This series is a bit unique compared to the usual shifter stories. This isn’t because the shifters are extravagant but the world they inhabit is. There’s outside forces like the Agency, which keeps shifters safe and keeps them from being outed to humans, and then there’s the Knights, who have a very real, very intense hatred for all kinds of shifters. There’s also the fact that there’s no chemical bonding shifters together; they mate when they fall in love and it’s as simple as that. I enjoy this series because it gives me the dose of paranormal I love and the uniqueness I crave.
This is the story of a blind cougar shifter, Travis, and the friendship he has with the town sheriff, Jack, who’s also part of the ruling wolf pack in town. Travis and Jack have been friends for years, ever since they met. The town, Haven, has been just as much a salvation to Travis as Jack’s constant presence is. While their feelings for each other constantly increase, they both know it’s not wise to start a relationship especially since Jack’s pack wouldn’t understand him taking a non-wolf shifter as a mate. Banishment is the possible outcome of acting on his desire for Travis but Jack’s not sure if he’s willing to risk it when he doesn’t even know if Travis feels the same. Each day Jack’s resolve to keep things platonic gets thinner and thinner, though, and when a spy for the Knights comes to town and threatens the peaceful existence of Haven, Travis’ past comes back to haunt him and Jack realizes his life is by Travis’ side. No matter what.
I’ve always had a soft spot for characters with disabilities. Travis being blind because the Knights made him blind is pretty heartbreaking but seeing the way he’s adjusted to his injury is amazing. There was no pity-party for Travis, he’s just resigned himself to the fact he’ll never be able to see. He’s filled with rage, though, because he lost his family to such a hateful organization. When he meets Jack, however, his rage is put on the back burner and he just tries to live his life in a new town.
I loved the interactions between Jack and Travis. They are good friends but Travis is grouchy sometimes and Jack still adores him. The connection and intensity between the two is very strong not just in human form but as shifters. Jack’s willing to give up everything for Travis once he knows Travis’s feelings are the same because they’ve managed to build a romance off their friendship. One thing I really loved about this book, though, was how Jack and Travis played together while shifted. It was so cute and I really enjoyed the scenes in their animal forms.
There were a few things I had a hard time with, though. Travis is completely blind in human form but as a cougar he can see outlines of shapes BUT there were bits and pieces of when he could see clearly as a cougar when the sun set. I didn’t understand how that was possible when it didn’t affect him unless he was looking at the sun at an exact moment. Beyond that, I wish there had been more information on Travis’s past, his family and how they were captured. I also felt like Jack’s family were a little too acceptable of their mating when they were so vehement that Jack was going to be banished after the threats were resolved.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. The characters and world are really interesting. The conflict was easy to follow and there’s still some suspense. We also get to know more about the Knights and there’s a very heartwarming fix to a certain issue that I’m not going to spoiler on but loved anyway. It ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, although, not technically but it feels like a set up for the next book. I’m really looking forward to reading the next one because things are starting to heat up between the Agency, the shifters and the Knights.
Note: While this book is the third in the series, so far they don’t seem to be related to anything other than by a minor character (an agency agent that plays a very, very small role in this book). Therefore, they may be read as standalones, if desired.