Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Jon Slade finally met his mate, but instead of it being the happiest day of his life, it became the saddest when wolf shifter Kelvin MacCurdy chose his obligations over their fated bond, leaving Jon to pick up the pieces of his shattered dreams. Lucky for him, Roman Howell, his boss and the owner of L’Ange, saw promise in the forlorn lion and put him to work so he wouldn’t have time to sit around and lick his wounds while he waited for his wounded spirit to heal.
Then the wolves make an official visit to L’Ange, and Jon finds out Kelvin’s pining for him is taking its toll on his position as the king’s champion. Though Kelvin’s training and the expectations of others steer him toward an intended mate, Jon has an unbreakable hold on his heart, and it’s no longer possible for Kelvin to keep himself from where he truly belongs.
But the conclave brings more than Kelvin to the château. It also brings a challenge to jackal alpha Quade Danas, a threat that Quade and Roman, Arman and Linus, and Jon and Kelvin may have to fight in order to keep L’Ange’s family intact. Jon never wanted to lead a pride, but the loyalty and devotion to one is ingrained in him. Kelvin was raised to punish anyone who questioned his king, but the calling to protect others runs through his veins just as deeply. To come out on the other side of the battle together, Jon and Kelvin will have to hold the darkness of solitary pride and broken hearts at bay—and find strength in belonging to something bigger than themselves.
I suspect Mary Calmes has no idea how much many readers not only appreciate her work but often need it simply to get through what would otherwise be a totally sucky week. She is my valium, my calming force, that which brings me peace and joy and helps me find the good in those whom I really don’t like on any given day.
That all being said, I couldn’t have asked for a better third story in this series. Jon is simply wonderful. The heart of a lion, but the soul of a lamb, the lion shifter has been heartbroken for the past year, ever since his true mate rejected him. Of course, Kelvin MacGurdy is a Fenrir, the guardian of the king, and considered by most to be a beast. He was bred for his position, literally, having been raised from birth to be a Fenrir, and he’d have to go through an excruciatingly painful ceremony to give up his vow to serve. Certainly his chances of even surviving the flogging, the bloodletting and the hunt that would follow are low to nonexistent—never mind the fact that the man who presented himself as his true mate is just that—a man.
Thank God for Roman Howell and his alpha mate, Quade Danas, who offered Jon sanctuary and a position in L’Ange, their chateau in Vermont. And thank God for Arman and Linus, the stewards of the estate, who have helped keep him sane this past year. It isn’t until a conclave of wolves seeks to hold a special ceremony at L’Ange that Jon’s life is turned upside down again. Accompanying the head of the conclave is his mate, Kelvin MacGurdy, but this time, Kelvin is seeking his mate and is more than willing to give up his position as Fenrir because the pain of living without Jon is killing him.
What follows is even more world-building than in the previous stories, but there’s also humor, heartache, pain, suffering, amazing transformations of various paranormal animals, mating, bonding, love, and romance. I don’t know if this is the end of the series, but whether it is or not, all of the principal characters of the three books are featured. Each has a role and a new destiny that’s fulfilled, and more surprises await the both the king—and readers—than anyone ever bargained for.
An extra-special and outstanding highlight for me was Kelvin’s Scottish accent. I can’t wait to hear how it sounds on audiobook, because even in print, it was amazing—hot, sexy, and just perfect. Thank you, Mary, for seeking out Caroline to help you get it right!
This was the best of the series and can be read as a standalone, but that would be a shame because of the principal roles past characters play here. I highly recommend reading the whole series and recommend this one to all fans of shifter stories and to those who simply love their alpha males to show their soft sides to their mates Or, heck, I’d recommend this series to any lover of MM romance, period. It’s too good to pass up.