It’s two in the morning when Arran gets the call for help from an anxious wolf mother whose child has come into contact with a new, potent form of aconite. The five-year old is unconscious and she and her family need help. It must be desperate indeed for her to call Arran of all people, because Hedy is the wife of Marek, the Alpha wolf who is Arran’s true mate. The Alpha wolf who asked him to leave so that he could do his duty to his pack and take a mate who could carry his children.
It’s been a long time since Arran saw Marek. Years of pain, solitude, loneliness, and anger. But Arran’s never been a man to turn his back on a cry for help, and Arran wants to see Marek again, even if it means seeing him playing happy family with his wife and children.
Arran first made an appearance in Wolfy, the first book in the Wolfy series, though you don’t need to have read the previous book to follow this one. Arran is arrogant and cocky because yes, he is just that damned good. The son of hunters, he endured a brutal training that has helped him survive in a world that isn’t always kind to gay humans, and packs that can’t quite forget who his father and grandfather were. But Arran shrugs that off and does his best to make up for the harm they caused by doing good.
Marek is an Alpha, son of an Alpha who died too young, leaving Marek to care not only for his pack, but for his brother and sister when he wasn’t much older than they were. The responsibility — and his mother’s last words to him about being the future of the pack — made it clear, to him, at least, that his love for Arran and their mate bond were more of a hindrance than a help. So he asked Arran to leave and Arran left. Now, while Marek has a loving wife, who is also his best friend, and three children he loves with all his heart, he feels half alive. Until Arran walks back into his life.
The relationship between Marek and Arran is never really dealt with. The big event that drove them apart seems like something that didn’t happen because other than the occasional comment, they’re both more filled with lust and hurt feelings. I don’t feel like these two had much of a past, to be honest, and while it’s given that these two are tormented soulmates, I never felt the torment or the chemistry between them.
The writing is good, the pace is good, and the world building only continues to grow from the first book, but I’m just not feeling the characters this time around. At least, not Marek and Arran. The kids were rather charming (and not overdone). This author has a talent for doing children who are both adorable and age appropriate. If you read and enjoyed the first book, you’ll probably enjoy this one. This is just one of those books I wish I had enjoyed more.