Molly Reviews: Unexpected Demands by Kaje Harper (Hidden Wolves Book 2)

Becoming Alpha made Aaron responsible for protecting his new pack against outside threats, but fighting his own desires might pose an even bigger challenge.

When Aaron took down a crazy dominant wolf and inherited half a pack, he knew the Alpha job wasn’t going to be easy. A week later, he’s finding out what an understatement that was. Having a gay wolf in his pack brings lethal threats from other werewolves. Then humans locate his wolves and move in to try to capture and exploit one of them. Aaron has enough pressure and demands without letting his long-suppressed sexuality escape his rigid control. But keeping his distance from a young man who appeals to all his senses could be Aaron’s biggest challenge.

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This is such a wonderful story. It’s a great second book in the series and builds on where the first book started. We get so much more world building here and you’re completely immersed in it. I loved getting to see the characters expanded and so many new people introduced. You get to learn more about greater werewolf society and pack structure. I also enjoyed getting to see Paul and Simon again. You can see their relationship grow and get to that point of happily ever after that was just out of their reach in the first book. I suspected Aaron as being closeted when I read the first book but it was so much more than I thought.
Zach was so sweet. I enjoyed watching him grow into himself as the story progressed. He had so many troubles at the beginning my heart hurt for him. He struggled with that  feeling of safety and you wanted to give it to him. Especially when the full extent of his problems became known. As his feelings for Aaron grew and their relationship became deeper, you could see Zach settling into his skin a bit more each day. The Zach by the end of the story is so far from the one at the beginning, you would hardly recognize him if you didn’t watch his growth as the story went on.
Aaron was such an unlikely Alpha despite how big his dominant side is. I adored getting to see his struggles with being an Alpha and all that entails. It made him feel more real. It was wonderful seeing him grow as a man and as Alpha throughout the story. His time spent with Alpha Hanson really helped Aaron figure out who he is and what’s important to him. The way Aaron was so careful of Zach and his feelings was honorable. But I liked when he was up front with Zach finally about what he wanted and how he felt. That’s when you could tell they were going to make it together and Aaron was ready to be a strong Alpha.
The kidnapping part of the storyline was intriguing. It was over a little quickly for what I felt was realistic in this world. But seeing how both packs worked together and handled the full situation made for intense reading that had me not wanting to put the book down. The scene with Aaron and the bad guy’s brother was a little intense but I think Aaron needed everything to happen that way. I’m fascinated by Hanson’s pack and would love to know more about them based on this book. But I am intrigued how all the packs are going to respond as the reality of living in the 21st century creeps in on everyone.
The relationship between Aaron and Zach is different than Paul and Simon and any other couple in most werewolf fiction. Due to the rules created and the pack structure, there’s only so far they will ever be able to take their relationship. They have a solid happy for now ending by the end of this story. There’s still some things they have to overcome and handle. But they likely will never be as fully and completely mated and out as Paul and Simon. Their happily ever after will come when they can lay their demons to rest and possibly tell their whole pack. Anything else will come when the whole of werewolf society is ready to change. I would love to see that happen for them but their ending now is happy enough to know they’re complete and content.
Four and a half

About Kaje:
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.

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