Review: Wolf Run by B.A. Tortuga

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Wolf Run coverLone wolf Mick Eagleheart is just passing through the small town of Arroyo Seco in New Mexico when an intriguing scent catches his interest.  Following his nose, the scent trail leads him to a battered Airstream trailer out in the scrub lands and a young wolf shifter running the fence line that  surrounds the place.  At first Mick is outraged that someone should cage up a wolf pup so.  But the story behind the pup and the sad trailer is anything but what Mick expected.

The young wolf’s name is Scotty Miller.  And instead of being abused, he is being taken care of by his young mate, Daniel, to the best of young Daniel’s ability.  Thrown out of their pack by their Alpha, the young mated pair is barely making it on the money Daniel makes washing dishes and cleaning up at the local diner.  Starving, exhausted and working too many hours, Daniel no longer shifts at the full moon.  Scotty is cute, spends most of his time in wolf form and is far too scattered to hold down a job.  Two young wolves who need help and quick.

Mick is lonely and has been looking for a mate to settle down with.  But after meeting Scotty and Daniel, Mick realizes not only that they need him badly but they might just be the mates he needs too.  Two are better than one when you are a wolf, but three is better still…it’s a pack.  Now only if he can convince Scotty and Daniel of that fact.

I am such a fan of B.A. Tortuga and this story is an excellent reason why.  B.A. Tortuga takes the wolf shifter genre and puts her own quirky Tortuga spin on it with Wolf Run, her m/m/m wolfshifter story.  One of the delights of a Tortuga tale is the dialog and behaviors of her characters.  The dialog sparkles and dances, full of colloquialisms and regional sayings that not only give a character a geographical foundation but a cultural one as well.  And the behaviors of her characters can be counted on to jump, bump, and sometimes grind, as full of sexuality, fun and vivacity as can be.  In short, a B.A. Tortuga story is fun, sexy, a romp you won’t want to miss and those words are perfect to describe Wolf Run!

Tortuga’s wolf shifters maintain a lot of their animalistic behaviors and that’s an element I really appreciate.  Like most canines, high on their priority list is food, sex, and companionship, in other words pack.  Whether it is from association with her own Bassett hounds or research, this author is connected to her canines and it shows.  The  purposeful interest with which Mick approaches the fence as well as the cautious and respectful manner Scotty, in wolf form, greets Alpha wolf Mick bespeaks of canine greeting behavior with all its mannerisms intact.  That element of bringing a realistic wolf conduct into the actions of the characters continues throughout the story.  It’s never overdone but it’s a consistent part of their personas and lives and its gives this fun loving story an unexpected depth.

Some readers might shy away from a m/m/m storyline but it works beautifully here.  Wolves are a pack animal and never have I read about two young wolf shifters in need of an older Alpha lover than Scotty and Daniel.  Adding Mick Eagleheart to their relationship not only makes sense but its so sexy as well.  Daniel has been trying to be an Alpha he’s not and he’s failing to meet not only Scotty’s needs but his own.  It’s a poignant, loving, and desperate situation that Scotty and Daniel find themselves in when Mick happens along and enters their lives.  Of the two young wolves, Daniel’s existence is the most precarious.  But we don’t realize that fact immediately.  B.A. Tortuga slowly leads us and Mick to that conclusion as their story reveals itself and more of their back history comes to light.

That’s another reason I love this author.  Even if you have a story that comes with a “lighthearted, sexy, fun” label, the sadness and pain that life delivers up is only as far away as the next dirt road and bad paying job.  B.A. Tortuga never forgets that.  A hint of darkness, a dash of hurt, those exist within the parameters of a Tortuga storyline along with the fun and joy and exuberance to be found there.

One of the issues I see with B.A. Tortuga’s stories is that she makes what she accomplishes with them look so easy to do.  The words, characters, and situations just flow off the page without a hint of the complex edifice beneath it.   The realistic behaviors folded into a human reference?  The dialog that snaps, sings, and yet remains individualistic?  The settings and locales that breathe of desert air and the desperation of a poor economy?  It’s all there, even if its impact is never fully noticed.

Part of my job as a reviewer is to take apart a story to see how it well it was written, if the characters, structure, and plot pull together for a joyous reading experience.  I can say wholeheartedly that B.A. Tortuga has always delivered that for me and Wolf Run is another “home run” for this prolific author.

If you are new to B.A. Tortuga, well, you lucky person, you!  There is a whole backlist to read your way through.  If you love wolfshifters, this is a lovely place to start.  Then work your way over to her cowboys and bull riders and such.  If you are already a B.A. Tortuga fan, add this to be TBR pile.  To all of you, happy reading!

This is how it starts (Wolf Run excerpt):

Mick liked to go for a wander. His wolf form was perfect for it, too. No need for a backpack or a water bottle. Sure, the occasional hunter or farmer tried to shoot him, but then he’d just flash into his feral wolf form and scare the bejeezus out of them.

That was pretty fun, too.

Today, he was on the outskirts of Taos, where he’d left his truck, in a wee town called Arroyo Seco. Dry gulch. How hilarious was that? He’d sniffed around and growled away a couple of big herding dogs, but now, something else caught his nose. A scent he knew but was unfamiliar at the same time.

The scent of someone like him. Not from his clan, but a wolf like him.

His head tilted, and he started moving closer, nose working hard. Sweet, sharp. Nummy. Definitely male, which was his preference. Young enough to intrigue him.

The scrub out here was sparse. Trailer homes were scattered like giant building blocks. There was an old Airstream trailer that sat back on its own, surrounded by a fence improvised out of scrub, wood and wire.

Inside, a young wolf ran from one end of the makeshift yard to the other, over and over.

Pretty. Gray. Tail like a plume. Nice.

Skinny though and a little desperate, running in circles to relieve stress. Poor baby. Who had him all penned up? The place was like a bad dog run. Only it was a wolf run, right?

Mick slowed, letting the pup see him, scent him, and the sweet skinny thing stopped and stared at him, tail drooping. Mick let his tail lift and wag. No sense not being friendly.

The pup came to the fence. Tail beginning to swipe back and forth, the youngster barked happily, greeting him.

 

 

Cover art by Kris Norris. Great sexy cover, wish I had a little more of the wolf here.

Buy Links:   Resplendence Publishing       ARe          Amazon   Wolf Run

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 118 pages
Published June 4th 2014 by Resplendence Publishing
ASINB00KRVSCAC
m/m/m wolf shifter story