Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review - Desert Wolf by Heather Long

Desert Wolf
by Heather Long
Series: Wolves of River Bend, #8
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 25, 2015

Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. A pack comprised of misfits who didn’t fit in their previous packs, cast offs discarded by their packs and forgotten wolves who rose to create a pack more than a century before in utter defiance of the order of the day. Sometimes pitiless and cruel, he wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a new place, a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack, means to change himself and he will find rebellion on all sides, not the least of which is his own defiant heart.

Sovvan Stark, Omega of Delta Crescent, lives a cherished, beloved life in the center of her pack, a delicate and hard won balance. Though she is not the only Omega, she is the most experienced with the tremors of pack upset when power shifts from Alpha to Alpha. When her Alpha approaches her about Sutter Butte’s request, Sovvan considers the matter for several long months. While she might hold within her the key to helping the Sutter Butte Alpha, the undertaking could very well kill her.

Accompanied by a single Hound, Sovvan begins a journey to help Cassius rebuild the foundation of his pack, but first she will have to transform him…

I was once again drawn into the world that Heather Long has created and found it hard to put this one down. This book was a bit darker than the others in the series that I have read, but that wasn’t a surprise since the Sutter Butte pack itself is dark. Even though this the eighth book in the series you can definitely read this as a standalone, but of course starting from the beginning will give a bit more insight into the dynamics between the packs and the alphas.

Cassius rules his pack with little tolerance for disobedience or challenge, using the threat of violence and consequence to keep everyone in line. His cold and ruthless rule results from the discord in his pack, but he wants to change that by finding a way to change how his pack operates and, if necessary, eliminating those who will stand in his way. As the story unfolds and we get to learn about Cassius’s past and his rise to alpha, it’s easy to see why most fear him. But it was also easy to understand why he would want more for his pack – a better way of life that will allow the pack more freedom and less bloodshed. And even though he can be ruthless, he also cares for his pack and takes care of them.

Sovvan was just perfect for Cassius. Her being an Omega was a critical part of Cassius’s plan to change his pack, but she didn’t let him push her around or force her into a decision she needed to make for herself. I loved that she was fierce and able to take care of herself and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she wanted. You could sense the need in her from the beginning to find herself, and it was clear the trip from her pack to Sutter Butte was her own journey of self-discovery. I loved her loyalty to her pack, but also her ability to see the bigger picture and do the right thing.

Cassius and Sovvan together were fun to watch and from their first encounter I knew these two would match up well. Sovvan never backed down from Cassius, yet she knew when to give just enough to soothe his alpha side. From the first moment they meet you could feel the chemistry between them, and I loved how their relationship evolved with the story and played into the events that unfolded.

You could definitely feel the darkness in the pack and the tension that always seemed to be present whenever the pack was around. There were many things happening in this book, from all of the pieces that Cassius had to put in place for his plan, to the internal issues of the pack. Heather Long did a fabulous job weaving all of the parts together to create a story that came together to leave me totally satisfied but wanting to know what is going to happen to next. Even though this can be read as a standalone, there is an overall story arc that seems to be coming to head and I can’t wait to see where the next book takes us.

I just love the world that Heather Long has created and find it so easy to get wrapped up in her characters and their emotions. Another great read by Heather Long that I would highly recommend.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

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