This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on January 7, 2014
I am always up for trying another shifter romance and get excited over the promise of a new world, new characters and a new plot. The promise of a physically challenged alpha wolf grabbed my interest for the most part and I’m happy to say that I was pleased with the character. This is a box set. The mind immediately runs to novel-length books, but in reality it felt more like one book written in a four part serial. The series ended up being a good read overall offering both typical and unique features.
The first story, Blind Wolf, is the set up story introducing the characters, the setting and bits of the world-building. A small rag-tag werewolf pack of misfits and rejects have banded together to feel the sense of pack and the protection being together offers. They have been searching for some time to find a place unclaimed by larger, stronger packs that offers them somewhere to run and create a pack home. They find it in a small college town, but the old bed and breakfast inn is owned by a human lady and her granddaughter. They are having financial troubles so the wolves decide to buy them out. The moment the blind pack alpha encounters the young librarian who is granddaughter of the inn’s owner, he experiences a pull toward her. If she had been a wolf, he would have thought it was the true mate calling, but wolves don’t bond to humans. Still, he can’t keep away from her and this causes friction in the pack. Damien doesn’t place the packs’ need first for once and follows his instinct, but the reveal of his other nature and his original purpose for being there is too much for Julia and she is determined to cut him loose. Danger lurks and Julia discovers that she has a need for a big, bad blind wolf after all.
The second part, Perfect Mate, picks up right where the last one left off. Julia seemed to accept who and what Damien is and she made noises like she wanted to be with him, but for a good part of this segment she spent the time wallowing about being different, being left alone when the pack went out and getting shrewish because Damien could read her emotions. There is a nice plot thread when the pack and Julia discover that she is much more than she seems and other packs will want to take her from Damien when they find out. Betrayal happens and sends everyone racing into danger.
Part three is Human Shifter. Julia wants children, she wants to be a member of Damien’s pack and then there is the worry of others finding them now to take her away. After the battle with the purebred alpha, they get a new pack member who is not integrating easily and may even go for a pack takeover or at the very least try to run off and tell what she knows about Julia. Julia learns that there maybe a way to get her wish, but it is dangerous. Damien has to make the decision to let his mate go on her quest without him or hold her back and watch their relationship continue to unravel.
The final segment, Alpha’s Child, brings it all home in a smashing finish. There is just more intensity, more emotion, and more passion. It ended up being my favorite of the four. Something mysterious is going on to make Damien doubt himself and his ability to lead and protect his pack. The little underdog pack experiences loss and sorrow when they encounter their enemies once again. The final challenge for Damien and Julia is huge and the cost is high.
Now as to what I thought about the stories? Most aspects of them were good. The worldbuilding got a bit vague on stuff like the mysterious werewitch that kept popping up. There was no real explanation of why she did what she did particularly in the last book or a really good description of her and her abilities. The shifter mythology and beliefs was pretty cool and I loved that unique twist about them eventually staying wolf when they got older. The danger from the other packs pitted against this little rag-tag group was a nice dynamic. I loved the development of the pack’s personalities and their side stories. Again, so much to enjoy.
The part I didn’t like most of the time was Julia. This girl was demanding, self-centered, and immature. If she wasn’t making Damien miserable over stuff he couldn’t control, she was doing stupid moves and making ill-thought demands that placed others in danger. It was always ‘I want, I want, I want’. She said she loved Damien, but her demanding petulance and her insistence that he was lying all the time made it really hard to swallow that she felt anything more than ‘I have a mate so I’m no longer a reject and I love how he loves me’ status. I did try to see where she was coming from and I got it that she wanted to be a true partner for her mate and a real member of the pack and have a family, but my sympathy was gone when her motives were always selfish and demanding. I really don’t recall a time when she acted in the interest of others. There’s these moments when she’s in danger or she sees the others in danger where she has an attack of the should-haves, but it never prevents her from leaping before she looks the next time. All this would have been forgiven if I had seen any growth in her from the beginning to the end, but seriously, all I saw was her staying the same and people enabling her.
Damien, the blind werewolf, was the refreshing side of the story. He makes dealing with his mate worth it. The poor guy would not normally be an alpha in a regular pack, but he steps up because even blind, he is stronger than the others he and his friend Jordan pick up along the way. Damien made a mistake that cost him his sight and his place in his old pack, but he is never bitter. He is selfless and nurturing. He is a gentle alpha who leads, but doesn’t lead unreasonably or with an iron fist. He doesn’t understand this thing with Julia, but he trusts and follows his heart. He tries to instill confidence and acceptance for herself in her so she will see how lovely he finds her and how he cherishes finding his mate. Honestly, the only thing I didn’t like about him was that he seemed so concerned about keeping Julia happy that he didn’t call her on her unreasonable behavior. Damien’s willingness to face any amount of danger for Julia not letting his physical limitation excuse him was so worthy of a true hero. I loved his camaraderie with Jordan and to speak truth I think Jordan was a better match for him and would have made him happier.
To pull it all together, the stories were worth it to get the werewolf culture, Damien and the good action scenes, not so much for the heroine. Others who enjoy steamy shifter romance should check these out.
My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read these in exchange for my honest review.