The Shifter Chronicles, Book 10
After a year together, wolf shifter Derek Williams and vet Brian O’Donogue decide to marry. All Brian wants is to be legally part of Derek’s family, after his own disowned him for being gay. As far as Derek is concerned, he already belongs to his mate, heart, body, and soul. But their plans are put on hold when Derek discovers an injured young shifter, Tommy, one night while running as a wolf.
When they learn the truth behind Tommy’s presence in Washington, they are quickly drawn into a war that has waged in the shadows for decades. Brian, Derek, and their allies must fight against the Knights and their leader, Arcas, to prevent them from attaining an ancient scroll, one piece of a weapon that can destroy all shifters.
When worlds collide, no one will be spared.
- 4 Read lists
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Brian came home to a surprisingly empty house. He was an hour late, and it was raining hard outside. Careful about tracking in mud, he took off his shoes and coat at the entryway and walked on stocking feet to the kitchen. He draped his coat on the back of one of the kitchen chairs and set his shoes in a corner to dry. The simple trips to his car from the clinic, and from his car to the house, and he was soaked.
He had to assume Derek would be even more soaked. And the dogs. He groaned.
As it was six o’clock, Brian started dinner. About ten minutes passed before he heard noise at the front door. Hurrying back to it, he wasn’t quick enough.
Derek came in soaked to the bone, and their dogs were no better shape. And then, before his horrified eyes, all the dogs shook violently, spraying water and mud on the floor, walls, and even the fucking ceiling. Brian flung up his arms to protect his face and knew all hope was lost to avoid a mess.READ MORE
Even Derek—the jerk—shook like a dog, a big-ass grin on his face.
“Honey, I’m home.”
Brian scowled and punched Derek’s arm. “Look what you did! And you are damn well going to clean it up!”
Derek looked around and had the grace to wince. Brian noticed the dogs trying to sneak away, their ears and tails down. They knew his tone.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Brian said. He pointed. “In the bathroom, now.” He sent them all an image to make sure his point was clear.
The dogs obediently padded down the short hallway into the downstairs bathroom, which was just big enough to accommodate them all. Brian winced at the tracks they left before glaring at Derek.
“What?” Derek said defensively. “There was no way to clean them all before getting in the house. And—”
“Clean them up, clean yourself up, then come back here and clean up your mess.”
Derek’s eyes sparked, his skin rippled, and Brian braced himself. He knew and accepted Derek’s temper. Since Derek had never once harmed him or their dogs and rarely even destroyed their property when he was really pissed, Brian didn’t fear him. But he still braced himself because Derek could shout with the best of them and curse like sailor.
Derek suddenly lunged at Brian and pushed him up against the wall. Before Brian could speak, his mouth was assaulted and invaded and strong, rough hands slipped under his shirt, pressing against his bare skin, cold and wet. Brian gasped and could only cling to Derek’s shoulders to keep his balance during the assault.
Brian became soaked by Derek’s sopping clothing, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t make himself care. They hadn’t made love since Henry had passed, and now Brian felt as ravenous as Derek was. As Derek slipped his hands into the back of Brian’s pants and gripped his ass, Brian yanked and pulled at Derek’s shirt and sweater, desperate to find skin and heat.
Intent on getting naked, they barely heard the several snorts and sneezes and whimpers nearby.
Derek pulled back, and Brian looked over to the source of the noises. Their dogs had returned and stared at them. Brian noticed a few, like Fenrir, were trembling from cold.
“Take care of them,” Brian said, his voice noticeably husky. He cleared his throat. “I’ll clean up here.”
Derek looked back at Brian, frustration in his eyes but acceptance as well. He pulled away and yanked down his shirt and sweater. Then he corralled the dogs back to the bathroom, and Brian, trembling and hard, searched for towels and cleaning supplies. Dinner would be later than usual.
Derek’s arms ached by the time he finished with the last dog. He’d started with Fenrir since the pug was more susceptible to the cold. He ended with Joan and Gable since they seemed to like being wet. Then he took a quick warm shower and went to the bedroom to find dry clothing. When he came back down into the kitchen, all the dogs were eating and Fenrir was wearing one of his little sweaters. Brian was nearly done with dinner, and Derek was impressed by the cleanliness of the entryway and living room. He couldn’t tell there had been a mess.
Tinker was nowhere to be found. The cat had probably run the moment he heard them approach the door. The cat wasn’t stupid.
Slipping up behind Brian, he wrapped his arms around his waist. Brian leaned back against him, and Derek nuzzled his neck.
“Sorry,” he said quietly.
Brian sighed. “Yeah. I know you didn’t do it on purpose. Long day.”
Besides being happy to be starting book ten in a series I have grown to love for its constant excitement, adventures, unpredictability, and the author’s willingness to tease me by dispersing information in a slow and steady manner, I was delighted to be returning to Brian and Derek whose story started the whole series off. Now, if the Knights, particularly Arcas, can be defeated, then my little corner of the world will be joyful.
Brian and Derek are still happy and in love a year after officially being together, although losing Derek's beloved old dog, Henry, has left grief to work through. It's so difficult being a pet owner, sometimes, because the fact is that they don't live as long as humans do, so it's incredibly painful every time we have to say good-bye, and I empathized with Derek and Brian. Life isn't completely perfect for them, though, as they're struggling a little financially, and Derek seems more upset about it and not getting carried away with their wedding, whereas Brian just wants a nice wedding. An argument as old as time.
When Derek runs across an injured teenaged wolf in his woods, he's not happy about finding a strange shifter in his territory. He has no choice but to take him home, and when Tommy tells Derek and Brian about he and his hawk shifter mate, Stacey, stealing the scroll from the museum and being attacked and shot at by three people…well, Derek knows trouble has just come to his town. Luckily he has an entire pack he can call to come and help, along with the Agency.
I would love to be able to say that the Knights were defeated, Arcas was captured, and shifters are finally safe. Alas, it is not so. But Derek, Brian, his pack, Agents Pan and Jin, plus Tommy and Stacey did manage to secure the scroll and keep it out of their hands. There will be more to come because this exciting adventure is far from over. Thank you, M.D., I was riveted to the pages.
DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.