Jumping feet first into the Redwood Pack series, I hoped book two would shed more light on the pack and world the author was creating. While I did find that, I got irritated early on with the characters, especially the bad guys. Not irritated in normal ways. Well, let me get to the review to explain.
Jasper Jamenson is the Redwood Pack Beta. Being a Beta means you take care of the day to day business of the pack. He also is a partner in his older brother’s, Kade, contractor business. Working with wood seems to calm and sooth Jasper. Working hard is part of Jasper’s character, so when he goes into a bakery one morning, he knows he has met his mate with Willow, the bakery’s owner. With Willow being human, Jasper takes it slow, going in each morning to by cinnamon rolls for over a month before he asks her out on a date. Oh, and Jasper is over 100 years old.
Willow has had a hard life. Her parents were killed in a car accident and she has spent most of her life in foster care. Now she owns the bakery of her dreams, but those dreams are shattered when her store is trashed and she is kidnapped by a neighboring pack, Centrals. She is tortured, but right off I am not sure why they went after Jasper and his mate.
Central is a really bad pack. They have no respect for life or life of women for that matter. In the beginning of the story, they sacrifice two women to bring forth a demon from Hell, Caym. When the alpha and his son take Willow, they torture her, but the Redwood Pack easily find her. Jasper, Reed, Adam and North (all brothers) go after Willow. But to prove a point, Jasper marks Willow while they are surrounded by the enemy. While this doesn’t totally mate them, it is one part of it. They escape and Jasper takes Willow home.
Now here is where I get irritated. One, you see the bad guys invoke the demon and take Willow, but they seem to let her go. So I thought they had some grand plan, tracking device on her or something going on. Well, it wasn’t anything. No nothing really, they just were a really bad enemy. Next up, Jasper puts on kid gloves with Willow and treats her like glass except when they were making love. He builds her a bakery in the pack which was sweet and wonderful, but he doesn’t really treat her as anything but fragile. And Willow let him. I found her to be a very weak character. I wanted to love her and her bakery, but she just kept ticking me off.
Then we see where Melanie from the first book in the series decides she wants to change into a werewolf and live her long life with Kade. Everyone in the family is there for the event. The changing is an extremely brutal process that doesn’t always take. We watch as three brothers have to hold Kade back during the process. How a person has to be close to death. It all just didn’t feel natural and over the top. And of course Willow wants to go through it and Jasper can stand the thought of losing her as a possibility for a lifetime together. So as you can imagine, they have a big argument over it.
There is one point where they come upon a dead body that the Centrals leave for them. Constantly the Centrals keep attacking and the Redwood Pack does nothing but sit on defense against attacks. Willow gets kidnapped twice in this book. TWICE. Then they come and take one of the brothers in the end. The entire process made me think of Redwood as weak. All they kept doing was rescuing and sitting back waiting for the next attack.
I know this series has a good following and I am sorry I didn’t like it. The hero was supposed to be so strong, but I found him anything but strong. The heroine at one point gives up and prays for a quick death. It just seemed so weak. I just couldn’t find much I really liked about the story or characters when I wanted to love it so much. So onto the third book in the series. Hoping this gets better.