Rating: 3.5 stars
Peter Moore, Alpha of his pack, doesn’t expect to start his day with a request from his sister Anna’s new Mate, Cyrus Kane. Always shy in his presence, Cyrus seems especially nervous now. Cyrus has a request to make of Peter and their pack. Cyrus’ half brother Justin needs a place to stay for a few days and Cyrus suggested that he stay with him. Which wouldn’t be a problem except that Justin is a wizard, someone not always welcomed by shifters. Justin also is a bit of a trouble magnet. Still after granting his request, Peter is not prepared for the gorgeous man on a motorcycle roaring up his Pack’s driveway. One look, one sniff, and Peter finds he has his Mate in Justin, something neither man is prepared for.
Justin is on the run, a small fact he has kept from his brother. Justin has stolen a powerful talisman from Tom Frells, member of the Wizard Council and Justin’s exboyfriend. Tom has promised to track him down, retrieve the artifact and make him pay. Could the timing be any worse on finding out that he has a Mate? Now not only must Justin keep his Cyrus and Anna safe, he has a possessive Alpha as Mate and a psychotic ex-boyfriend chasing him. Justin must use all his wits and power if there is to be a future for them all.
The Wizard and the Werewolf is the beginning of a new series by Amber Kell and it has the makings of a good one. This book sets up the story, the characters and the quest/conflict that will involve everyone in the books to come. I like the cast of characters Kell has presented us with starting with Cyrus and Justin, half brothers superficially opposite and completely similiar inside where it counts, including giving shy, submissive Cyrus a core of steel. The pack also has characters of note, from Peter Moore and his dominant sister, Anna to Gregory, his beta in the pack. Kell throws a demon and god for good measure. But at 117 pages, there is just not enough time to satisfactorily and realistically accomplish all she has set down in the first book, which is such a shame. I find that the characters could have been more fully developed and a little less stereotypical. Peter is a Alpha we have seen before as is the Gay for You element here. I wish she had given Peter her own twist to this character and the same goes for the bad boy wizard, Justin.
Then there is the plot. We need a little more backstory here, why do the wizards and shifters not get along to the point of extermination? Tell us more about Gaia and her son. The narrative needed more polish and more depth than the length and Amber Kell was able to convey. All the questions brought up by the events in the book never received any answers by the end. In fact, the book was more of a cliffhanger than anything else, a technique that, in my opinion, only belongs in a free serial story.Yes, one aspect was cleared up but so many more were left hanging. Leave hints, lay a trail or two to set up the next book in the series but finish what you start and leave the reader satisfied with the book they just finished.
Unfortunately the book came across as more of a hastily scribbled book outline that the author wanted to get off to the publisher to show what they were working on next. I just wish Amber Kell has take the time to flesh out the story that she has created for us. All the elements are there, including the mixed mates element which I really love. This book gives us two mixed mates and several cross bondings, all of which adds the potential for this to be a great new series if the author brings the promise I see here to fruition. I am looking forward to the next book, but if loose ends and cliffhangers leave you irritated and unsatisfied, perhaps you should wait until the series is further along to pick this one up.
Cover: Nice design by artist Reese Dante but the models look a little generic for me and nothing speaks to the storyline inside.