Series: Phantom River Series
Author: Trina Lane
Length: Novel (178 pages)
Publisher: Total E-Bound (July 30th, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: One man searching for a place to call home stumbles into the arms of another wishing for a mate to complete his.
Cooper Tessen, enforcer for the Phantom River Pack and Sheriff of Stonepass, has watched each of his two best friends enjoy their mated bliss. He’s thrilled they’ve found happiness; however, he feels a distance growing between him and his blood brothers because he has no experience of the connection between a shifter and his mate. Cooper fills the hours of his lonely days by spending as much time as possible working at the station to protect his town, and, secretly, off on dangerous missions for the government. Burning the candle at both ends gives him little time to focus on his longing to have a mate of his own.
Darren Caisil is on the run. Accused of a murder he didn’t commit, it’s either become a lone wolf or be killed by the very pack he’d spent his life trying to serve. He hits rock bottom when he finds himself lost, alone, hungry, and freezing in nowhere Montana during the dead of winter. His last semi—conscious thought as he succumbs to the inevitable is that an angel is lifting him towards heaven. When he wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, he finds it wasn’t an angel after all, but a man. And not any man, but another wolf shifter…one who claims to be Darren’s mate.
As they explore their mating bond, Cooper tries to get Darren to open up about his past but the man refuses to share his secrets. Frustrated, Cooper decides to do a little digging on his own. Unfortunately, it seems Cooper’s investigation may have stirred up a hornet’s nest when it draws the attention of some of Darren’s former pack members who are bent on revenge…
Reader Advisory: This book can be read as a stand-alone, but may be more enjoyable when read in sequence.
Review: I did not expect it, but I really liked this story. I get a bit paranoid when it comes to wereshifters and werewolves but, oh my, Ms. Lane had this were-lore nailed. I’m not going to bother with the story as the blurb pretty much says it all but I’m going to stand on the points that I like so much.
First, there is the mating issue that we have often seen on were-stories but not very often is pulled so good. The magical issue of mating is a pro and a con when it comes to explain relationships between were-pairs, in this case, there is the link that allows the pair to channel their thoughts, but it doesn’t mean that they will automatically know each other’s thoughts. There can be secrets, that gives a notch of suspense in this story since Darren tries indeed to keep his past a secret, and Cooper, well Cooper has a whole big pit of them.
Then I loved the time that Ms. Lane gave her characters to build their mating bond. Yes, yes I admit that at some point I thought perhaps she gave them a lil bit too much time, you know, it kinda got boring with all that talk and all that emotional charge; but it worked for me this time, since Darren is an emotional character, being secluded and abused his entire life and having a major culture shock, I think he is entitled of time.
And of course, there was the sexual dynamic between the pair. Now I have not read any of the other books of the series, or any other book in general from this writer, but damn she had me with the sexual scenes; very intense, very sensual, and oh so very hot. I think the author handled Darren’s virginity with great mastery and well, if I didn’t liked Cooper until that point (which ofc I did), I loved him for his sensitivity. Made me wish I had a were-mate myself 😉
Last I just loved the Phantom River’s pack; their interaction with the outside world and humans, the way the pack works within, the friendship and respect that are in a blur yet distinguish themselves when necessary, everything about this were-story was great for me and I enjoyed it so much. I totally recommend this to anyone with a thing for wolves, fantasy and adventure for this book has it all.