Only a privileged few know L’Ange’s head of security Arman de Soto is a shifter, and even fewer know he’s been systematically killing off a pack of werewolves. The reason for this vengeance is a secret Arman trusts with no one, quite the opposite of his obvious longtime pursuit of the château’s overseer, Linus Hobbes. Despite Arman’s reputation as a loner, the only thing he needs to complete his life is Linus. Predator and prey just don’t mix—but Arman won’t give him up.
Linus has lived alone for more than seven years, sheltered at L’Ange under an assumed name and hiding secrets of his own, including his terrifying attraction to the most dangerous man he’s ever met. Arman knows Linus should be afraid of the predator stalking him, but Linus is still drawn to him like a moth to a flame, no matter how much he tries to deny his instincts. It’s not until Linus’s past and Arman’s crusade exposes their secrets and opens L’Ange to attack that Arman realizes waiting any longer is a risk he just can’t take. So he’ll have to take his quest to the source of the threat in a gamble to protect L’Ange, Linus, and any future they might have together.
This was not your typical shifter story. Oh, no.
This was a Calmes shifter story. So it was shifters ON CRACK. In full military gear. With GUNS.
Also included: life-sucking ANGST.
But not logic.
Logic: who needs it?
There is an estate somewhere called L'Ange that houses a giant chateaux with decorations and a museum. All kinds of shifters live on this estate. There are jackals, a lion, a stag, and...wouldn't you like to know?
Arman, the narrator of the story, is a shifter, but he can mask his scent, and what animal he becomes is a big, bad secret. Arman is head of security at the estate and obsessively in love with Linus, a stag shifter. Linus was violated and kicked out of his fain (deer pack). Arman's mission is to own and avenge Linus.
Arman and Linus: their relationship, the way they dance around each other, bully each other. It...made...NO FUCKING SENSE.
Both MCs were full-on schizo and entirely inconsistent in their actions. There was a huge leap from Linus acting like he hated Arman to Linus begging for Arman's cock. It made me kind of dizzy.
Arman is a total and complete douche. He just is. And we're supposed to take it. And like it.
Calmes makes a big point of showing how isolated Arman is, how Linus is his ONLY ONE. Arman loves Linus to the exclusion of everyone and everything else, and he makes no apologies for it.
The story picked up after the halfway mark when Arman finishes what he started. But the plot is muddled and convoluted, and the characters' behavior isn't believable.
I'm not gonna lie. Because I'm a sick puppy, I liked all the hot, growly, alpha males running around. I am a sucker for Mine and Always and Love You and I Will Die if You Don't Fuck Me NOW.
Some of the shifter lore Calmes introduced, like the traditions of the fain and tales of Arman's non-pack, was pretty cool.
But the story bordered on nonsensical and tried too hard to be too many things. There were so many long, windy conversations, so much tortured internal dialogue. It talked round and round itself, with random details and dozens of secondary characters thrown in.
It was work to finish. WORK. I need more pleasure with the pain.