Author: Cassidy Ryan
Publisher: Total E-Bound (April 15th, 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: Hal went looking for a wild weekend, and found more wild than he could ever have hoped for.
Hal’s world has been in a tailspin since he wrote a book exposing police corruption. Seeking respite and distraction, he heads off for a wild weekend in Brighton, hoping for hot guys, loud music and lots of booze. What he gets instead is a near-naked man mountain, bruised, bleeding and suffering from temporary memory loss.
Hal isn’t ready for the news that Luke is a werewolf, and even less prepared for Luke’s declaration that Hal is his life mate. But he can’t seem to walk away when Luke is obviously in trouble, and there is no denying the searing heat that is between them.
The more time they spend together the deeper their connection becomes, until Hal starts to wonder about the whole ‘mate’ thing.
However, there is a cloud of danger hanging over Luke’s head that could destroy everything they have the potential to become…the men who abducted and tortured Luke still have him in their sights.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of moderate violence.
Product Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=2104
Review: You go on a wild weekend only to fall asleep most of it… No this won’t do.
You go on a wild weekend, you fall asleep most of it, but you end up saving a hunk of a man… Hmm, better still something’s missing. Oh how about…
You go on a wild weekend to get away from your crazy life, only to end up saving you soul mate, while crazy becomes a constant in your life.
Yes, Hal’s life has become wild all right; reporters and paparazzi hunting him down and attributing every little thing to his book that brought down an entire carter of corrupt cops. He’s a journalist for crying outloud, and he can’t seem to get away from his fellow “colleagues.” In a last attempt to make them see there’s no more story coming from him he goes on a weekend for a break only to find a nearly dying man on a remote country road on his way back.
And it was beautiful how Hal and Luke meet. It was refreshing seeing “mates” not fall instantly in love within the blink of an eye. Oh the passion and the craving were there all right, disguisable and fierce, but the circumstances didn’t allow for that sappy you’re-my-mate notion on first sight that we are accustomed to. Instead, the author focused on the danger that Luke had just escaped and the possessiveness that hit Hal in a steady build.
Luke had been abducted and drugged to the point he had no memory of what happened to him. He was nearly falling unconscious with exhaustion when Hal found him and he’d been brutally abused. While trying to get him into a hospital, talking with cops, and finding Luke is a werewolf, Hal feels reluctant to let go of the gorgeous man Fate seemed to drop onto his arms. He feels a responsibility to protect him and take care of him that run deep in a much more personal level he would have thought and while he’s shocked with his reactions he can’t seem to find it in him to leave Luke alone in his house, still vulnerable not yet fully healed after the hospital. But being a werewolf Luke’s body rejects the drugs fast, his muted instincts come forward full force and the next morning finds him on his feet, ferocious almost in his belief that he has finally found his mate.
It seems like just another shifter story, yet it’s not. The world it’s build is aware of shifters and just like with everything else the knowledge of their existence has caused from panic to emotions of hatred in the population. Several groups had taken on them to clean the world from their wicked existence and had been hunting them down, forcing the werewolves to hide back. Yet the evil and prejudice never stop and in there this story lives and breathes.
The plot is very engaging, the violence that rules people’s heart is well described and that makes for some gruesome scenes that gives quite an edge to the story and make it somehow fascinating. On the other hand, we have the romantic part that I absolutely loved. While based on the very non-escapable Fate, Luke’s and Hal’s love slowly grows. Luke has surrendered to it being a shifter and knowing bone deep that this is that forever relationship, Hal as a human puts a certain resistance that did not seem fake in the course of the story. His brain after all can’t accept such things that easily, but his heart and instincts all scream for him to let go, which he does in the most unconscious way, freely admitting to it when death hits their door. The need to acknowledge and protect each other undeniable.
I also adore their loving scenes. They were absolutely brilliant with the visceral passion and eroticism of such relationship all there for me to taste and breathe. The balance between carnal and romance was beautifully accomplished and when Luke used the term “ my Hal” it was as if I could hear all the pent-up longing and desperation he had for a family, for someone he can call his own, for finally filling that emptiness and not being alone anymore. (Heh, am I a sap or what?)
In the end, this was a most satisfying story I enjoyed very, very much. One I would love to see a sequel of, as there were plenty characters and possibilities for follow-ups. Totally recommended.