Phoenix Reborn by J.D. Tyler
Series: Alpha Pack #7.5
Also in this series: Cole's Redemption
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: March 15th 2016
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From paranormal romance star J.D. Tyler comes a sensual tale of the Alpha Pack—a top secret team of Navy SEALs with supernatural abilities... Wolf shifter and Firewalker Phoenix “Nix” Monroe has finally met his ultimate Bondmate—Alpha Pack nurse Noah Brooks. Unable to accept his own sexual identity, Nix rejects Noah despite the intense attraction he feels towards him. By the time Nix realizes he has cast aside the love of his life, it may be too late to save Noah from a terrifying enemy... Includes a preview of Chase the Darkness Praise for the Alpha Pack Novels “Shifter heroes whom readers will fall head over heels for.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Angela Knight “Rapid-fire…red-hot.”—Publishers Weekly “Amazing characters, wonderful drama...hot and to die for.”—Dark Faerie Tales
There’s a lot of angst packed into this short story. Nix and Noah are mates, but Nix has been avoiding Noah and pushing him away for some time, because he grew up with an uber religious father and he doesn’t want to accept he’s gay. He’s fine with being bi, but to come out as openly gay is hard for him.
Noah is convinced if he can just get Nix to spend some time with him, Nix will realize how good they are together. When Noah is attacked and wounded, Nix takes him home to care for him..and Noah’s dream comes true, they connect and Nix realizes how wonderful it is between them. But he still can’t accept Noah publicly, and that really begins to bother Noah.
Noah figures if he can just prove he’s good enough, Nix will finally mate-claim him. When an old enemy of the pack suddenly strikes again, Noah is caught in the crossfire..and Nix realizes he’s wasted precious time.
I’ve been reading these books intermittently and out of order. I feel like I’ve missed some major things by not reading all the books, but I wasn’t so lost I didn’t feel like I could keep going with the story. I liked both Nix and Noah separately, but together they needed a lot of work. Because of Nix’s upbringing, it was understandable why he had such a hard time accepting his mate was a man. That didn’t excuse his terrible behavior toward Noah, however, and I admit there were several times I wanted to smack him.
Noah was openly gay and more than willing to mate with Noah, but I wish he’d been a bit more confident in himself. That Nix made him feel like he had to prove himself – be better than he was – before he’d be a good enough mate really made me angry, at both of them. I wanted Noah to recognize his own worth and tell Nix to shove it. Instead he kept trying to prove himself.
In this case, I think the sex came at a detriment to the romance. When they were together they were having sex, and it felt like that was all there was between them. We saw flashes of the couple they should be, but there wasn’t enough focus on their emotional connection as there needed to be to make their One True Love believable.
Ultimately, I think it was the page count that really hurt this story. If they’d had a bit more time to develop their relationship, I think it would have been more believable.
For all that, this wasn’t a bad read. I easily fell into the story and, like I said, I liked both Noah and Nix. I just didn’t completely buy their romance.
3 out of 5