It doesn’t take Hayden Garrett’s college degree to figure out why Officer Josh Peterson is the last man alive he wants to face. Not because of the council’s harebrained idea to broker peace between their clans.
It’s the sweaty palms that prove Hayden never got over his embarrassing attraction to his alpha rival. Mate with him? Nothing fills Hayden with more desire—or dread. Josh doesn’t have a gay hair in his fur. At least not one he owns up to.
Despite Josh’s reputation for being a connoisseur of female flesh, he’s always cared about Hayden. In a different world, they might have been friends. Now, face to face after five years, the bitterness in Hayden’s eyes fills Josh with regret for what could have been—should have been.
As Hayden and Josh journey through rituals—and intimacies—that will knit their souls for life, passion and anger flares, revealing a powerful secret. The truth about a long-ago sharing of hearts, bodies and souls that ended in tragedy.
I so wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. I liked the premise a lot: two young men fallimg in love even though they are from different, rival packs, and both heir apparent to the alpha. An incident in their shared past drives them apart, and the book alternates between the retelling of that past and their interactions in present day. However, the book lost me in a couple places. First and foremost, although it's quite clear they both are to become pack alpha, neither acted alpha at all. They were both sweet boys at 22 and although they had matured in the 5 years between portions of the story, at 27 they still retained that same sense of innocence. Don't get me wrong - it made them really likable, wonderful guys. It just didn't fit in with their portrayal as alpha heir-apparent.
The story itself was told in an innovative way, unfolding both current events and past events at the same pace in alternating chapters, from both POVs. And while I enjoyed it, there seemed to be a lot missing, from pack interaction to a lack of repurcussions on both sides from the past. I would have loved to see either of them interacting with their pack, but it truly seemed as though they were marooned on a deserted island - almost nobody else appeared in the book. On one hand, this is good, because the focus was definitely on the two heroes, but on the other hand, they were being forced together because of their packs - so why don't we see any pack action?
Hayden and Josh are both sweet guys, and I enjoyed their journey back to one another. They are caring, passionate, and nice. The kind of guys you'd imagine as your good friends. I liked that about both of them. The problem was that since they were both "alpha", in my mind, that wasn't how they should come off all the time. And in the end of the retelling of the events of 5 years ago, Hayden came off like a scared guy, rather than an alpha. Same with Josh. Although their weakened states were explained (they'd just mated), and they were still quite young (22), I still didn't buy the attitude that was as un-alpha as they come in a dangerous situation.
So while I liked both Hayden and Josh, and the plot itself had terrific potential, it didn't gel for me. I wasn't quite sure why they were wolves, other than to drive their potential "forced mating" and to allow the author to mention their mating scent ad nauseum. Oh, and in one of my pet peeves, Josh called Hayden "Alpha" during sex. [insert: Cowboy here and gag me]. It is a serious pet peeve of mine when characters call their lovers by a stupid pet name all through sex. Once, maybe. But during sex "that good", one would assume they could hardly remember their own name, much less use someone else's.