Publisher: Fox Love Press
Release Date: September 12, 2019
Received From: Signal Boost Promotions
He’s not a wolf.
Devastated by the death of his best friend, Zio is a soldier with one thing on his mind: revenge. Consumed by a conflict that’s raged as long as he’s been alive, he’s had little time or inclination to learn the legends of the shifter world he was raised in.
And he certainly doesn’t have time to deal with a shifter of a different kind, even if it’s for the good of the war effort. For the good of his pack. The fact that he’s already crossed paths with the new face in his unit is almost irrelevant.
Do no harm. Give life not death: it’s the oath Devan was reborn to live by, so when he’s sent abroad to embed with a wolf pack as their resident healer, he doesn’t hesitate. In the supernatural world, some bonds are instant—soldiers become brothers, pack become family. But others run deeper and before long, Devan’s at the mercy of instincts he can’t control.
Zio’s inner wolf is desperate to be with Devan, while Devan struggles to keep the pack safe. But as the war escalates, and new love is tainted by anguish and pain, the battles within might prove the toughest of them all.
I won’t let him die.
ROMANTIC ORIENTATION: queer
TROPES: fated mates/soul bond, magical abilities, dislike to love, forbidden romance, found family
TAGS: adult, romance, fantasy, paranormal, paranormal romance, queer romance, queer characters
WARNINGS: war, violence, death, binary language, alcohol, grief, ableism, physical injury, childbirth, anti-native language, fire, vomiting, memory loss/amnesia
Once again, Garrett Leigh delivers a deliciously intense novel, and this time with an extra current of excitement as she brings us a new paranormal romance series!
I’m a fickle reader when it comes to paranormal/shifter romances–some I love, some I can’t get into, sometimes I even hate ones by my favorite authors. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it, so while I had total faith that Leigh would deliver a great story, I was worried that it wouldn’t work for me personally. But as usual with Leigh’s work, I had no cause to be nervous, because I absolutely loved this story!
It hits on several of my favorite tropes, starting out with the “we had a one night stand as strangers and oh my god YOU’RE the new person I need to work with?” trope. Obviously, as the reader, we know that Zio and Devan were going to have a rude awakening a few days after they hooked up (mostly Zio), but it didn’t stop me gleefully flipping from page to page, waiting for them to finally see each other again. And it really didn’t disappoint. While Devan basically figures it out not long after they part ways, it takes Zio seeing him there, among his pack, to fully process that this rando he messed around with is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Then, from there, we get to watch them try to resist the effect they have on each other–first as there’s a bit of dislike and then once they’re forbidden to mate by their alphas so as not to cause further turmoil in the war they’re battling. (It doesn’t work, obviously.)
And, of course, there’s one of my absolute favorite tropes: found family! Zio is an orphan who was rescued as a baby by his alpha, and he’s created a family with Varian and the other people in the pack. I loved reading the interactions between him and the other characters, seeing the different relationships and friendships he shares with the individual members, as well as the group as a whole. On top of that, I loved getting to watch them accept Devan into their family as he proves again and again how he cares about them and what a truly good person he is.
The end of the story left me wanting so much more from this little family, and I can only hope that Leigh publishes the next book really soon!
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer, cover artist, and book designer. Her debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards, and was again a finalist in 2017 with Rented Heart.
In 2017, she won the EPIC award in contemporary romance with her military novel, Between Ghosts, and the contemporary romance category in the Bisexual Book Awards with her novel What Remains.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.