Rating: 4.25 Stars

Publisher: Fireweed Publising, LTD

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Tags: Paranormal, Family, Series, Shifters (Bear, Hawk, Wolf), Some Humor, Can’t Be Read As A Standalone

Length: 318 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Amazon.com

This review contains spoilers from the first two books in the series.

Blurb –

A note from Audrey: Some series can be read out of order – this isn’t one of them. Start with Alpha and welcome to Ghost Mountain!

Lissa chose to stay, to stand with the tattered remnants of her pack as they try to make themselves whole again. She somehow didn’t expect it to try her patience quite so much. 

Which means it might be time for a meek bookkeeper to take matters into her own hands. 

Before her wolf does. 

“Unique and joyous fantasy as no one else writes it.” ~ Amazon reviewer

Review –

The first thing I need to stress is that this book can’t be read as a standalone. It picks up right where book #1 ended. There are so many characters and back stories in that one that reading #2 first would confuse you big time. For that reason, this review will contain spoilers.

My review of Alpha introduced most of the characters and their stories, so I’m not doing that again here.

Lissa, after being saved by Hayden, decides to stay with the Ghost Mountain pack after stressing the decision for weeks. The former alpha tried to kill her and her pup (Robbie) and she’s still finding herself having a difficult time trusting Hayden, the new alpha who saved her and Robbie’s life. So much of the pack disappeared into the woods as a result of the former alpha (Samuel). Now Lissa has taken it upon herself to try to bring them back. To say it’s difficult is an understatement. All they’ve known for the past 6 years is fear. The last thing they believe is that the new alpha is any better than the last one who ruled with violence and intimidation.

Hayden is nothing at all like Samuel. He grew up in a kind pack where all wolves had roles and were treated as equals. Yes, Hayden is the alpha and it’s his pack to lead, but he never makes anybody – even the most submissive wolves – feel anything other than appreciated and needed. I still adore Hayden. He’s so kind, so decent, and so patient with Lissa.

Ah, Lissa.

I get why she was hesitant to move forward with Hayden, who obviously wanted her. I get why she was battling herself over what could happen if she just opened her heart a little bit. I understand all that. Really. But… it went on way too long and I swear I thought I was going to end the book with them still dancing around each other. And you know what? That’s literally almost exactly what happened. I think it was at 96% of the book before she finally decided to do something and only then it was because Hayden had pulled back from her and even Robbie. He didn’t pull away because he didn’t want Lissa or because he didn’t want to be a father to Robbie. He wanted both desperately. He pulled away because his wolf’s patience was starting to wear thin. The closer he got to both the more he wanted them to all be a family. Not just pack, family.

I don’t have a problem with series that need a couple of books for the world building and character introductions. I don’t even have a problem with series that don’t have sex or any type of real intimacy in them as long as the story I’m reading is good. What I do have a problem with is reading two 300-plus books back to back waiting for something that was reduced to only a few pages. I know there are other books in the series, but I wanted more closeness with Hayden and Lissa before this one ended. I liked Hayden and Lissa together. They were meant to be together. I just wish I could’ve had more of them as a couple outside of just being pack mates.

I’ll stop on that for now.

Sweet Kelsey is back in her adorable glory, as are Reilly the bear shifter and other children I met in the first book. Rio and Kel, Hayden’s best friends who were present when he took down Samuel, are back and as awesome as ever.

I look at Kel, because even if my skills are a little rusty, I know the best way to fight this particular kind of fire is with more fire. “You’re single.”
He snorts. “This pack doesn’t exactly have a big supply of decent men to choose from.”
Rio grins. “I’m decent.”
“You’re straight. You’re also sitting on the sorting piles.”

There’s a mated lesbian couple in the pack, but I didn’t see it coming with Kel. Trust me, I’m not complaining. As a reader whose main genre is gay romance, I’m over here anxiously hoping that the author brings Kel and Rio together as a couple. It would be perfect. They would be perfect.

Quite a few new characters were introduced, most of which haven’t come back into the pack yet. There’s one in particular – Ravi. It’s bad enough I get all teary almost every time sweet Kelsey is on page, but Ravi almost killed me. There’s Bailey, who was mentioned a lot in the first book but wasn’t fully introduced until this one. The jury is still out on her. Dominant or no, I wasn’t fond of her attitude and the way she reacted to Hayden’s alpha wolf. I understand it to an extent, but it didn’t make me like her.

Adrianna Scott, Hayden’s amazing mother, is in this one more. She’s one of the best characters ever. She’s the mother everybody wishes they could have.

Overall, a good book. I liked seeing the pack come together more and watching Lissa finally get her head out of her ass (only way to put it) with regard to Hayden. I’m hoping the author gives them more alone time in future books.

But I really, really want to see Kel and Rio together. 😉

Two more books in the series have been published since I read this one. I hope to catch up on them soon. As frustrated as I got a few times reading Heart, I’m still eager to see what happens with the rest of the characters and the Ghost Mountain pack.