Simon Conley was born a werewolf, making him one of a tiny minority in a sea of vanilla humans. The safety of the pack lies in absolute secrecy, sometimes violently enforced. In a species where pack-members are born and not made, being gay is considered a perversion. So when Simon falls in love with a human man, he’s twice damned. Even his Alpha’s grudging tolerance may not be enough to shield him from the hatred of the other top wolves. Then his lover Paul stumbles across pack secrets Simon was sworn to keep, and if the pack finds out, they may both end up dead.
I adored this story. Paul and Simon are so good together. They start out in the most unconventional of ways but the way they slowly build a relationship is wonderful. The world building in this story is wonderful. You get all the details on how shifters work in this world, where they come from and the crazy politics of pack life. It was effortless and rarely felt like an info dump. The conversations between Paul and Simon about Simon’s family before Paul knew about werewolves was quite comical in context.
Paul was such a sweetheart. He had a hard past but doesn’t let it rule his life. I loved how tenderhearted Paul is. He cared for all of the animals at his practice and his employees and I adored that depth of emotion. You could tell he led with his heart most of the time. I really liked how he handled his suddenly changing sexuality. I like how he realized he doesn’t really need labels but has a type when it comes to men and women both. I was a little bit in awe with how he handled himself when it came to all of the werewolf things thrown his way. I like how he was able to keep his calm but knew things were dire. Paul was really well rounded and I kept cheering for him to give Simon a chance and for them to have their relationship work.
Simon hurt my heart in so many ways. He overcame so much to get to where he was in a place to meet people and potentially have a relationship. I do agree with Simon that the relationship likely wouldn’t have happened at all if they met in human form first. Things had to work the way they did for both Simon and Paul to wind up as happy as they are by the end. Simon dealt with some major homophobia throughout his life. He dealt with it in the best way possible though. I liked how he was devoted to Paul. The way he cherished Paul and wanted to take care of him was so sweet. It made me adore Simon even more.
I was on the edge of my seat through a good portion of the book. The suspense of not knowing when the powder keg of pack politics was going to blow was so well written. You could feel it surrounding you as you read. I kept wondering if karl was going to make a move, who was truly on Simon’s side or just sympathetic of his situation in general. Was Gordon going to do anything? Oh my gosh it was such perfect tension in the story. Ms. Harper writes amazing tension. Whether it’s sexual, or outside forces, or the wild unknown you feel it and get completely sucked in.
I absolutely loved how Simon and Paul end up together. Even if there were things outside their control they’re clearly so happy together. They still have some things to work out at the end. But you can be happy knowing they’re going to work at it and do everything in their power to survive and keep their relationship happy and healthy.
Four and a half
I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it can be breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, the deepfreeze chill contributes to the breath-taking, but Minnesota’s a kindly, quiet place and it’s home to me now. I’ve been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment, and currently am focused on M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, history, SciFi…) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.
My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing, I really should submitsomething, somewhere. I was thrilled when it was accepted. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I’ve been just delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.
My first free book became the first story that I actually released – I put it up a month beforeLife Lessons just for the fun of getting it out there. Lies and Consequences began as a reaction to the November 2010 election. It looked like the repeal of DADT might be derailed by the political shift and I put the insanity of that law into the book. Then as I was finishing the first draft in mid-December the repeal passed. Which was great, but prompted a rewrite to a lighter and more action/romance book. This was a solo effort and I learned a lot from writing and releasing it and from the reviews. Check Smashwords for that one and many of my other freebies.