A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: A fine start to this pleasant fantasy somehow dissipated and it became- for me- mundane.
Blurb: Magical species must never mix. According to the rules, Simon Osborne should ignore the children’s cries for help. After all, they’re werewolf cubs, and he’s an apprentice mage. But for once in his life, Simon breaks the rules and rescues the cubs, saving them from a demon intent on draining them of their magic.
Of course, all actions have consequences, and Simon’s bold move earns him the displeasure of his peers and the attention of the cubs’ alpha, a man named Gray Townsend.
The last thing Gray needs is a mage in his life, but Simon did save his son. Since Simon is now a friend of the pack, Gray doesn’t have much choice about it—or the forbidden attraction that goes along with it. Unfortunately for the alpha, he needs Simon’s help to track down the demon behind the kidnappings—before it strikes again. Simon and Gray must join forces to protect the pack, even as they struggle to resist the temptation that threatens to destroy them both.
I particularly liked the beginning of this book, it placed you right in the middle of the action, introduced a brave sensitive empathic hero rescuing werewolf cubs, there was a little magical society background gently thrown in and I thought – yes this is a going to be a very good read. But then somewhere along the way almost intangibly, it became for me only a mildly pleasant read. I’m trying to work out why.
The world building here was really based around the different types of magic infusing the characters; mind, body or soul magic, which was a nice easy distinction. While some complications with these definitions added to the story’s plot. I liked Simon, our representative of mind magic, and thought his situation as apprentice mage with the cabin, the herbs and the magic was delightful. His occasional struggles with his magic added to his vulnerable charm.
The werewolf society described here felt very organised and intellectually reasonable, this is not rule by blood, tooth and claw. Perhaps it felt a bit werewolf-lite to me. Gray is very much a paternal Alpha, understandable given the strong role of the family in the story. His son Garon and the other cubs adding lots of cute and cuddles to the mix.
The relationship between Simon and Gray worked well enough. Any threats were predominantly physical or magical; there was no real emotional tension here, which might be why I felt it lacked salt. The more I think about it, aside from the man sex, as it developed this book felt rather like a rather young Y/A book, simple concepts, undemanding characters with a pleasant happy nourishing family background. I think Simon was by far the strongest written and most interesting character.The villain of the piece was recognisable from almost the moment he drew breath, but that is often the case and I rarely take offence at that. The mage’s council was very under drawn and I didn’t believe in their responses at all.
The narrative is very linear, we follow the story from point A to point B with no unexpected diversions along the way. Actually, while trying not to sound sound too lit crit here, the writer’s language became very simplistic in the latter stages of the book. Every other sentence included the conjunction “ and ” in an overuse of this grammatical connection. This led to a very pedestrian feel to the story, that I found really flattened my response to it.
I enjoyed the beginning, the magical society, and the main characters, but somehow the story became less interesting for me the longer it went on. There were loose ends which should have been resolved, but might mean there is a sequel in the making. This is another one I feel other readers might enjoy rather more than I did.