Review by Macky

five-stars120205

TITLE: Unacceptable Risk (Book #1)
SERIES: Hidden Wolves
AUTHOR: Kaje Harper
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
BLURB: 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.

REVIEW:

If this was Review-a-Vision then you’d be blinded by a grin the size of the Grand Canyon because right now I’m one very happy reviewer and feeling even more so because I know I’ve got three more books –  one novel and two ‘ interlude’ shorts –  to read and review from this brilliant Werewolf series by Kaje Harper. What’s even better is I get to read them for free. Yaay…How cool is that!

I’ve been reading M/M for just over two years and for some strange reason have only just got around to reading Kajes books. I can’t believe I waited so long! Before striking gold with this series I’d not long ago read ‘The Rebuilding Year’ a standalone contemporary romance that I loved, and then because I enjoyed that so much read the  first book in her wonderful series ‘Life Lessons’ that also wowed me, so I was intrigued to see if she could impress me with a series set around a genre that to be honest I’ve become more than a little jaded with …

So, colour me VERY impressed.

Loved, loved, loved it! Probably the most realistic take on Werewolves that I’ve ever come across. Nothing over the top or beyond belief, this story almost made me believe that unbeknown to us humans, Werewolves  are living amongst us, working alongside us and living their lives quietly and secretly, just hiding below the radar and keeping themselves to themselves. It was believable and totally engrossing.

“We’re a rare species, trying to survive surrounded by millions of humans. We don’t have super strength, or immortality, or mental powers like in the movies. We survive by not being seen.”

” But, on the down side, that means no superpowers. If neither man nor a wolf can do something, odds are we can’t either. If we are magic, there are a few things I wish the wizard had added in.” 

The world building around the Were’s is brilliant. The pack mentality is there and the mate bond that of course we’ve come to expect from wolf lore but this has has little to do with full moons or rampant flesh eating monsters with claws and big teeth! They heal fast, live quite a bit longer than humans, have enhanced senses and shift of course but  Kajes wolves are more dangerous to each other than the humans they hide from.

“And the pack lived by rules, fiercely enforced and unbreakable”

So when Paul stops to pick up an injured Simon in his wolf form one night, little does he know how his life is going to change.

Simon is a funny, warm and loving character. I adored him. His status within the pack is tenuous because he’s gay, having talked his way out of a death sentence because of it, he’s barely tolerated by the rest of the wolves and although he tries to live his life without getting too involved,  is caught up in pack politics, as a faction led by the Alphas evil second and ex enforcer Karl, tries to take over the pack using Simon as a catalyst. Falling in love with Paul, who he ( and his wolf )  recognises as his mate, puts them both in danger.

‘Simon sighed and hauled another stool close enough to sit. ” I like you. I like you a whole lot, and I want you even more than that. Because my real life is a mess, and the last thing I need is to have someone I care about mixed up in it. But somehow I’m not smart around you.” ‘

Paul’s character, who I also loved, is initially straight but again Kaje handles the Gay For You aspect of their relationship in such a way as to make it seem completely natural for Paul to be drawn to Simon. No rushing these two into insta love, it all happens slowly but surely and together they generate some wonderful sexual tension and chemistry… the love scenes are hot but never gratuitous. Not an easy relationship, Paul has to make some life altering decisions and I was on pins but at the same time hoping beyond all hope that they’d make it work because you know these endearing guys are truly meant to be together.

Everything about this story thrilled me. The excellent plotting, the gorgeous romance and the fresh take on the paranormal world it showcases. I know I’m supposed to find something niggly to counterbalance the gushing but truthfully I can’t pin point anything negative at all. I devoured  every single word and can’t wait to get to the next one.

The best paranormal book I’ve read for a long time, hope others agree. Deserves every one of its 5 solid stars. Next please!

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Macky is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love
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Comments
  1. […] Book Review: Unacceptable Risk by Kaje Harper […]

  2. elizabetta says:

    You can’t go wrong with Kaje Harper and both book 1 & 2 look great. Thanks for this review Macky!

  3. […] Book Review: Unacceptable Risk by Kaje Harper […]

  4. […] Book Review: Unacceptable Risk by Kaje Harper […]

  5. Heather C says:

    These have been on my TBR list for a while And I LOVE her Life Lessons. It’s the shifters that have me hesitant 😦

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