Max Appleton and his mother Celia are are on the run, hiding from an abusive father and husband who’s also a notoriously bad pack leader. When Max hit puberty and it became obvious he’d never make an alpha wolf, his father turned the brunt of his anger toward his inferior son and his beta wolf wife for producing him. Max and Celia find sanctuary in a garden cottage at Holly Court, the sprawling estate where Celia’s oldest friend lives with her pack alpha husband, three daughters, and teenaged son Jonah.
Jonah Spellman has what seems like the perfect life. His family is close, his dad is respected by their whole pack, and he’s been groomed to take over for as long as he can remember. Everything is set, his whole life planned, and Jonah works hard to be exactly what everyone expects. He’s under enough pressure without a runaway from a bad pack complicating his life.
When two teenaged werewolves from very different worlds meet one snowy January day, both of their worlds get turned inside out. From the moment they meet, nothing will be the same for Jonah or Max ever again.
(From Previous Site)
Max and his mother have to leave their pack because Max’s dad is physically abusive to both of them. They find shelter with one of his mother’s friends who lives a little ways away. Max’s father is an alpha, but a terrible and abusive one. They run to another Alpha, but he is awesome, kind and fair.
Jonah is the son of the new Alpha and he is a sweetheart. Everyone loves him, he’s student body president and all around nice guy.
When the two boys meet there is instantly an attraction that the boys can’t deny. They don’t name it for what it is, at least not right away, but they do know they can’t seem to stand to be apart.
Everything seems like a dream come true for Max, he’s left his abusive father to be welcomed into a new family and now he has a new…friend? (He has suspicions there is more to their relationship than friendship, but they are only 16 and boys after all, so a little bit of denial is natural.) This all comes to a crashing halt when school starts back up and Max realizes his new friend is already mated to Zoe and has been since he was 11.
The bulk of the book is Jonah and Max growing more and more close to one another while trying to figure out what to do with these feelings. Zoe senses that the boys are more than friends and she (predictably) begins to cause trouble.
Finally, in a very bloody and sad finale, the issue of mates is resolved, the evil dad taken care of and the very strong beginning for a happily ever after is in place.
I looooved this book!!! MJ O’Shea’s version of shifters is awesome.
This was such a perfect shifter book. I loved the instant, overwhelming attraction, dictated by smell and matched by total compatibility. True soul mates, born on the same day with the same eye color and tastes. It was instantly sizzling chemistry and it was fantastic.
I loved the twist with the omegas and though there were times when I scratched my head at some of the biology, I adored what freedoms it allowed the couple.
I thought that the way the relationship formed was really consistent with teen-agers: sometimes amazingly hot and heavy and sometimes slowed down to just cuddling and hand-holding.
The villains were properly villainous. Just bad enough to cause trouble, but not so overwhelming that they detracted from the love story. Perfect.
The family’s reactions to things was a little odd. But – hey – they’re shifters right? With shifter moralities and traditions. So though it felt strange that the boys slept with one another (just sleeping) every night from pretty much day one and that no one blinked when the two (one of whom was straight and mated to a girl) hung all over each other and no one said anything. It was nice to allow their relationship to unfold slowly even though they were under the strain of the soulbond attraction right from the start.
I loved the sexual tension caused by rut/heat. It made for some compellingly hot reading.
I have no idea if there are more books like this planned, but I really hope there are. MJ is a terrific writer and this shifter-universe she describes is fantastic.
(There were some future stories hinted at – Andy for one…)
I really recommend this book and give it 6 of 5 hearts.