Review: Cardeno C – Red River

red riverAuthor: Cardeno C
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: The Romance Authors
Genre: MM Paranormal

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: Two Alpha shifters join together to lead their pack and build a family.

Commitment, loyalty, and strength aren’t enough to make Wesley Stone’s birth pack accept an Alpha with a physical imperfection, even if it’s a meaningless mark. Putting the safety of his pack above his own wellbeing, Wesley trades himself for another Alpha and agrees to mate with a stranger in a mysterious, insular pack.

Alphas from Jobe Root’s family have led the Red River pack from the first day shifters walked the earth. Now the time has come for Jobe to fulfill his destiny, but to do that, he needs his mate by his side. Spiritual, easygoing Jobe reveres Mother Nature and trusts in fate, yet he can’t help being nervous about how his mate will react to his new life in Red River, his new life with Jobe.

Two Alphas with contrasting personalities, different upbringings, and divergent beliefs come together for the good of their packs. But to stay together, Wesley and Jobe must see beyond the surface and embrace every facet of themselves and their union.
Review: Wesley Stone has devoted his life to his pack. He is next in line to be Alpha, after his uncle, but pack members just don’t accept him. He’s gone away to college in the hopes that the distance would make the pack members better towards him, to no avail. And why? Because he’s “imperfect”. He has a belly scar, something he’s had since birth, and this makes him less in their eyes.
In a moment of loneliness, he heads to a human bar to forget. He meets a beautiful, green-haired man who gives him a night of pleasure but then it’s back to the rejection of his pack. I really spent a lot of time hurting for poor Wesley. He wants nothing more than to lead and he’s devoted his life to these ungrateful shifters.
He is basically “whored out”, in his opinion, by his uncle who arranges to have an alpha from the Red River pack come to Purple Moon to lead and he will mate with Jobe Root and lead the Red River pack. Jobe is laid back and easygoing, so it is the only way he’s going to get to be the Alpha he was born to be.

Wesley has a lot of misconceptions about the Red River Pack, mainly because they are so self-sufficient and insular but also because his own pack didn’t treat him well. As he tries to navigate his way through this new life, he is faced with a very nature oriented new mate and a pack with a completely different approach to life. “Either way, he felt more respected and valuated in that moment than he had at any time during the thirty-three years he had devoted to Purple Sky.” Good!
I admit, it was killing me as to the why of Jobe’s waiting and when I got to it I couldn’t decide if I wanted to smack him or hug him and say “aww”. For both of them, there are moments when the differences hurt feelings. I don’t want to give anything away, but more than once Jobe’s realizations about things were just so sad. And the things Wesley wasn’t made aware of by his pack, well, it’s too bad they got a good Alpha anyway because they don’t deserve it.
I liked this take on shifters and I’m hoping Ricky is up next and the challenge is there to make Morgan Peters likeable. As for Jobe and Wesley, it’s a sweet epilogue and they get that HEA plus.

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