Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Terrell Hubbard, decorated Marine sergeant, proudly serves as Beta wolf to his True Alpha and Dominant. During a mission, he meets Staff Sergeant Kai Thayer, Pack Leader of the Camp Fallujah sippe. Terrell is thrown completely off balance by the strength of their mutual attraction and the intensity of their passion. His entire world felt perfect though, each time they came together to mark and claim one another.
In the chaos of a surprise attack Kai shows poor judgement, driving a wedge between Terrell and him, and landing Kai on the True Alpha’s bad side. Terrell is torn between his ferocious loyalty to his True Alpha, and his new but powerful feelings for Kai. In the battle’s aftermath, Terrell and Kai are drawn together in passion, hoping it’s not the final chance to mark their claims.
First off let me say that I love this series and its author Kendall McKenna. The first story was one of those novels that combined all sorts of unusual elements (the Marines, Afghanistan, deployment, a unique shifter mate bond) and pulled them all together in a powerful story and beginning of a first series. I adored it and so did tons of other readers. I’ve followed it through the sequels and the love affair has continued. Then came Heart of the Warrior and I have no idea what’s happened here.
Heart of the Warrior (The Tameness of the Wolf #4) by Kendall McKenna is really only a third to a half of a story and a fractured one at that. Its the story/romance meeting of Terrell Hubbard, Marine sergeant and Staff Sergeant Kai Thayer, Pack Leader of the Camp Fallujah sippe (both characters we have meet in previous stories). As with the other stories, a sniff sets the pair into motion but here its a flawed usage. We get little feel for the characters. I think we are supposed to remember them more than we do but its been a while since the last story. While Terrell is the strongest (in every way) MC in Heart of the Warrior and couple, Kai suffers from lack of time as a character present in the story here other than as a bed partner. His character seems to shift from one personality to another or maybe because its just that we don’t know him that well. Anyway the bond we feel towards the fleeting couple is limited because of the treatment he gets here. He’s supposed to be an important Pack Leader of the Camp but we get no indication of that here, a flaw in the story that’s carried forward in the relationship.
Also this tale slides around, jumping ahead over apparently key scenes from previous stories you are supposed to have remembered if you’ve read the other stories. If not you are completely out of luck and totally confused. The battle scenes we drop in and out of? Have no idea what’s going on. Its one big mess. And that’s unusual for this series. Its as though scenes from other novels were used here. In fact, parts of this book feel more scrapped together than intentionally written.
The ending is perhaps the worse. It just abruptly ends. As if it was just a chapter in a much larger story. But here it goes no further.
There’s not to say I didn’t enjoy parts of this story. I did. It holds promise as does this couple. But you have to put the pieces together from a jumbled mess of a story.
Who should read this book? I suppose those who are addicted to this series and need a fix. You will get glimpses of your favorites couples. But if you are new to this author and series. Give this story a pass. It does justice to neither.
I like the cover for the story. Its terrific. Wish I could say the same about the novel.
Published August 19th 2016 by MLR Press
Series: The Tameness of the Wolf – add to your Goodreads shelf here
- Strength of the Pack (The Tameness of the Wolf #1)
- Strength of the Wolf (The Tameness of the Wolf #2)
- Strength of the Mate (The Tameness of the Wolf #3)
- Heart of the Warrior (The Tameness of the Wolf #4