Seven years ago, my world ended.
Seven years later, my new life began.
It's been seven years since Lexi Knight lost her brother in a tragic accident. On the anniversary of his death, her brother's best friend shows up unexpectedly - a man she hasn't seen since the funeral. He is no longer the boy Lexi once knew, but a dangerous-looking man with tattoos and dark secrets. He broke her trust and abandoned her family, yet what he reveals makes it impossible to stay angry. Lexi has been secretly infatuated with Austin since childhood, so finding out he's a Shifter just makes him sexier. Dammit.
Austin Cole has returned to the city where he grew up, and just in time. He's lived a hard life these past seven years, and the shadows of his past are threatening to destroy Lexi's family. It's time that she learned the truth about her brother, but there is a shocking twist that Austin never saw coming. Now he must protect her family when her mother and sister wind up in mortal danger. Will Lexi learn to accept the truth about who he is, and can Austin salvage a relationship from the ruins of their past?
3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Supernatural, Werewolves, Romance
On the 7th year anniversary of her brother Wes’ death, Austin Cole returned home. Lexy hasn’t seen him since her brother’s death, when her world crumbled around her, and she is not willing to forgive him for leaving her family to suffer alone. Having Austin back has triggered something in Lexy that she can’t control and doesn’t understand. Her view on the world has shifted and she has been thrown into a group of shape shifters, something she never even knew existed.
I was conflicted over this book. I am not really convinced that I liked the story or the characters all that much. It was an interesting world that the author built with the different magical groupings like shape shifters (be it wolf or random other) as well as the mages and who knows what else. I just am not convinced I liked the plot of the story or Lexy too well.
The plot was a little of everything thrown together. We have Lexy finding out who she really is, the reveal of a supernatural community, kidnapping, lies, introduction of new packs, hierarchy of wolves and the mating situation, a deadbeat dad with mafia ties, murder, betrayal, pushy ex-boyfriend, infidelity, competition, home improvement, strippers, extended family, and I am sure tons else. Seriously, there were so many topics in this story it was hard to focus on what was suppose to be important. I felt like there was a defiant lack of focus to the plot.
Lexy started the book as kind of a loser, which yes I know sounds really harsh but I found her to be difficult to relate to. She was a 27 year old woman who lives in a small apartment in the town she grew up in working as a clerk at the candy shop she worked at since high school. She really just has no ambition and is content with nothing. I could not understand her at all. She does find some motivation and direction along the way, but really she just stumbled into a fortunate circumstance not of her own making. Also, she was a little wishy washy in her feelings towards people, like Austin for example. She wanted Austin for years, but then leads on another alpha male and seems indecisive towards them and her feelings.
Also, I am pretty sure that this book is supposed to be a romance first and for most yet there was not too terribly much romance between Austin and Lexy. They have a few sweet moments where he takes care of her, but that could also be classified as a big brother thing. I wanted more from the two of them, but it seemed they just fell into the relationship. There really was not so much heat or passion between them and it bummed me out. And the fact that alphas can have more than one mate and it is totally acceptable made me mad and Austin never refuted it or denied wanting more than one mate. And is Lexy his mate or just part of his pack? The letter he wrote her at the very end was really sweet, but it felt like it was a little too late in the story for me since I had already made up my mind about things. I knew where the story was going to end with the relationship status of those two, but it didn't progress the way I felt it should.
So the world building had me intrigued and I can see the potential for other books in the series to get into more depth, I just found myself not liking Lexy and I thought the plot was slightly convoluted. I will read the next book in the series to see if the story will come together better and because I was intrigued by Reno, who is in the next book.
I received this book from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.