Series: Southwestern Shifters #8
Author: Bailey Bradford
Genre: Paranormal – Wolf shifters
Length: Novella (138 pg)
Publisher: Total E-Bound (June 14th, 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 Hearts
Blurb: There isn’t a safe place in the world when someone wants you dead more than they want to live.
Ryder Johansen is trying to figure out the shifter world. He was turned without his consent, another bad thing in a life filled with shitty choices. Now he’s learning that he doesn’t have to be an untrustworthy jerk. He can be more than the sum of his past.
Maarten Visser is at a loss with his life. His pack abandoned him—him! Their alpha!—once his brother Luuk was back in power. Maybe a trip to visit the North America Alpha Anax will give him some perspective. Or maybe it’ll kill him.
Marcus and Nathan are getting their pack past the attack that destroyed their other compound. They’ve got everyone settled in a new, secure place. Except it’s not as secure as they thought, and someone is out to destroy them and hurt Marcus as much as possible along the way.
Review: Marcus and Nathan are back from their European trip where they helped Luuk regain his place as AA of Europe, only to find more trouble waiting them in their home. A crazy shifter, changing people against their will, has his compound in turmoil and Marcus is left with people that are trying to find a way to deal with these new changes.
One such man is Ryder. His human life was an absolute horror where he was a slave to his drugs; always in a haze and searching for his next fix, always letting people down. But, now his brain can’t escape through drugs anymore and that leaves him with a weird clarity and too much time to think. His talk-first-think- later attitude isn’t helping him make friends in this new world either. But, he is determined to make a better man in this second chance he’s got. An honorable man at that. But, first he has to make people see that he’s not defined by what he was as human. he has to make them see that he can be trustworthy as long as someone gives him a chance.
Meet Maarten Visser. Now, in book seven of the series we had a small glimpse at Maarten, and he seemed the goofy guy; the play now and live your life kind of guy. We get to know him better in this book and see how much unwanted he felt after his brother Luuk regained his position. Maarten was left without a pack and therefore without a purpose. When Luuk sent him to U.S. as an ambassador to strengthen their relations between the two AA, Maarten felt we was simply being exiled so he wouldn’t cause trouble. But, trouble finds him anyway along with his mate and the deep soul-healing love it entails.
And as everybody is trying to find their place and their purpose, a new unknown enemy appears. bringing with him a viciousness and violence that shatters our guys to the core. There is no place for talk and diplomacy in this case. The only solution is death.
So this time I got what I wanted and what I felt lacking in the previous book and that is the “fighting” part. For me wolves are aggressive creatures and that’s what I got when it came to the battles between good guys and bad guys. It was vicious, it was bloody and it was quite satisfying.
As always though, I feel that the length of these books is too small for the amount of events they develop. Here we had two pairs that the book focused on; Marcus and Nathan – we saw them grow even more and rule with a strong will and lots of love for their pack and not only – and Ryder and Maarten.
Now Ryder and Maarten were new characters that we got introduced to and for me the space they took in this book was not enough. Their personalities were treated with a superficial narration and the depths of their feelings were not explored to my satisfaction. The characters went from being shallow and vain to responsible and serious without us really witnessing it. The time frame being jumped and many events simply stated. In addition there were way too many mating pairs that enticed our fancy and they were left at that, which I’m having the feeling we will not see them in another book of their own and that’s just a shame.
However, I liked this book much better and the pairs that took part were quite engaging. Their “love” games were entertaining enough, even if they lacked intensity, and I found they were even funny, at some points. In the end I was left feeling that this was a good read and I hope the next one to focus solely on Ryder and Maarten, as I feel they have much more to share with us.
If you are a fan of the series, I really think you will not be disappointed in this book and if this is the first book on the series that comes on your hands I believe you’ll enjoy it as it can stand alone. Be ready for the mate-love and their deep bonds, the agony of nearly losing a mate and some really good bloody and violent fighting between wolves.