Title: Strength to Let Go
Series: Tales of the Werewolf Tribes, Book One
Author: Alina Popescu
Genre: gay romance, paranormal, werewolves, paranormal romance, supernatural
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
After being abandoned by his mates, Shiki Kirishima, beta of the Dragons of the Fang werewolf tribe, returns to his home in Tokyo.Crippled by grief, Shiki decides to end it all by going into the territory of the Siberian Killers tribe and challenging them to a battle to the death.His death.Ganzorig, beta of the Siberian Killers, however, sees the potentially disastrous consequences of having Shiki die in battle.Instead, he saves him.Having suffered loss himself, Ganz takes it upon himself to help Shiki deal with his pain.Blake, Shiki’s best friend since childhood, is as determined to show him there is life after a wolf’s ultimate loss.Could there also be something ‘more’ for them after friendship?
Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Shiki is a friend of mine, then again, so is Blake. These two men I've been observing for almost a year now, I think, so of course I had to read their story. Which has not yet ended, by the way. Shiki is as cool as cool can be, Blake a more quiet enigma. Both men are gorgeous inside and out. If only they had come together sooner, maybe what they had to go through could have been avoided?
No, this is not a true story, no werewolf/shifter/paranormal story is. Unless I am totally missing something? These two men are quite real to me though for they are my friends. You can check, if you can, on my FB page. They are role play characters two awesome authors play along with others. This is how their story unfolded but the nitty gritty details, all here is laid out in the book. And oh, wow, this is truly a wonderful read.
It all begins and almost ends with Shiki losing his two husbands for reasons he could only guess. His inability to find the answers is just one of the few things that drove him on a suicide mission. As beta of a powerful clan, he is not only powerful and highly skilled, he is deadly. With the exchange of blood from both ex-husbands during their supposedly happy times, he is changed. For the better? For the worse? One could only guess and that question is what drives the conflicting lower-powered clans to think they could bully their way through taking over what they most definitely cannot. Shiki has to get out of his depression and do something. And he does. The journey to that point where he finally found the energy to get up and be out there as beta, now that is what this read is all about.
It is a heartbreaking story, Shiki goes through. Two men help him out. Ganz and Blake. But it is Blake who finally gets him to get out of his funk and face the world and responsibilities. To finally live again. Have the strength to let go of a past and be someone else who is most definitely changed but wiser and more confident. He is the only one Shiki knew he could lean on without fear of being babied. Of course he is, for Blake is the one best friend he grew up and trained with. As for their romance? What others saw for years brewing, both men never smelled. Well, they buy food, they don't cook. You know what I mean. If they did, they would have noticed the wonderful aroma of unconditional love.
Now, I am biased, I already said I love both men, being friends and all. As for Alina, well, this gorgeous Romanian is one of the besties on FB, everyone knows that too. But I never mince words when it comes to her writing and her style is right on target for what I am constantly looking for. Narrative, image-filled, emotional. She can turn text into a movie in my mind. The action sequences here, they put bushido movies to a test. As for the characters, think cosplay and you get the full blast of her men. Yes, she's really good. As for Blake, I know the author behind the man as well and... let's leave it at that. Talent wise, that author is undeniably up there on my faves list as well. Point is, this story could never have come at a better time. Why? Well, pick it up, take a read, and find out why I loved it so... Get ready for the ride of your life.
The story will continue and as for the questions left hanging, I know some answers, but mostly, I don't. I have to be impatient.. erm, sorry, patient.
Note: I know Alina is sorry/not/sorry I cried. (To Alina: meanie! **stickstongueout**)
The light in my room was on and I growled in warning as I walked past the windows, hoping Ganz would get the message and leave. No such luck, I realized, when I pushed my door open and saw him pacing the room. Leaving the door ajar, I walked in and started stripping. I needed to clean this whole fucked up night off and just get myself stupid drunk. Otherwise, there’d be no sleep for me.
“Shiki, I am sorry I sprung that on you, but you needed to hear it.”
“Shut up and get out,” I said, trying to keep my voice neutral. “Now, Ganz. Get out now!”
