An ancient civilization long hidden from humanity is on the brink of chaos and war. Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes.
The nightmare begins with an ambush by humans at a gathering of their kind, and lives are lost. Among them is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans. Thought long dead and gone, he is forced into a half-life, hidden in the far northern wilds of Canada and cut off from his kind. Those who raised him have no idea the creature they harbor in their midst, and name him Ghost. He begins to lose himself over the long years, and though he barely recalls his true name, the one wolf he never forgets is Kane.
Kane, Heir to the wolfkin clan Black Pine, is charged with hunting down the traitors who betrayed their kind to the humans. Years fly by, and more wolves are dying. He refuses to give up, and he vows to never again fail another of their kind, as he failed young Luca years before. His heart tells him Luca lives, but his mind tells him that it’s foolish hope, his guilt eating him alive.
Fate and magic change the course of their lives, and the two wolves long separated by the years find their paths intertwining. Though the gift of their reunion doesn’t come without price. Faced by the consequences of their growing love, and the goddess-forged bond between them, Kane and Ghost are besieged on all sides. Enemies are coming for their blood, and without the steadfast loyalty and love of family and friends, they may not be safe from the very people they fight to protect.
I have a confession: I’m not a fan of shifters. When SJ Himes sent me a copy of Wolves of Black Pine, I’ll fully admit I was nervous as I opened the first page. I figured I’d give it a shot, just so I could say I did. Best. Decision. Ever.
SJ Himes has a way of creating a world and drawing the reader in. Immediately, I knew there was something about Kane I needed in my life. When the clans were ambushed, I was drawn in even further, needing to know if Kane would find Luca. When he didn’t, my heart broke for both of them.
From that point on, I couldn’t read fast enough to get to the point where Kane and Luca were reunited. Because they had to be. And they were. And life was good. It was amusing to watch Luca, now Ghost, adapt to a life he hadn’t had for so long.
This book truly took me through the full scope of emotions. There were times I wanted to reach into my Kindle to strangle a character or two. There were times I laughed out loud at Ghost trying to get used to his new life (never before has sex been so entertaining). And there were times I teared up, waiting for SJ to put the pieces of my heart back together.
The moment I finished the book, I began demanding the next book. Sadly, I’ve been told I have to be patient. There’s only been one other time I’ve taken the chance on a shifter series and been so thoroughly engrossed in the story. Kudos to SJ Himes, because the Wolves of Black Pine are now in the company of Dex and Sloane in my heart!
BURKE STEPPED into the cabin, and the scent of sweat and sex assaulted his sensitive nose. The noises had quieted down a few minutes prior, and his eyes went wide as he took in the destruction.
“Is it clear?” Sophia whispered from behind him, and she peered around his shoulder. “Whoa!”
“Yeah….,” Burke nodded, mouth agape as he stepped further into the cabin, taking in the toppled furniture, the pictures knocked off the walls, the open cabinets in the kitchen, the broken china on the floor. A log support beam in the ceiling was cracked in two, one half hanging low in the living room, and dust from the seams between logs coated the walls and floorboards.
Sophia followed him in, stepping around the debris on the floor, one small hand clutching at his sleeve as she jumped over what was once a framed picture. Glass littered the floor, and she grumbled about cleaning as they took in the chaos.
“What happened?” Burke asked, and he shook his head at himself. He knew what happened, he just couldn’t believe it.
“I think we both know what happened.” Sophia smirked at him, and he bit off a laugh at the sound of a mattress creaking in the rear of the cabin.
Sophia jumped over a pile of glass and shattered frames, and bounced onto the couch, then over the back. The crunch on her boots was loud in the relative quiet, and Burke rolled his eyes at her antics, but he followed her all the same, not wanting to risk a shard of glass cutting through his boots. Blood was a pain in the ass to clean up.
They peeked down the hall, and saw movement in the light under the door to Kane’s room. They would have risked a mind touch, but when Burke had tried earlier, he’d retreated as fast as he could, the emotions and thoughts that occupied the Heir of a highly personal nature, and he’d backed out before he was noticed. Hopefully.
“Guess they aren’t having any trouble with the bond, huh?” Burke said wryly, and Sophia smacked him, even as she giggled. She was centuries old, and giggling. “Think they’re done?”
“Well, the ground stopped shaking and the moaning stopped, so maybe.”
The door opened, and a naked Kane scowled at them. Burke snapped his mouth shut, and Sophia’s giggles fled fast. Both of them straightened, and kept their eyes low, in the area of his knees. Kane growled, the rumble of it drifting down the hall to where they stood.
It was an angry sound, a wolf defending his mate kind of sound.
*Maybe we should have risked another mind call,* Sophia said nervously, and Burke sent back a wordless agreement as Kane continued to growl at them.
“Hi Burke!” came a cheerful greeting, and the growl cut off. “Hi Sophia!”
Burke risked a look up, and Ghost smiled at him, naked and appearing thoroughly ravished. His body was lean and lithe, supple youthful lines and gorgeous skin shiny with sweat. Ghost was perfection, and Burke pulled a quick breath in through his teeth, a small hiss of surprise. Kane snarled as Burke took an eyeful of his naked mate, and Burke promptly dropped his eyes and made himself stand as still as possible. Interfering in a mating, and one so new, was suicide, especially with an alpha with the Voice. Kane didn’t need fangs or claws to kill; he could drop them both with a thought, and in his current state, he might. Ghost was naked, a normal state for a wolfkin, but he was also fresh from his lover’s bed, and Burke was another alpha, and far too close to Kane’s soulbonded mate…
“Stop growling at them,” Ghost said, and there was a crack of sound, followed by the smell of ozone. Kane let out what could only be called a yelp, and Burke looked up to see the Heir rubbing his shoulder and glowering at the shaman.
“Did you just zap me?” Kane asked incredulously, staring down at Ghost, brow lowered.
“I don’t know what ‘zap’ means. No growling,” Ghost scolded his mate, and Burke choked back a snort and a laugh at the expression on Kane’s face.
“Fine,” Kane bit off, teeth clenched. “Why are you here?” he asked them, stepping back in his room and leaving the door open. Burke eyed the door warily, but Ghost’s smile and cheerful wave gave him courage to walk down the hall…slowly. Just in case.
“Maybe some clothing would be a good idea?” Sophia said wryly, smiling at Ghost. The young shaman looked down at himself, and then back up at where they stood at the door. He shrugged, obviously not understanding Sophia’s reasoning, and he turned back into the room, gifting Burke with a marvelous view of his pert ass. Ghost was sleekly muscled, a sculpture worthy of an old master, not an ounce of miscellaneous or wasted flesh on his body.