Review by Macky

(Read Macky’s review for:
Book #1 of Hidden Wolves series: Unacceptable Risks
Book #1.5 (Free Read): Unsettled Interlude)

five-stars120205

TITLE: Unexpected Demands (Book #2)
SERIES: Hidden Wolves
AUTHOR: Kaje Harper
PUBLISHER: MLR Press
BLURB: 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.

REVIEW:

” When you’re Alpha of a werewolf pack, even as small and non-traditional as mine, you have to BE Alpha. No doubts, no worries, at least where the lower-ranked wolves can see you. I’d been faking that all week, ever since pack leadership had fallen into my hands.

Since I’d ripped it from Karl’s bleeding body.

A rap on the door startled me, then the door was flung open before I could respond. Vincent looked in. His normal air of detached amusement was replaced with a frown. “Aaron, there’s trouble at Simons……..” 

So starts Aaron’s story in the second delicious book of Kaje Harpers most excellent Werewolf series… Hidden Wolves. At the end of book one, Simon and Paul’s story, Aaron is left a reluctant Alpha to a splinter group from the original pack after defeating the evil second Karl. Simon and Paul are making waves amongst the other, larger established packs because of their gay bond mating and as well as trying to keep them safe – because the other packs are chomping at the bit to have Paul and Simon exterminated because no one believes its a true bond –   Aaron is himself trying to keep the fact that he’s also gay from everyone around him, but finding it very hard as he has to take a young troubled Zach under his wing and temptation is staring him in the face and groin! To make it worse it becomes clear that Zach reciprocates his feelings so whats a man ( and his inner wolf ) to do?

Wow! The pack politics and hierarchy in Kaje’s  books are so convincing that like I said in my review of ‘ Unacceptable Risk ‘, you could really believe that they exist and are living amongst us. These shifters are staunchly homophobic and fiercely protective of keeping that existence secret from the human world. They’ll go to extreme lengths to keep from being outed to the human race but only as a last resort. They’re not rampant killers or monsters and this is part of what Paul can’t fully come to terms with. His humanity is still at odds with some of the things he’s witnessed but his love for Simon is foremost so his loyalties are now with the pack he’s become part of. For them the choices they sometimes have to make are purely for the survival of their race, so when Simon is kidnapped halfway through the story and no one knows by why, Aaron and his small but loyal pack have a race against time to find him. Is it some other Wolves or something far more sinister?!

What a roller coaster this book was. Full of intrigue, suspense and so strongly plotted that once again I was glued to every page. Aaron’s character is perfectly spun. He’s up against a lot of resistance from the start but he stands his ground and protects his pack with strength and dignity, even though he’s not sure that being Alpha is what he would have really chosen had it not been necessary to kill Karl. It was great to see more of Simon and Paul and all the other secondary characters who’s roles in the story are strong and totally supportive of the story line.

” In most cases the pack second took his ( the Alphas ) place. That was probably a hard enough transition to make. But it couldn’t compare to suddenly becoming Alpha when you hadn’t even imagined it. I had been sixth in the pack, safely high but not in line for the top spot for decades to come..”

But Aaron is dominant and as soon as he takes on the role of Alpha, the bond with his pack is palpable and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe.

” MINE, THESE WOLVES ARE MINE. I was protective, and at the same time I fought a need to get every one of them down on the floor in submission………for seven years with this pack and six years with the one before it, I had locked away half my personality and made myself the perfect unobtrusive subordinate. Now the locks were breaking.”

A big part of the story is centred around the budding secret sexual relationship between Aaron and Zach and same as before the love scenes are sizzling hot, not repetitive or yawn worthy like some that are churned out in this genre, but there’s no doubt once Simon goes missing the book shifts into first gear and from then on its one hell of an exciting ride.

Apart from the two interludes that Ms Harper has so graciously provided as follow ups to both books, its now an impatient wait for book three, and it can’t come too soon. I’m loving this series and again it gets a perfect five stars for the brilliant writing style and superb imagination of an author I’m now pretty much in awe of! Suddenly I’m starting to look at my neighbours a bit more closely. I’m sure the broken leg of the guy across the street shouldn’t be healing quite that quickly…..Hmmmm! It seems to be alright naaaoooooow!! LOL.

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  1. […] Book Review: Unexpected Demands by Kaje Harper […]

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