He cringed as I got louder, but didn’t budge. With a shrug, I removed my boots and socks, then practically tore off my jacket and T-shirt.
“Dimitri survived losing his mate, and he’s not the only one,” Ganz insisted, his voice barely audible.
Running my hand through my hair, I turned to face him. “It’s not the fucking same thing! My mates are not dead. They are alive and kicking, thank you very much! They broke all bonds with me, yet I can still feel them. I’ve not lost them, they left. To me and my wolf, they are who we belong to.”
He shook his head and took a step closer.
“Don’t say anything else. You have no idea how this feels.”
“Shiki, I don’t have to! I don’t need to have been burnt to know my skin will heal.”
“Losing a mate is not a fucking flesh wound, you dumbass!” My breath hitched as I grabbed and squeezed the back rest of the one chair in my room. I feared letting go of it because I knew I might end up tearing the whole house apart.
“It’s not, it just takes longer to heal.”
“Ganz, I don’t care about the healing, I care about the loneliness I’d have to face for much longer than any other wolf. What the hell do you think drinking that much fae blood does? They are immortal, remember?”
He placed a tentative hand on my shoulder and I promptly shook it off.
“You could spend a huge chunk of that lifetime with the true love of your life, why would you want to waste it?”
“Because the loves of my life don’t fucking want me. Wolves mate for life, remember? And even if you can move on after a mate’s death, mine are very much alive. They will never die!”
“That’s nothing but semantics. They are gone, and you are stubbornly clinging to someone who clearly does not deserve you!”
Before the words even sunk in, the aggression in them directed to the two I loved hit me head on. I snarled and pounced before I could even dream of stopping myself. In mere seconds, I had Ganz pinned against the wall, my right hand squeezing his throat and my hips keeping him in place.
“Don’t you ever speak of them like that,” I snarled, watching as his eyes grew wide with both shock and the effort to breathe. He was fighting for air, but there was little of it getting through.
“They are nothing but fucking morons for giving you up,” he whispered, struggling to push the words out. My grip locked tighter around his neck and I knew he’d soon pass out. I was looming over him, growling and staring him down, and right then my nostrils flared with a surprising aroma. Arousal.
I gasped, my eyes widening as the scent permeated the air around me. My growl changed, a soft purr layering it, and I could feel my own dick stirring. No, that was impossible! Sure it had been a few weeks, but…. But what? Had I expected my body to stop working? I was a wolf, I should have known better.
“A future alpha who gets all hot and bothered when he’s being manhandled. That’s an interesting discovery.” I chuckled, going for mocking, but it turned out genuinely amused, maybe with a hint of surprise.
“Yes, so? You seem to be equally turned on by manhandling this future alpha,” Ganz said, arching a brow. A smug smirk curled up half of his mouth and I could clearly see his pupils dilating. He was right, but it angered me that he was, so I squeezed harder and snarled. Ganz moaned, a long, drawn out sound, and pushed his hips forward, crushing his erection into my hip.
“No, seriously, you like this?”
Ganz placed his hand over mine and I loosened my hold enough for him to talk.
“Yes, I like it. I like control over everything and everyone, except for fucking. Then I want someone else to bend me over.” He shrugged and looked away from me. “Do you imagine anyone here would dare do that? Humans respond to us naturally by submitting and… other supernaturals rarely interest me.”
I nodded slowly, thinking the ways of his tribe, with their strict rules against foreign wolves, probably weren’t helping the situation much. A fresh wave of arousal hit me as my body crowded his, and I realized my rolling hips had taken the reins from me and were responding to his lust.
Without trying to move my hand away, Ganz brushed his knuckles over my cheek, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. His fingers trailed farther, playing on the back of my neck and making me groan. Putting a little pressure on it, he guided my lips to his. A soft brush turned into something fierce, with tongues and teeth clashing. I moved my hand higher, my chokehold tight around his jawline, and held him in place as I explored his mouth. I nudged his legs, spreading them wide, and stepped between them, pressing our throbbing cocks together. We both moaned at the contact and I could have sworn I felt his knees give out.
Prizes: $10 WIP Gift Card, 3 signed Bookmarks, and 1 ecopy of Strength to Let Go