Jon and Kelvin's story started in the last few chapters of the previous installment (I really do think if you haven't read the first two, reading this one would spoiler.. better start at the beginning..), when Jon came to show his support of Arman and mostly Linus when he confronted the ones who cast him out all those years ago even after a horrible abuse he went through. Kelvin is the "fenrir" the champion of the "Wolf King", he was there looking for whomever was killing off an entire pack. That would be Arman.. When all business is finished and Kelvin and Jon stand one in front of the other it's obvious for the both of them they are mates. The pull towards one another is TOO strong to be anything else.. Yet Kelvin refuses Jon. He has his duties as fenrir - the champion of the king. Heart broken Jon leaves back home.
We've met Jon Slade (our sole POV in this one) in the first installment when the beautiful Lion Shifter is paid to seduce Roman Howell the very rich owner of the L'Ange estate. Roman and mostly Quade sees right through him, but instead of throwing him out, Roman decides to find a place for him in the estate. Shadowing Linus doesn't really work for Jon so Roman finds out things for him to do, and now, after returning heart broken to L'Ange he decides to give himself to Roman and his mission for him and build himself a future he can be proud of, even if the one person who could be his love, his home and his family - doesn't want him. Linus was a bit mean to him about the whole thing but I guess that was his way to make Jon move on with his life which he did his best to do.
Kelvin MacCurdy thought he did the right thing when he refused Jon but living without him is truly hell. Yet leaving isn't really an option now is it? Not when he is about to be bonded to a woman he needs to impregnate to make the next fenrir.. Fenrir might sound like a great position, but he is actually considered not more than a beast by the Wolf lore. Yet when his King asks to have his next celebration at the L'Ange estate he realizes he is going to meet face to face the man he left behind and that might prove to be more difficult than he could have anticipated..
When Jon and Kelvin meet it's obvious neither can ignore one another. What they have is fated. I'm not a big fan of the "true mate" concept when it comes with nothing but huge lust and unbearable need to be with one another, and I wasn't especially impressed since we had another couple - a new friend of Jon and Kelvin closest friend becoming true mates as well. For me, the whole beginning of this book, maybe even till the third mark was a bit OTT (which is why I'm reducing a star of my review..).
The big mess, or rather the excitement for me as a reader, started when Jon and Kelvin stand in front of the Wolf King and his Queen. It wasn't just the talk of what would happen to the two of them, it was also a HUGE revelation of Roman's past, his parents, and mostly his mother and her decisions to bring the shifters she brought into L'Ange starting with Quade. I really enjoyed it. The dynamics between the members - Quade, Roman, Jon, Linus - was a pleasure to read. I'm really glad Mary gave us such a beautiful explanation to everything we've read from the start. Yet after all those sweet things were cleared, came the part that broke my heart - the fate of a banished fenrir. In the end I think everyone got the lesson they deserved, the Wolves had their own.. as did Kelvin who learned about family, something he never had. He got a real one not only in Jon but with Quade, Roman, Arman and Linus. It all came with a price, but in the end it was all worth it.
I really DID enjoy this one. Yeah I had my misgivings, mostly about the first part, and a bit of frustration with understanding Kelvin's Gaelic speech but it was really a grand finale of a great series. I'm going to miss all of them for sure!
19-23 June 2018