New town, new love, new terror…Kicked out by his alpha father for nearly exposing their secret, seventeen-year-old Richard Leone is a shape-shifter without a pride. Alone, homeless, and hungry, he forms a tenuous friendship with Derek, a power-hungry shifter from an unstable rogue pride. It’s either that, or starve. Until they encounter a gorgeous brunette, Molly, partying with friends around a campfire. Richard immediately feels a connection with her, and something about her calls to him. Almost as if she was supposed to be his mate.But when Molly is kidnapped, Richard must take on the entire rogue pride to save her and keep his human town safe from harm. Derek offers him a deal: he’ll help Richard take on the pride to rescue Molly, but only to secure his place as alpha. And once that happens, the humans could be in even more danger…
Richard may be considered old in human years, but for a shifter he is still an immature teenager trying to find his way through life. Then he sees the girl who sends sparks shooting through his veins and makes him want to become the man his father has tried to force him to be for years.
The plot in the story had plenty of depth and excitement. I really enjoyed Derek’s involvement in the conflict as well as the overall story development. The conflict also helped to introduce other types of shifters, which helped to build the tension to figure out which type would be the alpha or strongest. Richard’s enemies also helped to move the story along well and helped to develop both the personal and romantic growth of all the characters.
While Richard and Molly are good characters on the surface their characterization lacked a certain depth that made it hard for me to fall in love with them. I got a little about what makes Richard tick, but would like to have understood his internal process throughout the story. This would have allowed me to appreciate his development a bit more. With Richard being the main focus of the story I got very little about Molly — only that she is a victim of circumstances who really doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.
While this is a young adult novel some may find it difficult to process the relationship between Richard and Molly. He is not close to Molly’s age as we would normally view it, but because of his shifter blood it was easy for me to see him as a teenage boy. I appreciate this because it gave a certain air of truth to the character. Since shifters can live so long it makes sense that their adolescents is longer than humans, but I can understand why some may find this a bit uncomfortable. Another aspect that some may question is the amount of violence. There are a few physical conflicts that can get a bit gory. Again, I did not view this is a problem, but I would not let my pre-teen read a story with this amount of gore.
This is a story that I think old teens and parents can enjoy alike, especially if you are looking for a good shifter story to pass the time.