This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book picks up right were the first book left off, but it shifts focus and gives us two new lead characters to focus on. Colin Knox and Lorelei Adams are the next two Green Pines Sanctuary wolves to get their turn at romance. This story felt more powerful than the first one from the get-go and I think it was because the two main characters both have darker histories and so much more to overcome before they can come together. The main plot line is their developing romance, but sinister things are still at work to disrupt everyone’s well-fought for peace and the other plot threads involving the other wolves keep marching along in the background.
At the beginning of the story, Colin tries to follow Jay’s request to take a hands-off approach to the Memphis pack females who are trying to get their lives back together now that they’re free of the evil Christian and his group. It’s hard for him when Lorelei gives him the come-hither. He denies them both, but in so doing it begins something much more worthwhile and harder- a true relationship. Lorelei has huge secrets- secrets that are crushing the life out of her, but she tries to maintain the ‘I’m fine and I can handle it’ attitude. Everyone, but especially Colin sees right through her, but feels the need to treat her like glass and not confront her about it. Colin’s alpha instincts make him want to protect her even if it is from his own darker side.
One of the wolves turns up dead and they suspect someone from Memphis is involved and the use of magic. Jay wants Colin and Lorelei to track down anyone still in Memphis willing to talk and possibly share if they knew of an attack on the sanctuary. Going to Memphis dredges up Lorelei’s past and she can barely keep it together especially when she sees that Colin understands what he is seeing and what it says about her past, but she is still determined to do what she can to help her new pack. An old friend gives them the lead they need, but unfortunately the lead goes cold, literally.
Once back with the pack, the investigation turns toward the death being caused by magic. As the investigation progresses, so does Colin and Lorelei’s relationship. Colin opens up to Lorelei as he has never done before even to let her know that he wants them to be together. Lorelei realizes she wants this too, but she is terrified to share her past with Colin so she tries to keep a firm grip on her secrets. Events move forward for others in the pack too and the situation with the magic comes to a head at the same time that the lid blows off on Lorelei’s secrets. It was a wild rush to the end that of course leaves the door wide open for much more to happen in this exciting series.
In a comparison, the other book has an overall darker feel to it and more tragic things happening with this one offering a feel of hope starting to grow a little for the new wolf pack. The plot also doesn’t have to deal with any pesky world building introductions and can get right into the action which was nice. I also found this new set of main characters a more intriguing couple because of all their baggage. There was a part of me that was nervous when I realized that Lorelei was holding out on Colin when she knew full well that he was practically strangling himself with self-control and feeling guilty when trying- and sometimes failing- in his attempts to gain her trust while opening up and giving her his trust. It was one of those things when I didn’t need a crystal ball to see where this relationship was going and what would/had to happen to make it right. To be fair, I don’t think the direction of the relationship’s plot was meant to be a big secret. While I prepared myself for the inevitable, I also enjoyed watching their relationship grow little by little and get to know them both. They are passionate people and unashamed and honest about it. Neither are coy, but they also were careful to take things at a good pace. Colin saw himself as so dark, but it was neat how being with Lorelei tempered this in him and soothed him. And for Lorelei, Colin was her refuge and she felt utterly safe for the first time when she was with him.
As to the other plot thread involving the magic, the ghosts and the witches, I confess to being a bit confused as to what is going on, but I’m trying to be patient since this is a series plot thread that will hopefully be explained later.
It was a good, strong sequel that does its job of telling a new couples’ story while not neglecting the rest of the pack and it makes me eager to find out what happens next in the series and who gets to be next for their story. I can recommend this book/series to those who enjoy paranormal shifter romances with a bit of spice.
Moira Rogers is giving away a copy of Haunted Santuary to one lucky commenter. To enter, comment below.
US/CAN only. Giveaway ends July 13, 2013 at 11:59 EDT.