Victor left behind a life of crime to focus on a new vision–helping his alpha build an island sanctuary for werewolves. Harsh experiences prepared him for the hardships involved, except when it comes to dealing with the young female refugees of the brutal Boston pack–especially Simone, who rouses his inner wolf like no other. A woman he must resist, or risk becoming just the latest man to make demands on her.
Born to wealth and privilege, Simone lost everything when she fell for the seductive whispers of the textile heir who turned her. Once adrift, now she is fired by a new sense of purpose–the chance to broker peace between werewolves and European wizards. Yet even as Europe beckons, her instincts–the same ones that led to trouble before–keep drawing her back to Victor.
During a sailing trip to the mainland for supplies, Victor finds it impossible to hold himself aloof from the warm, engaging Simone. And when a winter storm traps them together during a full moon, she breaks through his walls so easily and completely, the question is no longer how he’ll stay away, but how he’ll let her go.
This book is the second in a series of prequels to Rogers’ Red Rock Pass series. Although I don’t feel it’s necessary to read these books before reading the Red Rock Pass series, I would highly recommend reading A Safe Harbor, the first book in this series, before reading this one. Many of the details of the first novella are vital to the story here. I don’t think you’ll have as great an appreciation for the characters if you skip A Safe Harbor. As it was, I had to set this one aside in favor of a re-read of the first book to catch up.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Victor after reading the first book. In it, he was angry, bitter and never minced words. Although I can like that in a man, I wasn’t sure Victor had enough redeeming qualities. I should have know Rogers wouldn’t disappoint me.
Although Victor is gruff and outspoken about the things he dislikes, he’s a very honorable man with strong convictions. His sense of right and wrong is very defined, and he knows his responsibility is to take care of those who are weaker than himself. Since many of the new wolves on the island they’re setting up as a sanctuary were abused in one way or another, his instincts have been battering him like crazy to step up and make them feel better. He’s wanted Simone from the beginning, but he won’t pursue her because he thinks she’s with someone else. He doesn’t want to risk her happiness by forcing his suit if she doesn’t want it.
I liked that he held himself in check because he wanted Simone’s happiness above all other things. I did wish at times he’d say “screw it” and toss her over his shoulder, but that would have gone against everything he believed in and I wouldn’t have loved him as much as I did.
Simone wasn’t an alpha wolf, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t strong. She wanted Victor and she pushed for him to see her as a woman, not as a wounded victim. It wasn’t easy, but she told him how she felt and chided him for hiding his feelings from her. I did find myself becoming impatient with her over her residual guilt for not saving everyone from their original tormentor. Although I understood her feelings, it was hard not to become frustrated when it was obvious there was nothing she could have done. Luckily she had friends who were willing to point this out, so it was a minor thing and not something that took away from my overall enjoyment.
I really liked Simone and Victor together. They had chemistry in spades. It was obvious to everyone – the reader included – that they were meant to be together. It took them a little longer than the rest of us to figure it out, but I enjoyed watching them get there.
There was no outside conflict here. I liked that the demons they had to fight weren’t flesh and blood, but borne of events from their past. I do wish we’d gotten more of Victor’s history. It seemed like there were things he was holding back. I really wanted to see him open up and share his thoughts, feelings and past with Simone.
Overall this is a sweet story of two people coming together to find love, acceptance and understanding. I wish it had been longer so the relationship could have been more fully explored, but enjoyed it for the most part.
4.25 out of 5
Check out my review of A Safe Harbor here.
This book is available from Samhain Publishing. You can buy it here in e-format.