Aleron Eastaughffe is a griffin who knows all about power and riches. But thanks to the Oracle, he’s found himself a part of Logan’s ragtag pack and loving it. The supernatural creatures in the pack came together to face evil now that the realms are closed, and Aleron is thriving. But when he’s forced to go to France to conduct some family business, he misses his pack. But more than that, he misses Spencer Walsh, the most captivating human he’s ever met.
After rescuing Taj from the clutches of Nio, the pack is racing to find answers. Bringing in Spencer, a witch with more knowledge than any of them possess, was supposed to net them answers. But those answers are harder to find than anyone expected. Spencer is in full on research mode, and his focus is solely on his books. Aleron is anxious to get back to him.
When Aleron returns, he takes the pack to the griffin island for his uncle’s weekend wedding celebration. He knows the extravagance of the festivities and his estate are more than anyone in the pack expects. Spencer doesn’t belong in that world—he knows he’s best in his solitude, on his land—but he’s enticed with the promise of books. While there, Spencer and Aleron have the opportunity to acknowledge their attraction, but Spencer is ready to go home to his remote cabin. But during the weekend, Spencer also meets The Chosen One, as well as others, and they are able to set up a meeting of the minds to hopefully find answers.
After the powwow, where very little is discovered, Aleron takes Spencer home. Neither man wants to be parted, but Spencer needs to think. When Aleron returns, the two men finally act on their attraction. But Spencer isn’t made for the city and Aleron’s lavish lifestyle any more than Aleron is made for the remoteness and solitude of Spencer’s life, and they reluctantly part ways. It’s only when Spencer is suffering the pang of loss, and with a gentle nudge from his dear friend that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, that he heads back to the city and Aleron.
Their reunion is short lived, however, when a Nio sighting has the pack in action. And when Aleron and Spencer return to the cabin, they don’t have much time before the unthinkable happens and it’s a race against time to resolve the crisis. But finally, some major clues fall into place that bring clarity to terrible mystery the pack is facing. Once the pair are reunited, nothing will stand in the way of their love.
Macy Blake has stated that a goal with the Chosen Champion series is for it to be a standalone in the extensive universe the author has created. The books in this series do have to be read in order, as there is an overarching through plot. Objectively, this goal is accomplished, as all the pertinent information is presented and explained within. However, this third book in the series also includes many secondary characters from past books. Having read every book in the universe to date, I think there’s an added weight and bonus to having the background and knowledge, having watched the stories play out before. Again, it’s not necessary to have read the previous books in the other series before starting this one, so if you haven’t, this may be a good place to start and then circle back to the beginning if you so wish.
Blake captures opposites attract here perfectly and makes it work well. Because Aleron and Spencer are as about as opposite as can be. Aleron is an extrovert, Spencer an introvert. Aleron is filthy rich, Spencer is not. Aleron has tons of experience, Spencer is a virgin. Aleron loves city life and amenities, Spencer is happiest with nothing but the land and his solitude. Aleron is street smart, Spencer is book smart. And yet, their connection just leaps off the page. The chemistry sparks from their first meeting and only grows. And they complement each other in all the best ways. Their interactions never feel forced or awkward, and their attraction is utterly believable. I loved watching their love story progress. While the word mate is never uttered between them, it’s clear the magic that is healing itself is working on these two as well. But at the same time, their romance felt so natural that it was easy to believe.
With the alternating third person POV, we got to know both MCs well. Aleron’s focus was clearly showcased, and the way he took care of Spencer felt even more real knowing his thoughts behind it. By the same token, having Spencer’s thought processes on page really gave an in depth insight to him and made him even more endearing. When he was lost in thought, I could feel it along with him. When he was terrified for Spencer, the emotions were raw and real.
The author does a decent job of balancing the romance with the larger plot. They mystery and danger of it all has a lot of moving parts, a lot of secondary players, and with each book, it just gets more involved. For the most part, I’m enjoying watching it play out. It’s not wholly predictable, which is really nice to see. I will say here though that I felt that there were a few points where things felt like they were dragging in regard to the mystery, and other times that took a bit of a leap that wasn’t exactly intuitive. If the right person hadn’t been there to overhear a comment, nothing would have come from the musing. So there was a little deus ex machina going on here. Given the world, it mostly works, but also one plot point was too easily cleared up in this way.
Overall, this was a good addition to the series. Aleron and Spencer are endearing characters, and their romance is wholly satisfying. The mystery progresses and some things are answered, while more questions are raised. There were some clues to who is going to be the romantic pair in the next book, Scout, but it didn’t overtake the current plot. I’m very much looking forward to where things will go. There were some shake ups within the mystery that will be interesting to see play out. All in all, if you’re a fan of PNR, then this series is one to check out.