Heir to the Pack (The Cursed Pack, Book 1) by Laura Welling
Overview by Netgalley:
Three years ago, Annie had a three-day fling in Cancun with a handsome stranger, Dash. Two years ago, she gave birth to his son. Now, Annie’s son is fading away with a mysterious illness, and she must seek help from his father, who doesn’t know he exists. But Dash has news for her: first, he’s a werewolf; second, he’s about to be crowned their king; and third, their son has been touched by an ancient curse.
Wow! This was a thrilling, paranormal adventure story with a healthy dose of reunited lovers. Many of the books out there feature alpha males, but this book really does have an alpha. Animals strip things down to the base level and Dash’s wolf is the leader of the pack.
The story begins with Annie arriving on Dash’s doorstep to beg for his help in saving the son he never knew that he fathered. Right away you know there is something different about Dash and his extended family who live in the wilderness of Montana.
I have dabbled in the romance paranormal genre since I started this blog. I have read books with vampires, gods, mermen and time travellers. Shifters and wolves seem to be really great subject matter for stories. I think in the case of this book, the alpha wolf and the pack hierarchy is easy for us to understand. One only has to hang out at a dog park to see pack mentality in action. So what is sexier than the leader of the pack, with his masculinity and power rolling off him like waves.
Annie and Dash are virtual strangers. They had a hot and heavy Mexican hook up three years earlier which resulted in the adorable little Jack. But Jack is sick and as sad as this is, it adds deep emotion and conflict to the story. A sick child adds a strong sense of urgency to the story.
Annie’s reactions to the realities she faces in Dash’s home are hard for the rational, scientific mind to absorb. I really enjoyed her character as she is a fighter. She faces uncomfortable truths in order to save her baby. How many women would want to track down a fling to share the news of a toddler? As a mother myself, I would be scared out of my mind. Not only is Jack sick, but she now has to share him with his father. Annie’s reactions seemed so honest, so as the reader you can relate to the situations she finds herself in.
I also really liked Dash. The power and control he exudes make him an extremely likeable and intense character. There is something just so sexy about a character that is a leader. The fact that Dash is a leader who shifts into a wolf just adds to the mystique. I appreciated how the author crafted Dash’s relationship with Annie and Jack. While he can’t believe that he fathered a child, he accepts the boy into his heart, life and pack. I find that kind of honourable actions really important in the male characters I read about.
The dynamics and politics of being a werewolf are explored at length. Just like how I love to read about Regency England and learn new tidbits of history, it was fascinating to read about this new world where werewolves co-exist with humans. The mystery was quite suspenseful and I found myself constantly hypothesizing about what was going to happen, who was the bad guy and how would they get their happily ever after.
This is the first book I have read by this author, but I fully intend to follow this series. The author is very skillful at creating a world that is new and exciting to read about. The characters she has developed experience emotions that are honest and real. I found myself drawn into the complex story and cheering for the good guys. If you are a fan of contemporary romance with a dash of paranormal than this is a book you should check out!