YES! This book was everything I wanted it to be and more! The best ending for Axton and Leander's story (though I wouldn't object to getting more of them!). If you haven't read the previous two – YOU MUST – but also please don't continue reading. Spoilers ahead (at least for the 1st and 2nd novels).
While Axton and Leander weren't really a couple at the end of the 1st installment, during the 2nd it was obvious these two are a done deal. Living in LA together might not be exactly what Axton had in mind, but he isn't willing to leave Leander so he stays longer and longer. I’m sure they would have found a way to settle this issue but something FAR worse breaks them apart – Axton's ex – Dana Weiss – is determined to take Axton way from Leander simply for being a Human.
Dana puts a lot of effort – and pressure – on the guys but until the final escalation when Leander is badly hurt – Axton wouldn't consider the unthinkable – leaving Leander behind. But that's exactly what he does – to keep Leander safe. That's where the previous installment ended.
For more than half of the book Leander and Axton are separated. Leander dealing with his recovery as well as trying to find Axton (if he wants it or not!). He made a vow to find him and he WILL. Together with Sara as well as his sort of best friend – New York – Not the city – New York consul they work together with everything he has gathered thus far. He wasn't easy to deal with - mentally and physically - but he had good reasons to be upset and frustrated. I had a lot of respect for how determined he was even while dealing with so much difficulty. Yeah he was a douche to Christina as well as Sara, but my heart ached for how much he wanted and needed Axton by his side and the way Axton was torn away from him.
While Dana was a true villain in the previous installment, and he behaved HORRIBLY in this one as well, he was still a tragic character. There are many 'complications' in his life. In his head and maybe even in his heart he had good intentions but the execution was horrendous. It started with how he treated Axton before he brought him into his pack. I won't say anything about it besides it was HEART BREAKING. Axton on the one hand has so much will and control, yet without the promise of Leander the future seems so grim. It was a constant battle.
Later on, meeting the pack he realizes how sick it is and even though he finds Jack whom he likes (and becomes a friend) he doesn't even try to learn their names. There is also Helen. Such a tragic character yet I liked the resolve she gets at the very end. It's not exactly a "happy ending" but I think it was enough.
Being a part of a pack yet doing so while living a lie – as Dana wouldn't admit the WHOLE truth about why Axton was here and why he was "half" a prisoner, was especially hard for Axton. Which is also why he finds it hard to connect to the people / Werewolves around him. But this is his life now. Until he can maybe find a way to break the bonds to his promise. He has few ideas but though everything he went through changed him – It didn't change him enough to become a blood thirsty killer.
When Leander and Axton FINALLY meet it somehow still surprised me. While Axton was able to get away physically, he still had a few things to do before he could leave this pack behind. Part of it was finding a way to make Dana focus on something else besides running around after him.. He had a plan, but let's face it, Leander's is better hehe He also makes Axton deal with more than he thought he will which was sweet and heartfelt. I really likes how Axton's life and past were explained. I didn't expect to get any of that.
There's a bit more to the story actually. Wayne really close this series in a wonderful optimistic way. If I wasn't sure about the "how" of their relationship at the ending of the 2nd installment (mostly about Axton's sacrifices), I can see it now far better. They progressed a lot as a couple in this one, even while apart. I think it was the time to consider and re-consider what are the important things in life. What having a partner means.
While there is A LOT of heaviness in this story, it's also funny and engaging (like the previous ones). Axton is simply endearing and the trio of Leander-Sara-New York were SO MUCH FUN. There's also a bit of a promise there.. If we could somehow get more... ~sigh~
I feel so sad to let this series go, especially as there is nothing else out by this author. I truly hope she gets back to writing. This is actually my favorite shifter series now. Leander and Axton have an epic relationship. I would love to keep reading about them as their relationship progresses. I feel like there is much to explore!
A bittersweet goodbye to a SUPERB series. HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
27-28 August 2021
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Axton & Leander is a Paranormal Series by S.P. Wayne. Sadly, This is (currently) her only published work, this series giving us the full romantic arc of Axton Rhoden / Rodion Vuk and Leander Avilez. It follows Axton, a recluse gay Werewolf living in the mountains in his cabin by his own with very little to no human contact. When Leander moves to the cabin 'next door' (even if only for holidays) Axton isn't sure what he feels. Worried, interested, concerned (for himself, for Leander), hopeful maybe?
These three books follow their journey to a Happily Every After, as they find a way to not only navigate their relationship but also the Werewolf / Human world.
It's an OUTSTANDING series THE BEST shifter series I've ever read and I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMEND it.
1. Winter Wolf (Published 21 December 2012) ★★★★★
2. City Wolf (Published 12 February 2014) ★★★★★
3. Everything Carries Me To You (Published 13 February 2015) ★★★★★