Author: Catherine Lievens
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/15/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Gay Romance, Paranormal
Mal isn’t the only human in the Gillham Pack, but he is the only unmated one. He knows most members view him as an outsider for that, but he has his friends, and it’s enough for him. That’s what he tries to convince himself of anyway.
Will still isn’t over Heath, even though his ex-boyfriend mated with Jayden nine months ago. It’s not only the fact that Heath mated that hurts him. Heath lost his memory, and he doesn’t remember Will and the years they had together. Will knows it’s not Heath’s fault, but he still keeps his distance, even if that means keeping away from the only family he has.
Will and Mal crash into each other and Will immediately realizes what Mal is to him. The distance between their homes put a strain on their budding relationship, as does the reappearance of Mal’s abusive ex-boyfriend, and the ever-present danger of the new council trying to get rid of the pack. Will they be able to find solutions to their problems or will one of them finally tear them apart?
Sometimes you have to get over bad memories to create new ones.
Trevor has known who his mate was for years, but he’s so painfully shy and insecure that the most he’s done to woo him has been leaving him cupcakes on his porch. He knows he’s going to lose him if he doesn’t finally make a move, though, and with a not so gentle push from two of his friends, he calls Micah.
Micah is still dealing with bad memories from his shifter ex-boyfriend, and he’s glad when he meets Trevor. Trevor looks unassuming and sweet, and Micah is thrilled, until he finds out Trevor is just like his ex. He runs, thinking he’ll never see Trevor again.
Family and friends conspire to get Trevor and Micah together, and it works, until Micah discovers his father has been hiding a secret that could put Trevor and the entire pride in danger. Will Micah and Trevor’s fragile relationship survive, or will the past push them apart?
What you’ve been waiting for usually happens when you stop hoping.
Simon has been watching all his friends find their mates and fall in love, but he’s still waiting for his. He knows he’s young and that he has time, but time doesn’t keep him warm at night and doesn’t make him feel loved. He yearns to have that, especially after growing up with his parents and his brother.
Malik is both the alpha of his school and a council member. When Kameron asks him and his best friend, Quincy, to help deal with Tom, the man who’s dead set on eliminating him, the last thing Malik expects is to meet his mate. He knows they’ll have to talk and to make decisions, but Simon makes what he wants very clear, and Malik doesn’t even think of saying no.
Simon and Malik don’t waste time and mate right away. However, Tom is still threatening, and Malik, along with Kameron and Quincy, need to find a solution, or they could lose everything.
Okay so strictly speaking, I probably shouldn’t be reviewing Mal and Trevor together since they are from two different series. However, as you know, these two series are so entwined in my mind that I can’t help but review them together. Well, that and I have both to review right now because I took the time to re-read the Whitedell Pride and Gillham Pack series before I read Mal. Which meant I had two to review at the same time. Okay, that is enough excuses. On to the review.
Together these two series account for over 30 novellas. There are a lot of similar character and names, and just a lot of names in general to remember. I have to re-read the rest of the series periodically to keep them all straight.
It was especially important before Mal as both characters are ones we have seen before. Ones with deep ties to the Whitedell Pride and Gillham pack. They are both looking for their places in the world now that the lives they knew have been turned on their ears.
As with all great shifter crack, these two characters searching for meaning in their lives conveniently turn out to be mates. As such they are instantly attracted and start to fall in love from the moment they meet. If you can’t suspend that bit of disbelief, you will never enjoy these types of shifter stories.
As their relationship grows, they both have to overcome their ingrained fears and choose happiness. They also have to overcome Mal’s abusive ex. There has to be some conflict somewhere, of course. That conflict is quickly dealt with and Mal and Heath can have their HEA.
Trevor’s story is a bit more heartbreaking. Certainly, the scene where he finally gets up the courage to reveal his nature only to be rejected is heartwrenching.
Trevor and Micah don’t have that “of course, they are mates” moment so many shifter crack stories have. Trevor has known about the mating for years and has somewhat engineered the meeting. You can probably see the “twist” coming a mile away, but I didn’t expect the suspense to be too great.
In the end you have a kind of strained but genuine mating that will probably last. Only time will tell.
One thing I noticed with these stories is the fact that the editor failed to pull the “Britishisms” out of these American-set stories. We don’t say “Half Seven” among other minor infractions. This bothered me more than it might you. Take from that what you will.
Simon is one of those characters you can’t help but love. One for whom you can’t help but want everything in the world. In his story, Lievens gives him just that.
She gives him a powerful and protective, but loving and open mate. She gives him a mate who will stand up to those who would put Simon down. She gives him a mate who is proud of Simon for who Simon is, and one Simon can love without reservation.
I adore Simon’s story and have already read it twice.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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