Sawyer Holt is on the run from his pack alpha. After the man killed Sawyer’s father in a challenge to become the alpha, he now wants Sawyer to be his mate to solidify his position within the pack. There is no way Sawyer is going to mate with his father’s murderer, and the fact that his pack allowed the killing to happen means he has no interest in them as well. Now Sawyer is on the run, trying to escape two pack betas who want to bring him home against his will.
Dez Sullivan is a recently turned alpha, forming a pack with two other alphas who are former military buddies, Ash and Gavin. Dez is still adjusting to his new life as a werewolf, as well as adapting to life out of the service and with a leg injury. When a terrified Sawyer runs into the shop that Dez and his friends are renovating, Dez stands up to the betas and sends them on their way. Dez refuses to let Sawyer be treated like property, and he and his friends offer Sawyer a safe place to stay.
Sawyer and Dez are drawn to each other right away and it doesn’t take long before they act on their attraction. Sawyer is fascinated by the Kismet Pack, as they are nothing like he has ever been taught a wolf pack can be — particularly that they are a group of three alphas that don’t want to kill each other. As an omega, Sawyer has always struggled with people thinking he is weak and needs to be coddled, but the Kismet alphas treat him as an equal and welcome him into their group. As Sawyer and Dez get closer, the men are finding real happiness together. But with Sawyer’s old pack still wanting him back, he may lose his chance at a future with Dez.
Wolf Lost is the first book in Sam Burns’ Wolves of Kismet series and I really liked the set up here. I was interested in the combination of newly made wolves and with born werewolves and I enjoyed the scenes where Dez and Gavin are learning various wolfy ways. I also liked the camaraderie among the three best friends and the way they made their own unique pack. Dez and Sawyer are sweet together and though they fall pretty fast, I did like them as a couple and appreciated how they balance each other out. The story is pretty low angst, despite the looming bad guys, and there is a nice sense of sweetness to the book. It takes place in an omegaverse type world of alpha, beta, and omega wolves and there are some traditional elements, like omegas going into heat, but no mpreg.
Where I struggled here is that some things felt very much on the surface and not well enough explored. Burns has set up some really interesting elements, but they are not really developed and so the story didn’t have the depth I wanted. The biggest issue is we get next to zero information about the attack where Dez and Gavin were turned into wolves and Dez was injured. This is a key aspect of the story that is barely addressed. We know it happened while they were in the military, but the only thing we are told is late in the book where it is mentioned that “the army had sent their unit into a death trap against an ancient alpha werewolf in his own territory.” This tiny breadcrumb is all we get for such an important issue. And it left me with tons of questions. I wanted to know more about the attack, more about how Dez was hurt, and more about how a werewolf just happened to be in the middle of it all (humans aren’t aware of werewolves, so it wasn’t a specific attack on him). More importantly, why were Gavin and Dez turned? Is this normal for werewolves to attack and turn one another? Again, this isn’t mentioned at all in the book. And finally, how did these guys make the transition from the military to civilian life together as pack? We know Dez was hurt, so presumably he had a medical discharge, but both his best friends also got discharged at the same time? And they decided to form a pack together? How did that work? I could go on and on here, but I just feel like there is this really interesting, creative set up, and we are left with so little development into much of it.
This book is the first in the series, so perhaps more is coming in future books. I enjoyed the set up and found the story entertaining, if light on background. I enjoyed the pack dynamics and the side characters, as well as Saywer and Dez. So I am definitely interested in continuing on and getting Ash and Gavin’s stories.
P.S. I’ll throw a shout out to one of our regular readers, Kareni, who won a contest to have a character named after her. So keep a look out for Kareni, the bookstore owner, if you read this book!