Reviewed by JustJen
Authors: Lisa Oliver and Thomas J. Oliver
Series: Shifter’s Uprising #1
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 129 Pages
Publisher: Lisa Oliver and Thomas J. Oliver
Release Date: June 8, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Carlin is an Alpha Wolf Fighter, one of only three in the top spots at the Souterrain – an underground fighting club, run by the Elite to punish shifters who have gone outside of the laws. He’s happy enough, only has to fight exhibition matches, has his own apartment space, food and sex on tap – yep, life it good. So when Martin offers him the chance to fight for his freedom, Carlin turns it down. It’s no fun being a lone wolf and Carlin is quite happy where he is.
Then Lucas catches his eye. A handsome man, a stunning fighter, moving up through the ranks fast. Lucas might not have the killer attitude that most men at the Souterrain have, but he’s got the moves. Carlin has no problems insisting the man is bought to his apartment – sex is never a bad idea. But when he catches Lucas’s scent and realizes the man is his fated mate, suddenly getting him to bed is the least of his problems. Lucas wants to be free, and for the first time in a long time, so does Carlin.
Unfortunately there is more to Lucas than meets the eye. Martin certainly has no intention of letting them go, and if he has to have Carlin killed to keep Lucas at the Souterrain, then the man has no problems with that either. Suddenly the deal Carlin makes with Martin goes horribly wrong, and Carlin and Lucas realize that the price for freedom might be Carlin’s life, and even then Lucas will not be free.
Review: This turned out to not be nearly as dark as I was expecting. In this world, the shifters are run by a royal family, who overrule the Elite, or basically their police force. When shifters are picked up for various infractions, no matter what that may be, they are either placed in brothels or the Souterrain, or underground fighting ring. The Souterrain is basically a prison where the inmates have to fight, usually to the death. As the audience is human, the shifters are given drugs to prevent their shifts during fights. The top three fighters are the Alphas who enjoy better accommodations, food, etc. and are kept segregated from the lower fighters, though they may call upon any of them at any time for their pleasure, etc.
Carlin is one of the Alphas who takes a shine to Lucas, a fighter quickly rising up in the ranks. At their first actual meeting, they discover they are true mates. Carlin then petitions the Elite to fight for his freedom, something that has already been offered to him in the past. Once gained, he intends to take Lucas with him, as the shifter laws permit.
Unfortunately, there are other things at play here, and so Carlin is granted his wish but must do so over the course of three fights.
This story started out kind of iffy for me in that it seemed a little cheesy once the mating took place. These two hardened fighters got mushy lovey dovey in the span of a few minutes, so much so that I almost gave up. But, I stuck with it, and as things got a little trickier and a few twists were revealed, my interest peaked back up. It continued to pick up speed from there, and things were much more exciting and interesting by the end. There are still a few unanswered questions, but I really enjoyed how this story evolved. It ended up being a nice set up for the rest of the story and what’s to come and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out in the next installment.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*