Professor Joseph Lowther Jr. returned home to the Sapphire Ranch when his father became gravely ill. His dad is now hospitalized and its up to Joe Jr. to run the ranch he left years ago.
When Joe hears a commotion out near the barn, he shoots a wolf he thinks is attacking their sheep. But to his astonishment the wounded wolf turns into a young man, a wolf shifter in need of help and refuge.
Callum Pope just might be the last of his pack. On the run from hunters who specialize in hunting, killing, and the destruction of all shifter wolf packs, he was on the run until he landed on the Sapphire Ranch and was shot. That may have been the best thing to ever happen to Callum. Joe offers him safety, friendship, and perhaps even sanctuary from those hunting him.
For Joe, his view of the universe has been shattered. But in its place just might be something he never expected….a strong connection to Callum Pope, a bond that grows deeper by the day. Now all Joe has to do is keep Callum alive long enough to figure out what it all means to himself and to Callum.
When a story manages to combine author Sue Brown and wolf shifters, I know I am in for a treat. That the story is the first in a new series just makes this all the sweeter. The Last Wolf by Sue Brown sets the stage for the series and the stories to come. In that respect, it tended to try to do too much in this first novel. But the sweetness of Callum, the likability of Joe Lowther and his father, and the undeniable terror of hunters bent on exterminating an entire race combine to make this story one to read.
I loved the premise of the series. Its heartrending in its small details, and shocking in scope. Hunters out to exterminate an entire race of beings on a world wide scale. That the hunters target all ages and genders, from babies to the infirm just intensifies our fear and horror. They are killing machines who seem unstoppable. When you put that type of villain up against a vulnerable young main character who has already lost so much, then your empathy is easily engaged and your connection to this shifter and Joe snaps into place.
The relationships make this story shine. From the father/son bond between Joe Jr. and Joe Sr., this is a family you adore immediately. Then there is the growing bond between Joe Jr. and Callum, which is swift but understandable given the circumstances. I loved that one too. As the story continues, more people and different types of bonds and deep relationships come into play. Brown is also setting up some of the potential couples for the stories to come. One is particular has me “growling” in anticipation. The author has always been able to make her people and their relationships believable (even if one is a supernatural being), and she continues that here.
There are some shaky moments in the narrative where the author clearly is trying to get in all the elements she needs for the rest of the series, even if they are only hints and glimpses of things to come. So at times it can feel rushed or scattered. But the story and characters are strong enough to pull you into their journey to safety, sanctuary, and love.
What makes a pack? I think Sue Brown is delivering that answer in her Sapphire Ranch series. It has a wonderful concept, terrific characters, evil hunters, and the type of elements that will keep the reader returning to see what the author has in store for us next. While the ending is not exactly a cliffhanger, Sue Brown leaves us with enough questions that the next installment will be eagerly awaited. What is in store for the Lowthers, Callum Pope and the Sapphire Ranch? I have no idea but can’t wait to find out.
If you love shifters, add this to your TBR list today. If you adore Sue Brown, this story and series are probably already there. Now the anticipation begins for the next story. I will be waiting to see where Sue Brown takes her characters next. I hope you will be along for that journey!
Cover art by Meredith Russell. Love that cover. Great job.
Sales Links: Love Lane Press All Romance eBooks (ARe) Amazon The Last Wolf
Published September 5th 2014 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published September 4th 2014)
seriesSapphire Ranch Wolves #1