Molly Reviews: Strength to Let Go by Alina Popescu (Tales of the Werewolf Tribes Book 1)

After being abandoned by his mates, Shiki Kirishima, beta of the Dragons of the Fang werewolf tribe, returns to his home in Tokyo. Overwhelmed by grief, he decides to end it all by going into Siberian Killer territory and challenging the tribe to a battle to the death.

His death.

The Killer’s beta, Ganzorig, grasps the potentially disastrous consequences of his tribe killing Shiki, and saves him instead. Having suffered loss, Ganz takes it upon himself to help Shiki deal with his pain, then return him safely to his tribe.

Shiki’s best friend since childhood, Blake, is as determined as Ganzorig to show him there is life after a wolf’s ultimate loss, that of a mate.

Once Shiki leaves the seclusion of Ganzorig’s compound and returns to Tokyo, Blake is the only person he allows near. Blake is more than happy to give Shiki space to lick his wounds and deal with everything in his place. Shielded from his responsibilities to his family and tribe, and cocooned in Blake’s care, Shiki thrives on his journey to healing.

As the real world pushes its way in, with competing tribes causing trouble, children to worry about, and exes to deal with, will Shiki be able to cope or will he spiral back to a state of pure misery? And is there room for more than friendship between him and Blake?

Where To Buy:

This story was both really wonderful and completely frustrating at the same time. I felt like I was reading the second book in a series through most of the story. I enjoyed the setting. It’s not often you find MM romance set mainly in Japan. They moved around some but the majority of the story was in Japan and clearly well researched. The way shifters worked in this story was fascinating and I liked how things were different than typical shifter stories. I really want to read more in this world. But there are some lingering questions at the end of this story that were pretty important overall that left me wondering and a little bit frustrated.

Shiki was so heartbroken in the beginning. It truly takes him the course of the book to heal and get where he can be happy again. It hurt seeing that level of pain. It was also wonderfully written so you feel it with Shiki. He was fascinating and I enjoyed seeing him go from destroyed to surviving to healing to happy. I wanted to know more about his relationship with Kieran and Kayden from before. There were so many things about that we didn’t get to know and it was information that was important to the story and obviously missed while reading. But his love for Blake was so apparent as they went along. I loved seeing Shiki happy by the end of the story.

Blake was wonderful. He was a supportive friend and so good to Shiki. You could tell his feelings ran deep, even if it took Shiki a while to figure it out. He went at Shiki’s pace to build a relationship. He showed his love through all the ways he took care of Shiki and supported Shiki. When he was finally able to be open with his feelings, Blake just blossomed. I would love to see more from his point of view. Especially before the start of the story to know what Blake was thinking and feeling when Shiki met Kieran. Blake is so content by the end of this story. He will cherish Shiki for as long as they both live and that level of devotion was amazing to see.

It takes quite some time in the story for Shiki and Blake to even start a relationship beyond friendship. Once Shiki has those first inklings of more, they actually move quickly from best friends to lovers to mates. They had some ups and downs they worked out. But they were clearly meant to be together. I would love to read more in this world and series. I’m hoping some of the lingering questions are answered in the next book. Plus I desperately want to see Ganz get a happy ending and find love.
Three and a half

About Alina:
I am an author, a blogger, a traveler, and many other things. But above all, I am a writer because that is what I do all day, every day, write. I write articles for online magazines, I write blog posts, I write press releases, social media updates, case studies, and other such pieces for my clients, I write my stories, and I’m probably somewhat annoyingly active on social media channels.

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