Genre/Tags: Gay Romance, PNR/UF, Humour, Snark, Some Violence, Enemies to Lovers 

Author: Eliot Grayson

Story Rating: 5 Stars

Narrator: Chris Chambers

Narrator Rating: 5 Stars 

Length: 8 hours and 53 minutes 

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible

Captured, imprisoned, and…falling in love?

Arik is many things. Shaman, necromancer, a little on the snarky side…no one could ever accuse him of being boring. But one thing he never intended to be was imprisoned by angry werewolves. Maybe casting that love spell on the sexy alpha pack leader wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Matthew Armitage has a problem. Several of them, actually. And the biggest one is Arik. The shaman can’t be trusted. He’s dangerous enough to get the entire pack killed. Matthew knows that. But knowing doesn’t make it any easier to keep his mind (and hands) off Arik. Surely everything he’s feeling is a side effect of the spell…right?

It’s not long before enemies of the pack start circling – including one intent on claiming Arik as his unwilling mate. If they have any hope of surviving, Arik and Matthew will need to work together. And if they want a shot at happily ever after…well, they’ll just have to cross that bridge when they get to it.

If they get to it….

Contains mature themes.


Original review of the e-book is here.

I’m really loving Chris Chambers narration of this series. His take on Nate and Ian was fantastic in The Alpha’s Warlock, book #1. As Arik, the untrusting, jaded, snarky shaman who is the sole voice of Captive Mate, Chambers took it to some sarcastic heights, and seemingly enjoyed the hell out of his delivery along the way. It was such fun listening to Chambers bring Arik and Matthew, his wolfy alpha mate, to life. They bounce off one another in ways that never ceased to make my day. Throw plenty of Nate and Ian into the mix, and this was good for my soul. Overall this series makes me laugh out loud in petty synchronicity. Nate and Ian were amazing, and Arik (in particular) and Matthew gave me a lot of fun via Chambers delivery of Eliot Grayson’s Mismatched Mates second book.

Matthew Armitage is the alpha of the Armitage pack, his brother Ian (book #1) is also an alpha but he’s the pack enforcer. Arik is the shaman who helped cause havoc at the end of The Alpha’s Warlock and put a love spell on Matthew. There’s worry that if Arik is killed then Matthew will also die. Of course, this hypothesis is aided and abetted by Arik himself – he’d like to keep on breathing. So they have to keep him alive but Nate and Ian aren’t too happy about it, the pack sustained losses when the Kimball’s fought the Armitage pack, so no good feelings there. Matthew is torn between wanting Arik for all the powerful mate reasons, and also wanting to rip his head off. It’s one hell of a conundrum. I think the following quote sums it up nicely…

So…. The Kimball pack are back in fighting mode again, this time with the Taft pack leader, Parker Taft, agitating trouble. He wants Arik back and Arik understandably doesn’t want to go back to the rapey bastard, so Matthew is a way of hedging his bets. I liked Matthew. A lot. He was tough but fair and loyal. And patient, definitely patient. He was stripped of his alpha status because of the love spell but he’s the heart and soul of the pack so you always know that won’t last too long. Besides, no one would want a pissed off Ian in their face and Ian will always support his brother.

Arik is not the easiest of characters to warm up to, he’s had some pretty awful things happen to him, which we get in his backstory as it progresses. However, he’s nothing if not a survivor, which I have a stack of respect for. He has so much self-doubt which doesn’t give him a lot of time for self-compassion, meaning he totally struggles with other people. He can’t find his equilibrium, but occasionally imagines what it would be like to fit in, be a part of something like Nate has found with Ian, and to be a part of a family for once. Well… Arik fits into this group of misfit mates well, he holds a degree in advanced snark and petty.

Fuck. It had taken a little bit of effort to lie, and that simply wasn’t on. I lied like I breathed, and I didn’t apologize for it — and if I had, I would’ve been lying.

But he can’t buy a clue for a while and it’s nice when he finally does.

This series is one of my favourites and I’m waiting (not so) patiently for the next book in the series. If you’re looking for a quality gay romance PNR/UF read, then this series delivers it. There’s very good world building, including magic and a bit of pack violence, plenty of humour and snark, and an enemies to lovers romance. Some interesting side characters make up the mix, Collin Kimball is one of them, and vampire Fenwick and his friend in paranormal activities, the mysterious (subatomic) Dor is… well, damned if I completely know but I’m here for it. I have the e-book, will get a paperback to go with The Alpha’s Warlock at some stage, and now I have the audiobook of Captive Mate. I enjoyed the vitality of Chris Chambers narration of a great book, but I highly recommend any format for your reading enjoyment of Captive Mate.