outlaw coverRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel

Note: There is a surprise that comes in the first chapter of this book that may be considered a spoiler. It’s impossible to talk about this story without mentioning it, and most readers will likely anticipate this revelation, but just wanted to give a warning here. Also, as the final book in a series with an overarching suspense plot, this review does include information from past books. 

Diesel lost his mate Quinlan in the hellfire explosion that killed his entire pack. At the time, Diesel was keeping Quin at a distance, not sure if it was the right time to claim the human as his omega. But now, Diesel regrets not acting and, while he is happy his fellow alphas have found their omegas, he is still hurting from losing Quinlan. However, the pack must move forward, particularly in the wake of the revelations that Pierce is a traitor and involved in the threat to the nephalim. When the men investigate Pierce’s home for signs of him, they are shocked to find it empty except for one thing… Quinlan.

Quinlan was kidnapped by Pierce before he destroyed the rest of their pack and has been held captive for years. Quin knows Pierce was using mind control on him, planting visions of horrible deeds by the other pack alphas. But while Quinlan may know it is fake, it doesn’t stop him from being scared when he sees Diesel again. Diesel gives Quin the space he needs to heal, and the support from his fellow nephalim goes a long way. Soon, Quinlan is ready to purse the relationship with Diesel that he had always wanted.

Even though the men are thrilled to finally be back in each other’s arms, there is still the larger problem of Pierce and his efforts to help a demon open the portal to hell. Even as a strong pack, the group has trouble facing the huge threats that come after them. And the more they learn about the end goal, the more dangerous it all becomes. Now, it will take the entire Royal Paynes pack working together to find a way to stop the destruction once and for all.

Outlaw is the fourth and final book in Kiki Burrelli’s Wolves of Royal Paynes series and it wraps up both the relationship between Diesel and Quinlan, as well as the larger series plot. From a relationship end, I must say I wasn’t too surprised to see Quinlan end up alive. Not to say I wasn’t happy about it, because I think that is just the way things should have worked out. I appreciated that the men feel on more equal footing than the way they seemed in the past. While Quin has suffered a lot at Pierce’s hands, he is also stronger and more confident. Which is good, because Diesel is all alpha and wants to protect Quin, which translate into a lot of attempts to control him. So I liked to see that Quinlan can stand up for himself and pushes back when needed. The story uses some flashbacks to give us some more insight into their past together. Things move forward fairly fast, but I think given we have had such a strong sense of these men as a pair throughout the series, it works just fine.

The rest of the story focuses on the final conflict with Pierce and the demon leading the charges to open the portal to hell. We do get some exciting scenes, though it was perhaps not quite as climactic as I was expecting for the culmination of the conflict. Still, there is some nice intensity to the story. I particularly enjoyed the way the resolution comes at the hands of both the alphas and the nephalim (despite the former’s attempts to sideline the latter quite a bit throughout the series). We also learn why Pierce betrayed them and what exactly happened all those years ago. I will say this part didn’t fully come together for me. The pieces of the puzzle fit in an a technical sense in the way it is explained. But from a motivation and character standpoint, it didn’t really work for me. I’m going to be vague here, but we learn that Pierce betrayed his team, faked his death, and destroyed the pack and their home because there is something he wanted, making a deal with the devil to help him get it. However, we have never gotten any sense throughout this series that this was ever something Pierce coveted. Even here, once it is revealed, there is never any suggestion from anyone that indicated Pierce ever showed signs of wanting this thing. It made the explanation feel pat and convenient, like it was invented just to provide an explanation for Pierce’s behavior. Even more, Pierce literally murders his pack — his family — in order to achieve this goal. His desire becomes a murderous obsession and over and over he tries to kill others to achieve it. So again, where did this come from? Was he insane all along? Why does Pierce, in particular, succumb to this insanity? Again, I just felt like the answer was there to tie things up neatly, but the story didn’t feel like it supported it.

We meet a new side character here, which I felt like was a fun addition. I think readers are either going to enjoy this character or find him annoying, but personally, I thought it a fun touch and gave some nice development to Quinlan’s story. There are a lot of people in the hotel at this point, so I will say that at times I had trouble remembering who all these side characters are. Not the main alpha/omega pairings, but the new pack members (I could never remember who they all were or how they connected). Plus, on top of that, we get appearances from other people from Burrelli’s related series and I had no idea who any of them were and they aren’t really explained, nor do they do much. They felt more there for fan service to readers than because they were contributing to the story and, as someone who hasn’t read the other books, I needed more information about who they were and why they were important.

In the end, I think this story was a nice resolution to the Diesel plot line and I loved that he ends up back with Quinlan. I think the two of them are a nice pair and I like how Quin’s new strength helps to balance out some of Diesel’s more overbearing tendencies. The wrap up of the overarching plot didn’t feel quite as strong for me as it could have, but Burrelli does tie up the pieces in an exciting way. Overall, I found this an interesting omegaverse series and I like the way the author gives focus on each of the alpha/omega pairs, while also developing an interesting overall series plot.

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