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Finley Cooper is tired of waiting. He’s spent the last two years, waiting for his destined mate to be ready to claim him. In deference to human laws, he’s agreed to put it off until he was eighteen. But now he is and his mate has a new set of excuses. Finley doesn’t understand it any more than his wolf does. And Finley’s beginning to wonder if Tanner really wants him or if fate made a mistake.
Tanner Pearce wants nothing more than to claim his mate. But Finley’s age worries him. He’ll never forget what happened when his best friend mated at Finley’s age, only to have that mate end up feeling trapped and breaking their bond. While rare, it can happen, and the fallout Tanner witnessed as his best friend tried to deal with the break would haunt him for years.
If that isn’t bad, when the future alpha of the Forbes pack claims his mate, it’s traditionally a public event. Neither Tanner’s nor Finley’s parents understand Tanner’s reticence over either issue, but Tanner is sure claiming Finley this soon is a recipe for disaster. However, Finley has had enough and when Finley threatens to find someone who will claim him if Tanner doesn’t, Tanner realizes he’s going to have to come to terms with his fears or risk losing his mate forever.
Q&A with Finley and Tanner
Thank you so much to Sandra for giving me time on her blog today! I hope you enjoy getting to know Tanner and Finley. Without further ado… here they are:
What are you most ashamed of in your life?
Both together: That’s easy. Tanner and Finley both laugh.
Tanner (looking at Finley): I think we’re both thinking the same thing.
Finley (nods): Yeah, no doubt. Those few weeks… I kind of wish I could just take them all back.
Tanner kisses Finley’s temple: I don’t know. I mean… I hated what happened. I am seriously ashamed of not talking to you like I should have. But I think it was something we needed go through.
Finley frowns. I suppose. I mean, I wish I’d been more patient—
Tanner: Baby, you were patient for two years. I’d think that’s plenty.
Finley shrugs. I was, true. I just… Finley sighs. You’re right.
Tanner grins. Finley narrows his eyes. The grin fades. Uh, right, so, um… next question?
*laughs* Right, so… Is there anything you've always wanted to do but haven't done?
Finley: I’d love to travel. I’ve done the trip to Oregon, of course. But I’d love to see New York and California. It takes a while. We don’t fly very well.
Tanner, muttering: That’s an understatement.
Finley chuckles. Yeah, it is. I want to see them with Tanner. I’d like to stop in Chicago for more than a few hours, you know. Just go places.
Tanner smiles. You know, I haven’t really been far, myself. Maybe it is something we could do together.
Finley beams. See?
Tanner rolls his eyes. I’ve already admitted I was wrong…
*grins* What are you most afraid of?
Tanner: Fucking up that epically again.
Finley chuckles. I doubt you will. I can’t think of anything you could do that would cause us to have those kinds of problems again. For me… it’s something happening to him. Losing him in another way because I know he’s not going to voluntarily leave me.
Tanner: Oh hell no.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Tanner: Getting my head out of my ass.
Finley bursts out laughing.
Tanner: What? It’s true.
Finley (still chuckling): No, you’re right. Um, for me, it would be not killing him. Finley points at Tanner with his thumb. I had more than a few times before he claimed me that I wanted to.
Tanner: I would have deserved it. Well, maybe not death.
Finley grins and nods. Maybe not death.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Tanner: My stubbornness.
Finley snorts, then clears his throat. You’re working on it.
Tanner grins. I am, that’s true.
Finley: I’m still kind of impulsive.
Tanner: You’ll grow out of that some.
Finley: I hope so. At least by the time you’re alpha..
Tanner chuckles. Yeah, that might be good. Not sure what an impulsive alpha-mate might do.Finley sticks his tongue out.
I quite liked this story, the first in what seems to become a nice series (#2 is already in the works and teased at the end of this one). I liked the mythology created here with wolf shifters and the rules they have in place, and how they bond/mate. The author did a fine job with her world-building. And it is through that world-building, and the rules in place, that the author creates the conflict between the two MCs.
Tanner is six years older than Finley, who is still underage when they first meet and recognize they are destined mates. While it's not unheard of to mate that young, Tanner has some issues and wants to wait and date Finley until the latter is of age. When that time comes, and Tanner still hesitates, Finley rebels and runs off all the way across the country.
This brings me to the part that I didn't like about this book, and where it lost points. For a good chunk of it (nearly half), Tanner and Finley are separated, physically, and somewhat emotionally. Their bond is not complete, because Tanner is an idiot and hasn't fully claimed his mate (for reasons that, while understandable, could have been cleared up with just one fucking conversation). So while at his hiding place, Finley meets another young man (Jamie) with whom he then messes around a bit, because, you know, hurt feelings and woe is me, because "my mate might not love me", since Tanner never actually said the words.
Okay, so both of them rate a bit high on the stupid scale, and while I can make some excuses for Finley, because of his age, I had a harder time forgiving Tanner because his actions, while possibly noble, almost cost him the best thing that ever happened to him.
But then Tanner gets a rude wake-up call which propels him into action. Their reunion was quite sweet, and hot, because Tanner pulls his head out of his ass for once, and does what he should have done much sooner.
Though, speaking of knotting, someone will have to explain to me how that actually works, if the base of the male organ swells, instead of the head. If the male isn't entirely inserted (balls deep, if you will), how then does swelling at the base prevent him from pulling out? Wouldn't it make more sense if the head of the dick in question swelled up instead? *ponders*
Once the two are reunited, and Tanner makes good on his promises, the rest of the story is basically how they reconnect and finalize their mating bond. There's a great moment during the mating ceremony when Tanner finally realizes how much of an ass he's really been, and the mythology created by this author really made its point. Nicely done, that.
So, yes, I enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to book 2, where Jamie (poor guy) gets to find his own mate. Who may or may not be human. Judging by the first chapter, it's gonna be a great book indeed.
Told from the 3rd person, switching view points between Tanner and Finley (and Jamie at the very end), we get the full range of thoughts, emotions, and actions. The writing is crisp and fairly straight-forward, descriptive but not purple, and the author made me believe that their romance is true and real.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
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About the author:
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
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