Scout is a wolf shifter with two packs. In his family pack, where he grew up since being rescued as a child, loved and safe, he is known as Jack Jerrick. And he also has Logan’s pack, where as Scout, he has joined his team who, at the Oracle’s direction, do their best to keep the human realm safe from supernatural threats. Scout has learned and grown, and become quite the superhero in his own right since he began going on missions with his team. He’s also drawn to one of his team members, dragon shifter Coal Volsunga. Though Coal doesn’t seem to want to give him the time of day, Scout doesn’t let that stop him from having Coal’s back. Even when it might lead to injury.
Coal is inexplicably drawn to the young wolf, but he also knows that nothing should come of it. Coal is grumpy and standoffish, needing his space and his solitude. But Coal will stop at nothing to keep Scout safe. When Scout is injured, he’s angry that Scout put himself in harm’s way. But Coal walks a fine line of his attraction and being too overbearing.
The team finally has a lead where the big, mysterious threat is concerned. Sending in Scout and Taj, they finally get a break. But it takes more out of Scout that anyone anticipated. Scout needs care, and Coal is right there to give it to him. It’s the final straw that breaks down the wall between them. Finally allowing their feelings to come out, Scout and Coal mate and both are ecstatic about taking that step. But the danger is far from over, and it’s not without consequences, especially for Scout. Just when things seem to be getting back on an even keel, disaster strikes again and it’s a race against time to keep everyone alive.
This is the fourth installment in the Chosen Champions series and, like the others, it needs to be read in order, as the continuing through plot really ramps up here. This is part of the author’s larger Chosen One universe, and while this series stands alone better than the rest of the books, there is something to be said about having read all the others. This book, in particular, benefits from it and Jack/Scout has a whole other life that is best appreciated when knowing the full background. In addition, there are a lot of secondary characters seen here who work slightly better with that context in place. If you haven’t read the books in this extensive world, however, don’t let that deter you from reading this series. Though you do need to read this series for full appreciation of this book, all the important details are present throughout the Chosen Champions series for this to make sense.
I also want to make a quick note that there is mention of past abuse, as well as some on page torture, though it’s not in great detail, in case those are things you need to be aware of before diving in.
If you’ve been following along, you know that I have read and reviewed just about every book in this universe, as well as the audios. I’m a fan of the world this author has created, and I very much enjoy seeing characters keep popping up, getting their own stories, and the way the world is evolving with each new installment. It’s been clear in the past couple of books that Scout and Coal definitely had feelings for each other, and that they were having trouble getting out of their own way in order to see it through. Both MCs had their reasons, which makes sense for the characters, but because of that, it was incredibly satisfying to see them finally together. Their chemistry sparks and sizzles, and only grows as the story continues. And it’s not just the heat when they have sexual moments, but the care and understanding they have for each other the rest of the time. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a lot of hurt/comfort in this book, which is one of my very favorite tropes.
But outside of the romance, there’s a lot of other stuff going on in this book. Most of it furthers the plot as a whole, especially the major plot of who is after the pack, having been causing mayhem and chaos from the very first book, and what they are truly after. Some of that was revealed in the previous book, but we get more detail here. Including a surprise ending, which wasn’t actually a surprise to me, but I thought the author handled it well. Though I will say that the next book in the series is a surprise, as I expected a different MC. That being said, this book puts a lot of pieces on the board, and feels like the conclusion is nigh. Things are definitely coming to a head as secrets and motives are revealed, and the big bad is dealt a devastating blow.
While the romance side of things is nicely and satisfactorily concluded, and Coal and Scout are definitely on their way to an HEA, many more questions are brought up. While it’s not exactly a cliffhanger, there is quite a bit left dangling. Blake managed to strike the right balance with this. And while this book wasn’t without it’s flaws for me, and I felt there were a few minor plot points that seemed extraneous and not needed, I definitely enjoyed the story, seeing Coal and Scout finally get together, and I’m looking forward to what comes next with this series.