Strength of the Pack - Kendall McKenna This review can be found at The Armchair Reader.

4.5 stars

When I first read the blurb, I thought it sounded a bit vague but after reading this story, I realized that it is pretty dead on with explaining the book without giving away too many details. I appreciated that while reading because I didn’t feel like I knew everything that was going to happen. With that said, I’m not going to reiterate the story because I’ll give away more spoilers than I want to.

I loved this story, though. I loved the connection between Lucas and Noah. As Noah’s Lieutenant, Lucas is a bit weary of Noah and having to command him. As a Sergeant and Lucas’ Team Leader, Noah is the True Alpha of all the weres and while he’ll humor his commanders, he doesn’t submit to them. I took great delight in Lucas’ reaction when Noah finally submits to him. Lucas was so adorably confused and excited. He had no idea what was going on but he secretly loved every move that was made between them. One thing I really loved, though, was how dominate Noah was but then how pliant he became at Lucas’ touch. It was so nice to finally see a story where the alpha doesn’t always have to be an alpha. Lucas, while physically smaller and a human, was Noah’s Dominate and had a lot of control over Noah. Seeing that dynamic between them and how they balanced each other was great because it heightened the intensity between them. It’s one of the things that made the story so appealing for me. I just found them extremely hot and, even though I’m a stickler when it comes to a lot of sex, I couldn’t get enough of them together.

Ms. McKenna is still a relatively new author in the m/m genre. However, she seems to offer something you don’t find in military stories that often (at least I haven’t) and that’s actual detailed combat in the war. This story is rich in that aspect and it gave me an inside look into the military lingo and everything associated with it. She doesn’t shy away from the missions they go, the situations they have to get through or the tension they constantly feel for being in Afghanistan. It’s something I really loved about this story because it placed me in the heart of the war and made me feel like I was there. Another thing I enjoyed was, with the relationship between Noah and Lucas, Noah tried to explain their connection to Lucas by using stories from history. I found these hysterical and fascinating for how the author put a spin on them to include werewolves.

While I very much enjoyed the book, and I desperately want to give it the highest rating possible, I did have some problems with the story. It starts off rather confusing. For someone as me, who doesn’t understand much of military speak, it was hard to understand what was going on, what they were saying and all that. I grew used to it but those first few pages were rather hard to get through. In that respect, there’s also a lack of world building and details about the weres, how they were put in the limelight, when it all happened, etc. Because of that, I still have a ton of questions about them. My main niggle was how the wolves were made. Were they all born like Noah or are they turned by other weres? If that’s the case, why doesn’t Noah turn Lucas so that they can both be weres?

Aside from that, I found Lucas a bit dense who had severe horse blinders on towards the end of the story. It grew slightly annoying because he had all his answers right in front of him but he refused to look. This lead to him and Noah putting off talking until quite literally the end of the book. I guess, when you look at it, Noah and Lucas portrayed the stereotypical guys that don’t communicate and while they had this awesome ability to mentally communicate and did rather well, they still found vocally expressing themselves as weak or made them too vulnerable to do, I suppose. Either way, I loved it because it caused some conflict but then hated it because I wanted to shake them at times.

Overall, I still found this book phenomenal. I was on the edge of my seat because the story has a lot of action and suspense. Beyond that, I loved the development between Lucas and Noah. At times, I wanted to shake them but mostly I just loved them and wanted more of them. While it’s heavy in action, it still gives off a good deal of romance and ended sweet, which satisfied my need for an HEA. I’ll anxiously be awaiting the next in the series. Until then, I’m left to wonder, will there be more Lucas and Noah? Or will we get a new couple? I’m hoping for both!