Series: Celtic Wolves #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Ace on 24 September 2013
Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run with her elderly mother and young son Joshua for sixteen years. She’s been trying to stay under the radar of Joshua’s father, Dylan Black, who is a charismatic (but controlling) werewolf. Joshua has started showing signs that he might have inherited a few traits from his father, so Sophie reluctantly reaches out to Dylan for help. As much as Dylan wants to spend time with his mate and son, he has to prepare for an impending war with the Guardians who threaten the lives of his tribe.
Sophie is an unusual heroine as she is slightly older and would do or sacrifice anything to protect her son. The last time she was with Dylan he had her imprisoned (for her own safety apparently) and she’s willing to risk this again for Josh’s sake. The first time she was at Rhuddin Village she did all she could to get along with Dylan’s subjects. Unfortunately they interpreted her kindness as weakness and she’s pretty much universally loathed by them. She doesn’t return to Rhuddin Village completely defenceless though as over the last sixteen years she has become mentally stronger and a crack shot.
Dylan, son of a Celt and a Roman, is thousands of years old. He left Wales for the new world and has carved out a kingdom in Maine of all places. Here he provides a safe haven for increasing numbers of his people who can’t shift into wolves. In his head, he is mated to Sophie and he can’t understand why she would abandon him. I mean all he did was lock her up, change into a wolf in front of her without warning and insist on keeping their child (sarcasm). When he hears that Josh might be able to shift, he is ecstatic as no shifters have been born for 300 years. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to handle the new assertive Sophie so he is on a pretty steep learning curve. Bit by bit he starts to build bridges (with the help of Josh) and by the end of the novel I thought he had redeemed himself. The way Dylan tried to set things right was a bit heavy handed by modern standards but reasonable for the era he was raised in.
This book is primarily about the relationships between Sophie, Josh and Dylan. DeLima allows the romance between Sophie and Dylan to be rekindled slowly and there isn’t that much in the way of action between them for the majority of the book despite Dylan making his intentions clear. I appreciated this as they had an awful lot of baggage to deal with before they could begin to trust each other again. The romance scenes were over fairly quickly which was a bit of a let down.
DeLima put quite a bit of effort into the world-building and we get a fascinating blend of Celtic lore and Arthurian legend. Over time, the werewolves have been losing their connection with the earth and with that, has come an inability to shift into wolves. The Guardians are dedicated to wiping out these misfits and are at the edge of Dylan’s kingdom, ready to pounce. We hear an awful lot about what the Guardians have done in the past and probably will do in the future but the fight scenes were over fairly quickly. I would have liked a bit more action as the weapon Sophie wielded was very unusual and deserved a bit more page time.
I really enjoyed this novel and given the foreshadowing, I expect we’ll get a book on one of Dylan’s siblings next.