Oh this one had all sorts of yummy paranormal goodness in it!
Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: KR Press LLC
Release Date: November 15, 2016
He walked away once; he won't do it again.
Wolf shifter Aldric Kazan is no stranger to pain. Since the loss of his mate a century ago, he won't allow himself to fall for someone again—not even the feisty female who stirs things in him that he thought were gone long ago. But as a supernatural investigator, he's forced to team up with the same woman he vowed to stay away from.
She let him in once; she refuses to do it again.
Natalia Cordona refuses to back down from any challenge—even if it means joining forces with Aldric, the sexy and brooding man who won't get too close. Locating missing vampires before a volatile war breaks out seems nearly impossible as the duo struggle with their explosive and undeniable attraction. Now it's up to Natalia and Aldric to trust each other to stop an all-out war from breaking out that would destroy the harmony they've all worked so hard for.
Basically, after Aldric left Natalia high and dry for five months he’s back in her life but this time they have to work together to find out who is trying to start a war between vampires and shifters. Aldric hasn’t forgotten how attracted to Natalia but he didn’t expect her to put a stop to his pursuit of her this time around. Natalia doesn’t trust Aldric anymore and she’s quick to let him know, but she’s still attracted to him. However, they’re spending a lot of time together and in between investigating suspects there’s not much else to do but talk and Aldric isn’t going to let Natalia go again without a fight. But Natalia’s willing to fight him tooth and nail in order to protect herself from being hurt again.
Dark, brooding, and grieving for a mate he lost years ago, Aldric is a likable shifter. I love Reus’ paranormal heroes because they have just enough testosterone to be alpha males but they also have the brains and confidence to appreciate a strong woman. Aldric was fighting himself as well as Natalia’s resistance and to me it served as a humbling experience. It’s not that he was cocky about his abilities but I don’t think he expected the much younger (In shifter years) Natalia to be able to match him word for word. It wasn’t just his relationship with Natalia that Aldric had to work on; he also had to work on the relationship between him and his brother Jayce. The inclusion of his family conflict made him more real to me and definitely made him more than just a buff wolf stud out to win the heart of the woman he falls for.
Natalia may be an adult to humans but in shifter years she’s still a baby yet she never put off a helpless or clueless damsel vibe. I loved how much of a go getter she was and how quick witted she was. Katie Reus’ heroines have never disappointed me, they’re always the right combination of tough, butt kicking feminine strength and vulnerability. Natalia never let her youth or inexperience stop her from doing her part to help her pack. Also, she wasn’t afraid to tell Aldric the truth of how his abandonment affected her, at the same time though, she didn’t let her personal life cloud her professional one. She could prioritize and not be petty about Aldric.
There’s a lot of time spent rebuilding what Aldric destroyed five months before the book starts so in a sense it feels like Aldric and Natalia are meeting for the first time. I enjoyed that. Obviously they had to get to know each other again because a lot had changed, especially with Natalia. There was a hint of attraction between them in a previous book but in Dark Protector it really explodes. Katie Reus made something new, sexy, and exciting out of their new relationship but at the same time she didn’t forget to add emotions and vulnerability to the physical chemistry to make it more than just hot shifter sex.
Final Verdict: With the Moon Shifter series being so popular, Aldric and Natalia’s story reminds me why I love not only the series (Which I have yet to read all of the books in) but Katie Reus as an author.
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