Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Reluctant Mate
Authors: Shannon West and T.S. McKinney
Series: The Shifters of Hell’s Creek #2
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 180 Pages
Publisher: Painted Hearts Publishing
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Levi was one of the most popular men on campus at his little college located in the north Georgia hills. In the three years since his small group of friends left the little mill village called Hell’s Creek to venture out into the ‘real’ world, he’s watched as each of them has grown more carefree and happy. They played football and Frisbee, went to their classes and partied hard on the weekends. And none of the other students ever guessed that a small group of shifters has invaded their human world. Life would have been sweet if not for one thing—the one boy on campus that Levi wants to impress hates his guts. Openly, intensely, and with great malice.
Christian has his reasons for not accepting Levi’s endless invitations, and they all have to do with a terminal illness he’s had since he was a child. When Christian goes camping one weekend with a friend, he’s hoping he can forget his troubles for a while and relax. It’s working fine, until a huge wolf and a black panther come roaring out of the forest and straight at him. Christian faints and when he wakes up, finds that Levi has taken him to his home in Hell’s Creek. The strange inhabitants of the town all believe they can turn into animals. And people are telling him over and over again that he can’t leave, because he’s seen too much. Worst of all, the more time he spends with the gorgeous Levi, the healthier he’s beginning to feel and the more he’s beginning to fall for him. Is there really something in the water like everyone tells him? Or is he just going as crazy as they all are?
Will the secret that Hell’s Creek has been hiding finally be revealed? Christian has to find a way out of town before it’s too late, and before he falls hopelessly and irrevocably in love.
Review: This was a nice follow-up story in line with the previous book, which you should really read prior to this in order to understand what’s behind the shifter issues in this series. In that book, we learned about the shifters of Hell’s Creek, but here, we learn there are other places similar to Hell’s Creek with their own issues.
Christian is from one of those other towns, but they have dealt with very differently, though just as badly, as the shifters in Hell’s Creek were. A product of that upbringing, Christian has been very sick, believing he is dying of a terminal illness. It is that reason that he lives life on the edge, partying and not really getting involved with anyone, including Levi, who has been chasing after him. There is also the fact that he has no idea he is a shifter or that they even exist.
Levi, on the other hand, is the younger brother to the pack alpha (whom we met in book 1). The Hell’s Creek shifters have been doing well and Leo is actually out and attending college, playing sports and generally being a normal guy. Until he meets Christian, who sets off all of his mating instincts. He can’t help but be protective when Christian gets himself into trouble, but, as the title suggests, Christian is one reluctant mate.
This is a fun series, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the different take on shifters, how they came to be and how they are advancing once they’ve learned more about their situations. This continues to evolve as the story progresses, and while I didn’t connect with these guys as a couple right away, I was rooting for them in the end. I’m definitely interested in seeing what’s next for this series and look forward to the next installment.
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the authors in return for a fair and honest review.*