Strength of the Pack by Kendall McKenna

TheStrengthofthePackMcKenna6-651x1024Title: Strength of the Pack

Series: The Tameness of the Wolf #1

Author: Kendall McKenna

Genre: MM / Military / Were Shifters

Length: Novel

Publisher: MLR Press (January 18, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts

Blurb: A Marine werewolf and his commander bring legends to life while surviving combat deployment in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn’t know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas’ platoon, the Marine Corps’ True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant’s authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond. During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.

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Review: Oh my, what a book! What a ride this one was. I’m pleasantly surprised by the shifter-aspect of this novel, extremely thrilled with the military one and overjoyed with their mix.

In this novel, Ms. McKenna introduces us to a world where Shifters have co-existed with humans for years. Legends of their excellent combat skills are mostly forgotten though, because the most rare of the Werewolf-Humans relationship, that of a Dominant-True Alpha, has not happened in hundreds of years. The secret is that in relationship like that, the True Alpha Werewolf must willingly submit to his Dominant and the results of such mating are magnificent to witness.

This entire new perspective, at least for me, was thrilling to read. Up until now, shifters in books were fighting to maintain their identity secret, while in this book its common knowledge. Werewolves are maybe a little frightening, but are mostly seen from their human peers with admiration and respect for their strength. In the Armed Forces, they are considered of great value, especially their True Alpha, since he has the power to control them all.

Lt. Lucas Young though, has no experience with werewolves; his knowledge is less than basic. He is surprised when the first wolf joins his platoon and somehow exited to meet the wolf’s Pack Leader, to ask questions and to establish routine. The last thing he expected was to have the entire Marine Corps’ True Alpha assigned to his platoon. After all, he had not received the proper training on how to work with such a powerful shifter.

To make things worse the moment Lucas lays eyes on Sergeant Hammond, strong feelings assail him, attraction being one of them. How is he supposed to work with such an incredible shifter, who resembles a Nordic God, having him push at all his buttons, constantly challenging him and be insanely attracted to him? Through his inexperience and absolute lack of guidance from his Captain, Lucas misunderstands the relationship he’s developing with Noah, and when the later submits to him, Lucas believes that it’s just a werewolf ritual concerning the Pack and buries his own “selfish” feelings for Noah. In Lucas mind, he will not take advantage as a commanding officer but will do his outmost to help the Alpha deal with his Werewolf needs.

The entire book is a beautiful introduction to combat fights, war and one of the rarest relationships ever encountered. The bond that is inevitably blooming between Lucas and Noah is constantly questioned and taken apart by Lucas’ human beliefs. While he tries to give Noah everything he needs to keep control of the Pack and be more than efficient in their war, he holds back his own feelings. Their fame grows to legendary proportions due to their amazing connection, so does their frustration because this connection does not escalates beyond their duty.

In the end it takes a severe wound to make them both see things a bit more clearly. The magnitude of how much this affects both of them is not lost on Lucas, but he is still confused from the battle tales Noah has told him. He still doesn’t believe that Noah wants him as a lover, trapped in his false knowledge of the Dominant/True Alpha relationship…

I loved this book! I loved it so much I’m re-reading it. It was so much more than the stereotypical Were-books you usually encounter and adding to the pleasure there were Marines. Incredible! So very interesting, such enticing characters, such an appealing plot. You start reading it and your heart-beat starts picking up, higher and higher while the story goes, until it reaches the high peak where I frankly exclaimed out loud “It was about damn time already”. The slow building and boiling on low temperature had me frustrated at some point, yeah. J The end was a bit calmer than the rest of this novel though. It was a bit disappointing, or it was just my insatiable side manifesting, but I wanted one more glorious battle for our human/wolf pair. It felt as if it was an introduction to what is to come on the next book of the series, and yeah I would love to read Tim’s story. All in all, this book was a must read and then re-read for me.

Wholeheartedly recommended.


Post Author: pixiemmgoodbookreviews

1 thought on “Strength of the Pack by Kendall McKenna

    Cathy Brockman

    (January 18, 2013 - 7:34 pm)

    wow sounds Amazing will add to my to read pile

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