor makes it clear, again and again, how much he loves Fletcher.
Connor may not be a native to Rowan Harbor, or even a native supernatural, but he has a gift when it comes to knowing what Fletcher needs. As much as he loves his parents — and he does — he’s quick enough to come to Fletcher’s side when the council needs him. Connor is good for Fletcher, keeping him from falling back into the old habits of deferring to others or doubting himself. This book, shows how far Fletcher has come from the first time he met Connor, and the trust he and Connor have in each other when it counts.
Fletcher and Connor are a cute couple, and I enjoy watching the characters grow both together and individually. We see less of the others on the Council, in this book, as much of the story takes place between the attack on Rowan Harbor and the efforts to defend it, and the careful dance between Fletcher, Connor, and Connor’s parents. I think this was a good ending to the second trilogy, giving us a bit of a breather and a happily for now until the next three books and the next villain. I’m curious as to what’s going to happen with Oak, now that Fletcher is able to bond with and perhaps speak for the forest around Rowan Harbor. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!