Two Alpha shifters join together to lead their pack and build a family.
Commitment, loyalty, and strength aren’t enough to make Wesley Stone’s birth pack accept an Alpha with a physical imperfection, even if it’s a meaningless mark. Putting the safety of his pack above his own wellbeing, Wesley trades himself for another Alpha and agrees to mate with a stranger in a mysterious, insular pack.
Alphas from Jobe Root’s family have led the Red River pack from the first day shifters walked the earth. Now the time has come for Jobe to fulfill his destiny, but to do that, he needs his mate by his side. Spiritual, easygoing Jobe reveres Mother Nature and trusts in fate, yet he can’t help being nervous about how his mate will react to his new life in Red River, his new life with Jobe.
Two Alphas with contrasting personalities, different upbringings, and divergent beliefs come together for the good of their packs. But to stay together, Wesley and Jobe must see beyond the surface and embrace every facet of themselves and their union.
Red River by Cardeno C was definitely a bit of a departure for me. It’s not often that I will pick up a shifters book, but I have yet to read anything by this author that I haven’t enjoyed so I gave it a chance.
Wesley wants desperately to be the alpha of the Purple Sky pack. He spends much of the early portion of the book bemoaning the fact that the pack will never accept him as their alpha because of a birthmark. For someone who reads shifters frequently, this may not seem odd, but I will admit that it was very bizarre to me. As was the fact that his uncle seemed to agree with the pack because you would think he would want a family member to succeed him. But, Wesley does what a good alpha should do and accepts his uncle’s compromise as a way to do what’s best for his pack.
Jobe’s pack, the Red River pack, is the polar opposite of Purple Sky, or at least it seems through much of the book. Instead of struggling to survive, they’re thriving. Instead of believing an alpha doesn’t have a fated mate, they very much believe an alpha couple is the way to appease Mother Nature. Don’t worry if you’re rolling your eyes right now, Wesley does plenty of that as well.
While I did enjoy the book, I do wish a bit less time had been spent on Wesley’s angst over being shunned by his own pack and more given to the way of life at Red River. There are a few scenes where you see him interacting with his new pack, but nothing that left me confident that they had accepted Wesley as one of their own. Again, maybe that’s simply something that’s not meant to be questioned, but I wish we’d have seen more of his internal transformation from being bitter and reluctant about being pawned off to a new pack into one of their leaders.
Then there was everything dealing with Brian, the alpha who was traded to Purple Sky as a suitable leader. There were so many loose ends with him it frustrated me.
Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.
Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”
EBook of choice from author’s backlist (excluding box sets and anthologies)