This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I am a big fan of shifter stories and series about shifters. I love trying new authors who write these stories just to be introduced to their take on a world full of paranormals. I found many aspects of this story fascinating and I found the plot a very good one.
This new series, based on references in the story and a scene with one crossover character, is a spin off to or parallel series to the Red Rock Pass series. I had not read the other, but had no problem reading this one.
This story begins in a small town in Tennessee with the Police Chief, Jay Ancheta and librarian, Eden Green running out to the old Green farm that her family owns to investigate a reported disturbance. No sooner than they arrive, they are hip deep in trouble. The kind of trouble with far reaching consequences for everyone involved. Jay is outed to Eden as a werewolf. He is startled to learn that she already knew that his kind existed because her cousin is a born werewolf. The cousin, Zach, hurting and on his last bit of strength, has fled Memphis with his small pack bringing a second group of cruel weres on their tail. In the midst of fighting off the bad werewolves, Eden is bit and is now werewolf.
After the crisis, Jay does what he can for the frightened battered group of wolves who have sought safety at the old farmhouse and then he takes Eden home. Her shift comes early and he has to start mentoring her. After a little investigation into the trouble, Jay realizes that he has to take these other wolves along with Eden and make them a pack. He has to declare the ‘haunted by the past’ Green farm as a wolf Sanctuary. And he has to confront the power-tripping wolves back in Memphis. In the midst of this long to-do list, Jay gets something he has always pined for- Eden. He’d kept away from her for years because of what he was not realizing that Eden was keeping secrets too.
Plot was very strong and I was into the story from the outset. I loved the romance and passion that built between Jay and Eden. I groaned with them every time duty interrupted before their passion and love could have its first release. It was wonderful when they eventually got their moments. The tension caused by the suffering, wounded wolves that have come seeking help and also the tension caused by the evil trouble makers in Memphis kept me turning pages to see what was going to happen next.
I did have something niggle at me as I was reading and at first I couldn’t put my finger on what was bugging me at first. After some reflection, I realized what it was and maybe its something that others won’t care about or even notice. With what was given in the story about Eden- character and actions, I wasn’t convinced she was what the author said she was. The story said she was an alpha, but she didn’t seen to have those qualities to me and not just because she was female. Kaley was an alpha female wolf and I was sold on believing it. Eden had strength, but it was more the strength of a tender nurturer like what some authors call an Omega wolf which is a very different dynamic in a wolf pack than an alpha or even a beta brings. The other thing that niggled was that the book kept repeatedly saying when it came to her sex preferences that she was dominant, but just wanted Jay to dominate her. Truthfully, I kept being ‘told’ that she was dominant, but her actions to me revealed her as a strong submissive. Not that I’m an expert, but from what I’ve read and observed, submissives can know exactly what they want even verbalizing it and they can test the power of a dominant to make the dominant take them without that making the submissive a dominant. Like I say, these things are not bad or mess up the story for me. It just distracted me somewhat until I was able to think through how I saw the character separate from how the author saw their character (presumptuous of me I know).
When it came to characters, I found that the author was spot on with how she created each individual member of this newly forming pack and how she had them interacting with each other. Between Jay and Eden, Jay’s friends, and the refugees from Memphis, there are some rich characters that it was great getting to know. I felt so sympathetic for Zach as well as his poor battered pack and I enjoyed the interaction between Jay and his friends.
I look forward to seeing how things develop in future books. Between those big shockers being revealed for the Green family, the way some of the pack members are eying each other up and that tantalizing teaser of an abrupt ending, I will definitely be reading the sequel.
I recommend this for those who love shifter romances with a slightly darker plot and a steamy romance.