Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Casey Scott grew up being told he’d never amount to anything, and despite the unwavering love and support from his best friend, Jake, the idea sticks in the back of Casey’s mind. When he discovers he has a unique destiny in an enclave where shifters and humans live together, he seizes the chance, wanting for once in his life to be someone special.
Tsvetok Yerokhin lost his parents to the evil ruler of the enclave when he was a boy. The responsibilities of raising his two younger brothers nearly overwhelmed him and self- doubt took over. When the new Alpha and his Protector arrive in time to save his life, Sev is grateful, but he’s even more shocked when he scents his mate with them.
Casey isn’t prepared for the feelings that sweep over him when he meets Sev, but he refuses to act on them because he’s straight. Still, there is something so alluring about Sev that Casey can’t help being drawn to him.
As the two explore the edges of their new discovery, an evil returns, determined to control the enclave or destroy it. The Alpha and Protector are powerless to stop it, but Casey holds the key to victory. If he can discover what it is, he has a chance to save them all. To be the hero.
Unfortunately, the hero has to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and for Casey that means losing his heart.
Ever fallen in love with a secondary character? Maybe two? That happened for me in the first story of this series, Protector of the Alpha. It was there that I met Casey Scott, best friend of Jake Davis. Casey ends up getting pulled into the drama and heartbreak that surrounds his friend and Jake’s mate, Zak. The most human and confused of the three, he was the character who came across as the most accessible and vulnerable. A secondary character, Casey grew in strength and depth until by the end of the story, he was their equal.
Except in accessibility. In that area, he continued to surpass them just because he was the most human.
Especially at the end, where it seemed he was the unlikely target of the ire of a skunk, one who repeatedly sprayed him to the others endless amusement. Why was Casey the one who got “skunked”? The last paragraph supplied only part of the answer. This book does the rest. Who knew a skunk shifter could be so endearing? Apparently Parker Williams, that’s who.
With Scent of the Heart, Parker Williams continues to build his isolated shifter universe in Alaska, filling in more of its past history and current status with its village inhabitants. And for the most part, its a universe still on shaky ground. Once the false Protector took over, the place became the site of torture, depravation, and constant terror for most of those who lived under his rule. What that means exactly dribbles out in horrific details that surface throughout this story. It cements Elizar and his wolf enforcer Kell as evils that must be defeated at all possible cost and highlights just how desperate and essential it is that they, Jake, Zake, Casey and Hakim succeed in overthrowing him.
We bought into their mission and into these marvelous characters first, and now we see what has happened after they think they have achieved their goals. Pretty realistically, some things are working out great, others not so much. All three have resigned themselves to staying in Alaska. For the most past, they like their lives and have shouldered their responsibilities but Casey is missing a relationship of his alone. That answer to the hole in his heart is an endearing skunk shifter, Tsvetok Yerokhin aka Sev. Sev matches Casey in his vulnerability and engaging personality. But his past is full of pain and loss, just as Casey’s is, but in a vastly different way. That comes into focus when it becomes apparent that he is the guardian of his two younger brothers and had had to do things he is not proud of in order to keep them alive.
As if its not enough for them to adjust to all the changes going on in their lives, it turns out that they are mated, shocking when neither has been attracted to men before. This book is all about changes, fundamental upheavels in outlook and status that both characters must undergo and adjust to if both are to survive. It’s a dramatic and heart-stopping journey and I loved every bit of it. Parker Williams has made us care deeply about these men and the village they live in. Our hearts are as engaged as Casey and Sev’s in their journey to love and HEA, a path fraught with peril and even death.
And its not over yet. The end, of course, brings another intriguing (if foreseen) element and the jumping off point for the next story in the series. Its delicious and frustrating because it will make you want that story now…and it’s not even written.
Until I get my hands on that next story, I recommend that you pick up and settle into reading the first two books in Parker Williams’ Shifting Needs series. It has romance and so many different types of shifters to love along with drama, hot sex and endearing characters you can’t get enough of. Now if only that third book would magically appear…
Cover art by Laura Harner. I like the woods element but the design is different enough from the first story that it doesn’t exactly pull them together. Only the framing of the title serves to brand the series, not the graphic.
Published June 15th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
seriesShifting Needs #2
Shifting Needs Series in the order they were written and should be read:
- Protector of the Alpha (Shifting Needs #1)
- Scent of the Heart (Shifting Needs #2)