Review by Macky
TITLE: Unwanted Appeal (Book #2.5)
SERIES: Hidden Wolves
AUTHOR: Kaje Harper
BLURB: Werewolf packs traditionally stay aloof from one another, but gossip still spreads like wildfire. Whispers and rumors about Simon and his mate-bonded male lover, and the pack’s experiences with human were-hunters, are still making the rounds. Aaron, the Alpha of Minneapolis West, would love to see his pack’s fame fade into the past. But the arrival of two strange wolves makes it clear that for some outsiders, his pack is still considered a pariah, or a threat. For others, it has unwanted appeal.
It was great to be able to follow up ‘Unexpected Demands’ with this second free short from the Hidden Wolf series. These freebies really are a decent length considering they’re only meant to be an interlude between novels and what I’ve enjoyed about them is the fact that they aren’t just there to give you a little peek into how life is treating the characters you’ve just got involved with, they actually contain a story that is in keeping with the whole series and the conflicts that have arisen from the strict pack politics of the Werewolf communities. Aaron is trying to bring them into the 21st century because he knows that their discovery is probably going to happen sooner than later because of modern technology but at the same time he is still well aware that he is first and foremost a Were with a pack to protect until that happens.
“The packs are changing. For many Alphas, who tend to be men in their sixties, or perhaps eighties, or even nineties, the modern world is accelerating too fast for their tastes. Even women’s rights are a difficult stretch for some of them.”
In a speech he makes to Paul, who as a human bonded to his mate, questions some of the violence that they practice to stay hidden, he says:
” I’m not one of your tame kittens. Don’t think it for a minute. I believe that to survive, we will have to adapt further to human society. And if … When we are outed, that change will be even more necessary. But we are werewolves. Not men. Not wolves. We are pack, and if one of my pack pushes me too far, I will take him down as hard as necessary.”
Aaron is still keeping his relationship secret with Zach, Simon and Paul are recovering from the trauma of the last book, the pack are still adjusting to Aaron’s leadership and we’re introduced to some really interesting new characters who no doubt will feature more prominently in the next full novel. One of them – Cole – is a character who even now has me wondering about the direction she’s going to take him because straight away you expect him to be one thing ( read it and you’ll see what I mean ) but then she takes him in a different direction. Saying that it could all change in the next one, so I’m really intrigued by how his story is going to pan out! Obviously there’s a lot more than that going on but I really wouldn’t want to give too much away! Oh go on then, just one little taster. There’s another new character called Jason, a werewolf from another pack who turns up on them badly beaten up and … No! Sorry, changed my mind. You’ll have to read it! LOL.
The reason that this gets the full five stars, is because once again it showcases how great Kaje Harper is at capturing your interest, keeping it and wetting your appetite for more, despite the fact that its so short. This felt much longer than it was and again I was gripped by the great storytelling and world building around the werewolves that’s built up over the series.
If you enjoy the novels then these are a must add. Don’t try to read them as standalones because they won’t make as much sense and make sure you read them in order. I can honestly say this is one of my most favourite shifter series ever and to get these in-between ones free is fantastic. For me, this is almost turning out to be one hell of a series. Hope it continues that way. Recommend!
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