Rating: 4.5 🌈
Captive Mate , second in Eliot Grayson’s Mismatched Mates series, picks up after the events in The Alpha’s Warlock. Wildly traumatic ordeals that saw Ian, a alpha werewolf and Nate, a warlock long imprisoned by his father, mated. And the Armitage pack under siege by mage and were.
And the worst was the betrayal by Matthew Armitage because of a curse.
Captive Mate begins with the pack dealing with the ramifications of Mathew’s actions, Ian’s assuming temporary leadership, and the shaman who worked with their enemies now their prisoner.
Arik, shaman , who cursed Mathew, the one responsible for pack deaths, and the near deaths of Ian and Nate, is one complicated character.
One of the two POV’s, Arik is resolved to escape by any means possible. He’s not particularly interested in those he’s hurting or may have hurt . He’s only interested in his survival. He knows no remorse, and shows little compassion.
Not a easy character to like. It takes time to see or understand that Arik’s a long term abuse survivor. He’s still running and has no reason to trust anyone to help him. His actions and mentality come from a deep place of brokenness and pain.
And to the credit of Grayson, Arik’s not fixed here. What’s broken, is truly broken in a lot of ways. Tiny bits might be on the path to healing as the book winds it way down, but even in the next story, Arik’s sharpness and pain whips out like a knife at a whisper.
Trying to balance Arik against the basic strengths and character of Matthew is a challenge for the author. Because the element of making Matthew seem weak under the manipulations of Arik might undermine the reader’s connection to the couple’s romance.
It’s a tightrope to walk narratively speaking. One I think the author threads through exactly right.
All the extremely tough personalities that are having to negotiate new relationships while the pack is still under attack by enemies old and new.
There’s major suspense. High action, great magic scenes, and real poignancy.
Captive Mate really balanced tricky characters, major themes, and complicated relationship dynamics. Just a fantastic book.
I’m highly recommending this story and series to date. Read them in the order they are written to understand the series plot progression and characters.
🔹The Alpha’s Warlock #1
🔹Captive Mate #2
🔹A Very Armitage Christmas #2.5
🔹First Blood #2.6
🔹The Alpha Experiment #3
🔹Lost and Bound #4
🔹Lost Touch #5
🔹The Alpha Contract #6, only loosely connected to the above series
Captured, imprisoned, and…falling in love?
Arik is many things. Shaman, necromancer, a little on the snarky side…no one could ever accuse him of being boring. But one thing he never intended to be was imprisoned by angry werewolves. Maybe casting that love spell on the sexy alpha pack leader wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Matthew Armitage has a problem. Several of them, actually. And the biggest one is Arik. The shaman can’t be trusted. He’s dangerous enough to get the entire pack killed. Matthew knows that. But knowing doesn’t make it any easier to keep his mind (and hands) off Arik. Surely everything he’s feeling is a side effect of the spell…right?
It’s not long before enemies of the pack start circling—including one intent on claiming Arik as his unwilling mate. If they have any hope of surviving, Arik and Matthew will need to work together. And if they want a shot at happily ever after…well, they’ll just have to cross that bridge when they get to it.
If they get to it…
Captive Mate can (sort of) be read as a standalone, but works best when read in order as part of the Mismatched Mates series, beginning with The Alpha’s Warlock. This book contains a vivid memory of a sexual assault, but the assault occurs in the past and off-page and is not between the main characters. This series does not contain mpreg.