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L’Ange: Book Two
Only a privileged few know L’Ange’s head of security Arman de Soto is a shifter, and even fewer know he’s been systematically killing off a pack of werewolves. The reason for this vengeance is a secret Arman trusts with no one, quite the opposite of his obvious longtime pursuit of the château’s overseer, Linus Hobbes. Despite Arman’s reputation as a loner, the only thing he needs to complete his life is Linus. Predator and prey just don’t mix—but Arman won’t give him up.
Linus has lived alone for more than seven years, sheltered at L’Ange under an assumed name and hiding secrets of his own, including his terrifying attraction to the most dangerous man he’s ever met. Arman knows Linus should be afraid of the predator stalking him, but Linus is still drawn to him like a moth to a flame, no matter how much he tries to deny his instincts. It’s not until Linus’s past and Arman’s crusade exposes their secrets and opens L’Ange to attack that Arman realizes waiting any longer is a risk he just can’t take. So he’ll have to take his quest to the source of the threat in a gamble to protect L’Ange, Linus, and any future they might have together.
Review (previously posted for the book)
We met Arman in Old Loyalty, New Love. He was the mysterious bodyguard who helped protect Roman and Quade. Though we were led to believe he was interested in a certain jackal named Tucker, we find out quickly that this was a red-herring, serving to stir jealousy in the heart of Linus.
Linus is the fastidious and cold caretaker of L’Ange. It’s clear he’s been abused in his past and we learn early on just how terrible that abuse was. Arman has been Linus’ protector and often his touchstone for years, but the time has come for that relationship to develop to its full potential and Arman isn’t waiting any longer.
Arman is a man of mystery. We don’t know what he is, though we all think he must be a shifter – it isn’t until quite a bit into the story that we figure out just what he is. (I think everyone will be surprised by the reveal!)
In addition to hiding who he is, he also hides what he does. We find out that he has an agenda- a vendetta really – of epic proportions. This vendetta makes him almost an anti-hero. He’s definitely not the typical perfect Alpha we have seen in other Mary Calmes’ stories. He’s got a dark side that he’s embraced fully.
Surprisingly, Linus is perfectly okay with this dark side and in fact, he too embraces the vendetta and we see some pretty significant changes in his personality as a result of this.
One of the things I really liked about this story was that Linus and Arman get together pretty early on. They work as a team for most of the story and it was imminently satisfying to watch their relationship grow and deepen while they worked together.
Though it might seem a bit blood-thirsty, the vendetta is explained really well and at no time did I feel that there was any other possible course of action than that which Arman took.
I really felt that in this “universe” the animal natures of the shifters were really well developed and “authentic”. These aren’t people who just happen to have the occasional “furry power” thrown in to explain insta-love and mating. They are truly unique beings with a different set of rules and personalities.
I loved that Roman wasn’t quite on board with the vendetta. Sure, he loves Linus and despised what happened to him, but he wasn’t born a shifter and he still sees things through a human lens and judges by a different rule-book.
Mary Calmes is amazing at world building and her shifter universe is unique, creative and very well developed. She isn’t afraid to stray from typical “shifter” lore and she draws us in with her own clever style.
The chemistry between Arman and Linus is scorching hot. Mary writes excellent sex scenes and the sexual tension and it’s subsequent release is phenomenal in Fighting Instinct.
Though it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time I say it – I love Mary Calmes’ books and I highly recommend them all.
Tristan James narrates this book as well as book one and as you know he is one of my favorite narrators. His voice is delicious!
In this he doesn’t do much to differentiate Linus from Arman, but the emotion and speech patterns he uses makes it evident who is talking.
I LOVED the banter and devotion between Arman and Linus. Tristan does a beautiful job of playing the growly Arman off with the cool and calm Linus. One of my favorite parts is when the group wants to make Arman the Alpha and include John, the lion in the new “pack”. Hysterical!
I can’t wait for the next in the series and I hope we see our lion with his mate very soon!
I give this 6 of 5 hearts – Amazing!