[Ed Note: WARNING: HERE BES Spoilers, A.K.A. the End of the Book…. Proceed With Caution…. Also, we moved this post to show up once the book was released.]
First off, let’s get one thing straight here. If you have read the most excellent Cascadia Wolves eBook series, you are gonna buy this book. No question! You will get this book and read it because Enforcer and Tri Mates was Werewolf Romance crack.But, then I am left trying to explain my allergic reaction to reading this last entry in the series. That is where I ran into the proverbial brick wall. I love Lauren Dane. I love her families and I love her complex worlds and I like her not making her characters too omnipotent and rich and spoiled, because when she writes normal everyday characters with warm families, and difficult but reasonable limitations and life experiences, she so rocks.
So why did I not like this book?
After sitting on this review for a while I can only summarize it felt to me like Lauren undermined her own strengths here for the sake of writing a straight forward romantic story with simple actions and a pat ending, that’s why! This final book called for acknowledgment of all she had created in the course of the series and it just seemed to fail in that regard.
Grace Pellini, the most evil villain Warren Pellini’s sister, turns out to be Cade Warden’s fated mate. This is a damn good setup for the big finale here – in theory. I still like the drama of my own idea better – Lex Warden dies and Cade is left to take care of and mate with Nina – but I am a dark dark horrid Pig that thinks younger brothers make great targets.
Anyway, Lauren’s idea here does not bother me so much. In fact, putting Cade on his own away from Cascadia to handle the Warren Pellini problem and then introducing his mate is an excellent choice with a lot of potential that gets him off balance and makes things more intense.
What actually happens… Cade meets Grace. Cade jumps Grace. Cade drags Grace back to Cascadia. HUH!?!?!?! With Nina preggers and stuck in bed? WTF!?
Cade tells Lex and Nina the good news on the phone and they turn into these strange alien harpies I did not know. They started acting totally out of character making absolutely no sense with their reactions. Cade is their Alpha right? They act like nasty spoiled children. Very un-family like and WTF?!
So here we go down a path I was totally uncomfortable with…
Why put pregnant Nina in danger by dragging Grace back to his Cascadia house, thus making everyone there great big targets?
Why was Lex, a life long werewolf and Cade’s brother, so down on Cade for mating with Grace? When he knows from his own experience MALE WEREWOLVES HAVE NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER!?
Why was the threat of the Pellini organization kept so remote to our heroes? Half the time I was reading this book, I felt they were all sitting around watching CNN and talking about the latest Pellini attack, like we all do about the Iraq War. In other words, they had no personal involvement until the end, when Warren Pellini’s minions finally show up to threaten Grace at the airport.
Why was Warren Pellini, who Lauren expertly made into a very evil and unstoppable corruptive force, so easy to take out in a one on one duel the end? I mean Lauren pointed out several times that Warren was not a “real” alpha. She also shows how he runs the group even here in this book:
Warren’s spies were everywhere, she trusted absolutely no one, not even her own parents.
To me this type of enemy is complex and very dangerous because you could take out Warren but his organization makes the next in line just as evil and just as dangerous. In other words, not only would every rogue werewolf be in the pack hierarchy, but also “only there for their own benefit,” making it not only an unstable organization, but also unstoppable and highly adaptable evil-wise.
So at the end Warren Pellini poisons the Mega Alpha which forces Cade to go one on one with Warren. Why did it take so long for this to happen if this was all that had to be done? The aftermath being Cade becomes this Supreme-ruling-Alpha and everyone plays nice THE END. ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Don’t get me wrong. I hope Lauren takes all her strengths she has shown in the Cascadia series, lists them out, perfects each one, and then mixes them with the stuff I loved in the Chase series. I would so be drooling over reading about blue collar werewolves in small towns trying to just make a living and find true love. I know I am sorta suggesting perfecting a formula out of all this. But you know what? A good formula can be so worth the effort especially if it makes for a juicy series of books.
Cade Warden has put his Pack first for most of his life and now Warren Pellini and his thugs threaten everything he holds dear. Into that life of intense focus and increasing loneliness walks the woman he’s been waiting for.
Grace Pellini isn’t just Cade’s mate, she’s the sister of his greatest enemy and she’s been putting herself in grave danger to gather information to aid the Nationally Allied Packs. Cade is everything she could have hoped for in a man even if he is overprotective and pushy at times.
Against the backdrop of their increasing passion and deepening bond, they race against time to find a key to stop Pellini’s biological weapon. And then the stakes rise again when Pellini calls an ancient Challenge. It’s up to Grace to stand by and let her mate risk everything for his people. And his life is in her hands.
Read an excerpt.
Read more from Teddypig at The Naughty Bits.