“With everything I am, everything I’m meant to be, baby doll. Always.”
Another amazing paranormal book by Kristen Ashley!
Finding himself drawn out to the woods one night, Callum, a gorgeous Alpha werewolf prince, comes across a young, blonde child roaming about who ends up saving his life. Little does he know that she is destined to be his queen one day…
Sonia is gifted. Special. She has abilities and heightened senses that others don’t but has been taught her whole life to keep it a secret making her life quite lonely. But when a plot to harm his destined mate is hatched, Callum is forced to intervene and rescue her throwing her straight into a world she never knew existed. And before she knows it, Sonia finds herself claimed, and bound to him, with only one week to familiarize herself with his world, his culture, and him before their mating ceremony where she will become his queen.
But Sonia has a rare blood disease, and with Callum being an immortal werewolf, he is faced with the tragic certainty that no matter how strongly he loves her, his time with her as a mortal will be fleeting.
Despite their physical attraction, they actually took a while to warm up to each other. Poor Sonia thought he was her kidnapper at first. And Callum just didn’t have the time or patience to deal with courting her the human way. But, despite his frustrations, he couldn’t help but fall for her.
Callum was about as Alpha as you get. He was a werewolf King who believed in duty first above all things. He was bossy, bossy, bossy, and arrogant. His duty to his kingdom came first and despite loving to play in bed, romance did not come naturally to him at first.
“It wasn’t simply that Callum didn’t have time for this ridiculousness (which he didn’t). Callum didn’t date. He didn’t court. He seized.“
But the more time he spent with Sonia, the more she warmed him.
Now, I know that the werewolves’ culture is different than ours and I tried my best to be accepting of it, but there were definitely some aspects of it that were just sexist to an extreme and kind of rubbed me the wrong way – how he’d insist on her sitting in his lap at all times (even meal time), how the Queen’s duty was to be silent and basically just be there to fulfill any needs her King might have… it took me a while to get used to the fact that this was just the way of their culture. But the more we learned about it and how utterly different than ours it was, the more I found myself able to appreciate how hard he was trying to make things good for her by her culture’s terms despite it not really seeming so from the outside.
“I believe I told you at e time that it was the way of my people.”…
“Yes, and I believe it was also once the way of my people to treat diseases by using leeches but they found another way that works a whole lot better so now they’re doing that.”
But the way Callum kept ordering her around bothered me. The words “allowed”, “ordered”, “demanded” just didn’t sit right. I didn’t like how he was always making decisions for her without asking her first. Dragging her here and there without explanation. I knew that he loved her and cared for her, but that part of his behavior almost detached me a little from him. And I wish that Sonia had fought him a little harder. She wasn’t a doormat by any means, but she gave in in a lot of places where I kind of wished she’d have just given him the middle finger.
“Did your people skip past the twentieth century?”
“You defy me again, I’ll take you to that bed and make you my queen right… fucking… now.”
But I will say though that when FINALLY, she was able to confront her about how she felt about the whole thing, that he was able to see her side and apologize. That definitely made me warm up to him more.
That being said, if there is any author out there who can turn my head around make me sympathetic to even the biggest Alpha jerk and make me coo and melt over him, its Kristen Ashley.
Callum’s fierce protectiveness and clearly intense love for her gave me shivers on more than one occasion. I liked watching him clue in (albeit very slowly) to the fact that maybe this whole scenario wasn’t as easy on her as he assumed it might be and then how he found all these ways to go out of his way to bring happiness into her life. It was really sweet 🙂
I guess the bottom line about the way I felt about Callum was that, unlike with Lucien in the previous book, he didn’t come out and do anything that really ticked me off but his cultural expectations and nature were just so vastly different that it gave me the squinty eyes on more than a few occasions.
And then the more their story went on, the more open he became to little compromises and accepting more parts of her culture as well. And the more he did that, the more I fell in love with him.
I felt strongly for Sonia. For her frustrations with the world and with Callum. I totally understood why she’d feel the way she did but I didn’t like how every time she’d decide to confront him about her feelings, all he needed to do was breathe the same air as her and her resolve would vanish.
It did take them both a while for their issues to come out into the open but I did love that once it was confession time, EVERYTHING was put out there. No holding back. It was a great feeling.
And you just gotta love a man who can say, “I fucked up, baby doll.” and still retain all his Alpha-ness.
Both Callum and Sonia had very valid view points given their vastly different worlds and I thought that KA did a brilliant job of making you see both sides of a story that seemed so clear cut at first glance.
And I did really love how they compromised in the end. It wasn’t all about one of them giving themselves up for the other, I felt like they both made changes to accept the other’s culture into their lives 🙂
“I’ll make you a deal… I’ll help you understand my people and you help me understand yours.”
Oh, and can I just throw out a HUGE shout-out to Ryon! He seriously gave Cal a run for his money for swooniest werewolf in this story. God, I want a whole book about him!! I totally fell in love!
I loved that the Prophecies we were introduced to in the first book continue straight through to this one. Once the characters were established, we got to see how they fit into the overall scheme of things.
And LUCIEN!!!!!!!!! We get a wonderful (longish) cameo from both Lucien and Leah. I loved seeing them again. Seeing how in love they were, how strong their bond was. It was a wonderful treat to see so much of them after the ending of their book.
There was loads of hotness in this book. I mean between the claiming, and the intense animal attraction and the whole lifemate-can’t-get-enough-of-you bond… *whew* *fans self*
“Baby doll, you’re about to be claimed.”
I really have to say that with Kristen Ashley’s book, you REALLY get your money’s worth. Her books are long, packed with awesome stories and gorgeous characters, and just overall pure win.
“I loved you before you took your first breath on this earth because that was my fate but you made me love you because you’re just… fucking… you.”
I absolutely can’t wait for the third book to see how everything is going to tie in together with the Prophecy. And I predict lots of epic badass Alpha moments with Lucien, Callum and the next hero. SQUEEEE!!
Rating: 4 stars.
** THE THREES SERIES **
Paranormal romance (vampires, werewolves etc…)
Series of standalones — recommended to read in order.