Toby Sanders is supposed to have an interview with the headmaster of Smith Academy, but when he shows up, he’s not on the schedule. Trying not to freak out, Toby attempts to explain. Meeting Nick Smith at least gets him in the door, but things change quickly when the very human Toby finds out that the paranormal world is real, shifters and magic exists, and that he’s not actually hallucinating. And locking eyes with a large gray wolf makes the world stop for a moment.
Brooks has long prayed for a mate, even before the magic in the world began to heal. When he first meets Toby, Brooks knows instantly that the human is meant to be his. But he also knows that Toby is human and new to their world, so it will take time for him to be comfortable. Brooks vows to go slowly and take everything at Toby’s pace. But he can’t help but feel the pull to Toby, especially when he sees Toby and the two girls he’s come to love and wants to adopt. When Brooks looks at them all, he sees his family. He just has to convince Toby to stay.
Toby agrees to hang around and find out if he fits with the Smith pack. And he can’t really believe Brooks is his mate, as he feels Brooks deserves so much more. But as the days progress, Toby realizes that he feels more comfortable here than anywhere before. When mysterious attacks happen, Toby is forced to take some children to the fae realm. It’s there that he learns some truths about what brought him to the pack in the first place. Now he just needs to figure out how he can be a good mate to the man he loves. It’ll take the help of his new friends, his pack, and Brooks’s patience before Toby can accept his new life.
The next installment in Macy Blake’s Magical Mates series is here, and oh it is good. As usual with this series, and all the books in this complex universe, it’s doesn’t work completely as a standalone. This one, more than others, at least has plenty of explanation. Blake manages to give the reader all the information that Toby needs without it feeling like a repeat of everything that’s come before. And Toby’s unique POV to the situation, as well as his knowledge of mythology, helps to put it into a new perspective for the characters. I thought Blake handled this all really well, and walked a fine line of providing all the information needed without it feeling like an info dump or repetitive.
Brooks makes his first appearance way back in the prequel to the whole series, and he’s popped up on occasion throughout other books in the universe. I have to admit that when I found out this way his book, I had a moment of excitement because I love seeing characters I know getting heir own tales. He’s a gentle and patient man, willing to do whatever it take so that Toby is comfortable and easy in their relationship. He was a wonderful balance for Toby.
Toby is a character unlike any Blake has written before, and I just adored him. He’s incredibly intelligent, and his mind works in amazing ways. He has a million questions when he finds out about the paranormal world, but at the same time, he’s not sure he wants the answers. Not only because of the way his mind works, and figuring out the puzzle makes it make more sense for him, but also a little bit because of fear. He’s always felt out of place in his world, and it takes time for him to be comfortable with the fact that he’s actually comfortable with his mate and the pack. On top of that, he has some hang ups when it comes to sex, and his perceived ability about sex. Brooks understands all of this, and he’s supportive and accepting without being patronizing.
As I said, these guys are a great balance for each other, and their love develops over several weeks as they get to know one another. It’s definitely a slow burn romance, and a lower heat level than you can usually expect in Blake’s books. But it absolutely works for these guys and their story, and I think anything else would have felt forced and inorganic.
On top of the romance, there’s a whole other mystery with the attacks on the compound and what it all means. I like that Toby’s innocence about the world allows him to see things in a different way, and it’s this insight that brings certain things to light. It puts the pack on better footing to protect the children, and also to find them appropriate parents. This book progresses the overarching plot of the pack of children and the quest to find them forever homes.
I’m all in with this world Blake has created, and this series is some of my favorites within said world. I really enjoyed this book in particular, not only because of the characters, but because of the way the plot points were handled. This book is an excellent addition to the series and ends on a strong note, while also giving us hints of what may be coming next. This one is an easy recommendation if you’ve been following along with the books. And if you haven’t, then you have plenty to catch up on.