Quintessential Mary Calmes!
When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father's prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.
Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.
I chose this book because of the blurb but I had no idea the complexity of the story that I was about to dive into. There are three strong story lines that could have been books in their own right:
- Roman's accident and subsequent struggles to heal and re-enter his life
- Quade's back story and resolution
- The pack story line.
I was amazed at the amount of information and the incredible way that Ms. Calmes wove them together.
Quade is an Uber-Alpha, but has cut himself off from his family because of their rejection of him for being gay. He hasn't been home or spoken to anyone in his pack for almost 30 years. Then after a bad end to a relationship he moved on again until he ended up at the Howell's as their sons bodyguard. He has a habit of running instead of fighting back, but that's all about to change when the fight is brought to him.
Roman has been through Hell and survived, so he is not going to let little things like age or the word no keep him from what he wants. And what he wants is Quade! He will fight whatever and whoever, even Quade himself, to get the life that he deserves.
I loved the little town that this story is set in and the people in it really added to the story's appeal. As with most of Calmes work the main characters are engaging and likeable with strong secondary characters who you know have stories of their own that are just waiting to be told. I hope there will be more tales set in this world because I really want to know more about the horse, damn it!
There is quirkiness and humor, fights and assholes, love and healing... it's pretty much got the whole package. You will walk away feeling like a part of the story and wanting to know what happens next and for me that's what makes a great book.