I've read this series almost exactly 3 years ago (in June 2018). I ADORED the first 3 installments but frankly I remember very few details about the series itself. It's been a LONG time and as I read quite a lot (not exactly this year but the 2 before for sure) I got into this one expecting to enjoy it mostly as it is. Yet the last few books I've read by Mary led me to realize while I've read most of her published work, I've drifted apart from her writing. These days I need something different so it's no wonder this book or rather, novella, was just an okay read for me.
We've met Tucker Flynn in the previous installments though I don't actually remember the details of what brought him to be severely wounded and stuck in L'Ange where he feels nobody likes him. Well, he barely likes himself so it's no wonder he is so insecure. Living in the cabin in the woods is preferable. But something strange is happening, animals are migrating, running away. From what/who? Since no-one believes him, he goes to check it out on himself.
It doesn't take him long to find himself in another accident but when he wakes up he finds a very intriguing man beside him - Kier of the fain of Segh (who doesn't speak a word Tucker can understand). On their first encounter Kier KNOWS Tucker is his mate and it doesn't take long for Tucker to realize it as well but there is a reason the animals are running away and the deer shifters have come to visit L'Ange not wanting to go until SOMETHING important happens. They don't expect they'll actually meet a black deer though..
In a way I've already said too much.. So I'll just add a few bits. There is NO romance in this book. It's an instant attraction turns into animalistic need. Tucker and Kier can barely speak so all we see it the want and possessiveness (mostly from Kier's direction). The story is told from Tucker's POV so there is no way of understanding how Kier came to L'Ange, maybe what made him come there in the first place, what he was searching for and what his journey has been like. There are MANY things left undisclosed about Kier and I was quite disappointed that though the story itself had a lot of potential it ended with Tucker's hope to be the kind of man Kier deserves and build a real relationship with him.
I would have accepted the whole mate thing better if we had an actual story, relationship buildup afterwards or a real history and explanations about the characters - mostly Kier who I know absolutely NOTHING about. We do get more of the characters from the previous installment but it doesn't help with what's missing in this one.
Love how engaging the books are. Literally didn't want to put them down.
1. Old Loyalty, New Love [Quade Danas & Roman Howell] (Published 12 December 2013) ★★★★★
2. Fighting Instinct [Arman de Soto & Linus Hobbes] (Published 8 December 2014) ★★★★★
3. Chosen Pride [Jon Slade & Kelvin MacCurdy] (Published 26 December 2016) ★★★★