The Pack or the Panther
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 202 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: Tales of the Harker Pack: Book One
Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.
When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.
Review: This story is a sexy bit of fun that gave me even more than I was expecting. I always pick up Tara Lain’s books because I know that I will enjoy them, some laughs, some hot sex, some conflict and a lot of sweet love and happiness.
Cole is a really good guy. He takes his responsibilities very seriously and he wants to help save his pack. He was sweet, loyal, sexy, funny, smart and strong in all of the ways that matter. I loved that he was such a big and intimidating guy yet he was too shy to talk to large groups of people. All too often in this genre the alpha is arrogant and bossy, I enjoyed this alpha who was kind and had a gentle touch. He had a vulnerability that made me fall for him and root for his happy ending.
The courage it took for Cole to come out was admirable. To then have to deal with everyone ignoring his sexuality and telling him that werewolves aren’t gay would have been exhausting. The expectations from his parents and pack that he would marry a woman and give up his own happiness was heartbreaking. There was so much pressure and demands on him.
Paris is sexy as sin and more than willing to tempt Cole into sinning with him. He was smart, savvy and had the political abilities that Cole struggled with. There were a few times I wanted to tell him he was an idiot for the way he treated Cole. But he wasn’t malicious, more afraid and wary of commitment.
Paris was a trip. He clung to his independence and the cat half of his nature so fiercely that he had almost completely isolated himself. Thankfully Cole loved him enough to keep reaching out or this would have been a very different book.
There are strong themes of family, loyalty, friendship, community, sacrifice, obsession, and love. Things aren’t simple for anyone involved. Everyone wants to survive and maintain their pack. They might not all make the best decision every time, but except for the bad guys, they are doing the best they can.
This has a nice cast and a good storyline with a lot of room left for more stories. I can’t wait to read the next book.
****Content Warning that contains spoilers****
One character is obsessed with another who he kidnaps and tries to rape. It makes sense in the story and it isn’t violent or graphic, but it is there.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on May 9, 2014, in Nina and tagged Acceptance, Alphas, Arranges Marriage, B List, Charming, Choices, Contemporary, Crazy Family, DSP, Family, fantasy, fantasy in modern times, Finding Yourself, Friendship, Fun, Funny, Gangster, Homophobia, Hope, Kidnapped, Love, love triumphs over all, M/M, Making a New Life, Making Your Own Family, Nina, Obsession, Panther, paranormal, romance, Secrets, Series, Sexy, Shifters, Stripper, Supernatural, Sweet, War, Werewolves, world building. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.