Title: Healing Hunter’s Heart
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
At a Glance: A much darker and more action packed story than the first book, this is a fitting next chapter in this intriguing shifter series.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Months after being forced to leave his lover and mate Ari Jannsen behind, Hunter Devin settles into his role as Enforcer for the newly formed Deagan Clan under the rule of his new Alpha and best friend Tristan “Trip” Hagan. Along with Hunter’s brother Boone, their nephews, sister, and mother, Hunter finally has the family he’s always wanted, but without his little rebel Ari, his heart is incomplete.
The Hagan Clan is unable to accept the Deagan Clan’s betrayal for walking away and taking the clan’s pups with them. War looms. As both clans plan their attack, a greater enemy plots against them. But Hunter is determined to get his Ari back. Bonds are put to the test and unexpected alliances are made as Hunter and his clan set out to protect their own and end the spreading heartache.
Review: Another disclosure: I am a big Charlie Cochet fan (she is an auto-buy for me) – both her historicals and her latest THIRDS series are favorites. Now I can add this series to the list as well. Warning: It is not recommended that this series be read out of sequence, as the setup for this story is a spoiler from the first book.
Oh man! This was quite a ride, and very different in many ways from the first book in this series, An Intrepid Trip to Love (from the M/M Goodreads group free Love Has No Boundaries event in 2013). I am embarrassed to say that I JUST read the first story in March of this year, in anticipation of the release of this story. *hangs head in shame*
A lot of this particular chapter of the series takes place in the past – parallel to the story in the first book. Then we move to present day, where Trip and Boone have already bonded and left the Hagan clan and moved to a new town, with Trip becoming the Alpha of the Deagan clan. Things are going okay with the clan, but there is always the threat of possible trouble from their former clan. Hunter is making do, but a big part of his heart is missing after having to leave Ari with his mother and his old clan. He misses Ari something fierce, and he isn’t truly happy.
The first quarter of the story centers around how Ari and Hunter became a couple – from their first encounter to their separation at the hands of the Hagan clan Council, and particularly Ari’s mother. It’s an entertaining episode, and we get to learn a lot more about Ari and Hunter in the time that led up to the confrontation between Trip and his father that leads to the split. We also get the story from alternating perspectives, so we know how Ari and Hunter feel about their relationship and how they are faring when they are apart.
Besides the painful separation of Hunter and Ari, the other events of this book involve the looming fight with the Hagan clan. Trip has most of the younger generation and all of the pups in his clan, and this is causing a lot of consternation with Trip’s family he has left behind, including his father, Mattias, his mother, brother, and grandparents. Then there is crazy Skyrah, Ari’s mother and Trip’s former mother-in-law. She is a chief architect of the Council’s strategy regarding the Deagan clan. She and Matthias collude to make the Deagan clan pay.
As the story heads toward a climactic battle, alliances are drawn and new characters are introduced from other neighboring clans. There are also familiar characters such as Kristoff from the Trevyn clan, and the adorable Robbie, Trip’s son. We get some new clans and characters, the most compelling being Mischa, the Alpha of the Zolnervolk clan. The tension between Kristoff and Mischa was really fun to watch (and I hope we get a lot more of them in the future. Hint-hint, Charlie). As Trip builds his new alliances, the Hagan clan is plotting something more devious and ghastly than anyone can predict. This leads to a bloody and heartbreaking battle that will forever change the Hagan and Deagan clans.
My feelings reading this book were somewhat like being on a rollercoaster. The first bit is all about the fun of new love with the relationship of Ari and Hunter. Then there are a lot of rises and falls with the new characters/clans, and the nefarious plotting on the part of the Hagan clan. Then there is the heartbreak and the uplifting resolution. But I loved every moment of it. 🙂 I really hope there will be more stories in the world, because they are a lot of fun to read.
Healing Hunter’s Heart is highly recommended to anyone who loves a good shifter story, overcoming odds, underdogs winning, or just plain good storytelling. Charlie Cochet has done it again!
You can buy Healing Hunter’s Heart here: