is book six in Pamela Palmer's Feral Warrior series. But if you haven't read the first five, don't let that stop you from giving this book a try. I haven't read the other books either. And while it was obvious the series has a history, I never felt lost and the world building was easy to understand in the context of the story.
A quick set up: There is a race of immortals called Therians. Long ago, each had the power to shift into animals. But a big bad thing happened and then only about two dozen of the Therians retained the power. Each carried the spirit of one animal. Then, another big bad thing happened, trapping the animal spirits of all but nine of the remaining shifters. Those men, the Ferals, protect the other Therians and fight the bad guy Mages who want to release bad-guy Daemons on the world. Anytime a Feral is killed, his animal searches for a strong Therian to replace him and that man is drawn to the other warriors to join their group. Still with me?
Hawke is one of the Ferals and as the book begins, he is recovering from an attack that left him in conflict with his animal. He is trying to repair the damage, but it's not working out. In the meantime, Maxim appears at the house with his would-be mate, Faith. Maxim has the marks of a Feral, and the men believe he is there to replace their lost brother, the Fox. It turns out, he carries one of those animals lost years ago. Quickly, Feral House begins filling with men carrying the other missing animals.
Hawke is drawn to Faith. She had only known Maxim a day before she followed him to Feral House, but she felt drawn to him... certain she belonged to him. It's a feeling that's difficult to hold onto as Maxim reveals himself to be an enormous asshat and she begins to fall for Hawke. If you're worried this might be an infidelity story, don't be. Maxim is a bad, bad dude. And it's obvious Hawke and Faith are meant to be together. The only question is how they're going to get there.
There's a lot going on in the book. The love story is good and so is the sex. There is plenty of action and plot development, but it's easy to keep up with. There is also a bit of darkness --which surprised me a bit. But all the twists and turns kept things interesting. We've got a set-up for two different couples in future books. I am definitely interested in what's going to happen with Wulfe. I want to go back and check out the backlist to learn more about him, if for no other reason. He smacks of a delicious tortured hero.
I enjoyed it. 4 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley