Author: M.J. O’Shea
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Pages/Word Count: 256 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Max Appleton and his mother Celia are on the run, hiding from an abusive father and husband who’s also a notoriously bad pack leader. When Max hit puberty and it became obvious he’d never make an alpha wolf, his father turned the brunt of his anger toward his inferior son and his beta wolf wife for producing him. Max and Celia find sanctuary in a garden cottage at Holly Court, the sprawling estate where Celia’s oldest friend lives with her pack alpha husband, three daughters, and teenaged son Jonah.
Jonah Spellman has what seems like the perfect life. His family is close, his dad is respected by their whole pack, and he’s been groomed to take over for as long as he can remember. Everything is set, his whole life planned, and Jonah works hard to be exactly what everyone expects. He’s under enough pressure without a runaway from a bad pack complicating his life.
When two teenaged werewolves from very different worlds meet one snowy January day, both of their worlds get turned inside out. From the moment they meet, nothing will be the same for Jonah or Max ever again.
Review: Max has an abusive, drunken father who has the ability to ruin his life in more ways than one. You see, his Dad is the alpha wolf—head of a pack that alternately obeys and despises the man. Having had enough of living under the fear of a man who seeks only to hurt them, Max and his mother move in with a pack a few hours from his home. Once there, something strange begins to happen. All his life, Max understood himself to be a beta—a second in command to an alpha, so when he meets the son of his mother’s friend, he automatically assumes the position as one of his betas. But quickly, an uncanny set of parallels are revealed between Max and the young alpha Jonah. The two boys are inexorably drawn to one another and find a strange desire rise between them. Max’s mother begins to whisper of something called a soulbond—something much deeper than just a mating bond. But the boys are told a soulbond can only happen between an alpha and an omega—and Max is neither….or is he?
Sometimes you stumble upon a novel that is just so right, so interesting and whose characters are so real and complete that you are immediately drawn into the story. Loveblood by M.J. O’Shea is one such novel. I felt that the author really captured what it is to be a teenager, with all of its angst and joys. The rapid mood swings that both Jonah and Max fell prey to, along with a healthy dose of lust and hormones, was just a near perfect representation of what teens go through in their everyday life. Then, for the author to go and give the story a paranormal twist, which introduced a theme of bullying and the idea that there was a perfect mate out there for Jonah and Max, was just icing on the cake. The story moved well for me. I felt there was no rushing when it came to these boys getting together. After all, Jonah had a mate bond with a girl in his pack already and to undo that was serious business. In making their relationship go through lots of growing pains, I felt the author gave the overall story a real ring of truth that made this paranormal tale stand out amongst others like it.
I felt the story was good up to the last few chapters, and then it began to lose steam for me. Little conflicts were thrown in that were unnecessary, and I felt just kept the story from resolving. The story had already gone long and some may feel that the slow rate at which the two boys danced around their feelings for each other weighed the plot down as well. I never felt there was too much angst or that there was too slow a build; rather, I found it refreshing that we didn’t just jump right into an easy relationship. I appreciated that Jonah was conflicted over hurting his blood mate and that he was trying to grapple with the fact that his soul mate was male. All his guilt and worry leant only more credence to his position as an alpha in training and made perfect sense to me. Also, true to Max’s submissive nature, forcing Jonah to make a decision that left no possibility for a friendship for the two boys was also realistic. All in all, I felt that M.J. O’Shea really did justice to the love story arc that ran throughout this coming of age novel.
You can buy Loveblood here: