mobster's mate coverRating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel


Quinten Amato has amassed a vast business empire — some parts legal and some parts less so. When the corrupt shifter council was in charge, he knew how to work with them to keep them out of his business, but with the Kinkaid pack ousting them and taking over control, Quinten is now under more scrutiny. However, when Quinton finds a naked and nearly dead shifter chained up in one of his warehouses, he needs some outside help from the Kincaids. The jaguar shifter has some sort of magical collar draining the life force out of him, and none of Quinten’s witches can figure out how to remove it. Quinten isn’t sure why he is so invested in this shifter, but he finds himself protective over the man and wanting to help him. It isn’t easy to figure out how to break the spell on the collar, but Quinten will not leave the man’s side until he finally regains consciousness.

Caden can’t believe he is actually alive after his horrific ordeal. He is still feeling weak, but with the collar off, he is regaining his strength. For some reason, Caden finally feels safe when he’s around Quinten and doesn’t want to be apart from him. It has been so long since Caden has felt like someone cares about him and is by his side. He is also incredibly attracted to Quinten and he can tell his feelings are returned. The two start a sexual relationship as Caden continues to heal at Quentin’s estate.

Quentin feels so drawn to Caden, but he can’t let himself even think about anything more than a temporary arrangement. A shifter like Caden needs a pack, not to be with a human like Quinten. He knows that eventually Caden will need more than Quinten can give, and he isn’t sure he can bear the heartbreak if he lets himself fall too hard. Also, the man who captured Caden and left him for Quinten to find is still out there. Quinten and his team have figured out who is behind it, but not what he wants or how to stop him, meaning Caden is still in danger and best far away from Quinten. But Caden has fallen hard for Quinten and knows they are meant to be together. Now, Caden must convince Quinten that they are right for one another and hope they can build a real future together.

The Mobster’s Mate is a standalone story set in the world of Kiki Clark’s Kincaid Pack series. I haven’t read the main series and went into this one cold, curious to see if it worked on its own as billed. And I’m very pleased to report this story works great as a standalone and I had no problems starting here, even without being familiar with the main series. There were definitely characters mentioned who clearly came from the Kincaid Pack series, including alpha Rick Kincaid himself. But there is a nice introduction early on that sets the stage well for this book. It is clear that Quinten has a history with the Kincaid pack, that at some point he saved Rick’s life, and that now the Kincaids owe him a favor. So that was enough to get me caught up (though now I’m even more interested in checking out the main series).

This was a sweet and sexy story with two men who are unexpectedly drawn together. Quinten isn’t always what many would consider a good man. He has plenty of illegal dealings and isn’t he isn’t afraid to put down his enemies. But he has a soft, gooey center that Caden clearly sees, caring deeply about his people and doing whatever is needed to take of them. Quinten surprises himself by immediately feeling protective over Caden and he is willing to even stand up to the Kincaid pack alpha to ensure he can keep an eye on Caden as he recovers. When Caden awakens, he is drawn to Quinten as well and no amount of people warning him off makes a difference. He doesn’t care about Quinten’s darker side; he just knows he feels safe with Quinten. The two build a relationship, even as they aren’t sure it will last. But Caden is more of a fighter than his initially weakened state would suggest and he is not going to let Quinten run away out of fear.

There are some intense moments here as Caden recounts what happened to him in the past, plus some excitement toward the end as Caden’s attacker causes more trouble. But most of the story is just watching Quinten and Caden build something together. We get some sweet moments, particularly as Quentin comes to realize that while he may be a human, he is in fact an alpha and he has his own little found family pack that look to him. So there is some nice growth here as Quentin comes to believe more in what he can offer his people.

I will note for fans of the Kincaid Pack series, these guys are not the antagonists, but there is definitely some tension between them and Quinten (and, as a result, between them and Caden). I got the clear sense that there is history between them (and it seems like Quinten may appear in one of the series books). As a new reader, of course my allegiance was to Quinten and Caden, but I’m kind of curious if Kincaid fans will find themselves more torn. Things end on a good note between the groups, so all is well, and the Kincaids are really only trying to help Caden. They just don’t understand that Quinten will do anything to protect him and is not a threat.

Also, we meet Quinten’s step-brother, Liam, who is the alpha of the Silver Oak pack. The prequel story for the upcoming Silver Oak Pack series, Inferno, was part of the Fated Mates anthology, which doesn’t seem to be available for sale anymore (I assume Clark will release the story again individually in anticipation of the series officially kicking off). It notes at the end of this book that we will learn more about Quinten and Rick tracking down the bad guys who hurt Caden in that series, so lots to look forward to with that.

Overall, I found this one really enjoyable with some sweet and sexy main characters. It is also a nice tie in to the upcoming Silver Pack series and I am really looking forward to that one as well. I think this one will be entertaining both for those new to Clark’s Kincaid Pack world, as well as for long-time fans.

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