Author: Liv Olteano
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages
At a Glance: A worthy sequel that continues to draw the reader into a fantastically and realistically created shifter world.
Reviewed By: Angel
Blurb: Five dead leaders, their bodies arranged in a pentagram. Treason, lies, and backstabbing. A make-believe affair that turns into a real mating.
Timothy Sands is a PBI counselor, half-fey, half-elf, with a secret crush on Herman Weiss, PBI director. As a new chapter is added to the Leader Murders, it is Weiss’s responsibility to investigate what seems an impossible-to-solve case. The other problem? Weiss is suffering from rages, and his only salvation lies in Tim’s emotional-grid-balancing skills. They only have to pretend to be a couple for Tim to use his talents, and he owes Weiss a big favor. Piece of cake, right?
The fey might be involved in the Leader Murders. Someone on the Council might be their ally, and another prominent PBI figure looks more and more suspicious as they investigate. The stakes are upped when Timothy’s father, the Fey King, threatens to leave the Council destitute if they don’t hand Timothy over to him. Weiss’s brilliant solution? Mating Timothy and forcing the Council into protecting him.
There’s only one small hitch in that plan: instead of protecting one, the Council might decide to get rid of two.
Review: I really enjoyed Liv Olteano’s return to this verse she has created. Olteano touches on the hard subjects: acceptance, consent, abuse, dominance and submission of the non-kinky sort, letting go, and standing up for one’s beliefs. The writing is easy to read and filled with emotions that make you not only feel what the characters do, but think about it as well.
Though this is Herman Weiss and Timothy Sands’ story, I loved that Rick and Travis made an appearance in this book. I also liked that Rick hasn’t changed his mind on the matters of dominance and abuse in the pack structure. The expanded story on Weiss, introduced in the first book as the Alpha of the werewolf pack, is interesting and kept me turning the pages.
This is where the shifter aspect of the book takes a turn. Once again, I love the fact that the author has tipped the genre on its side and still managed to include the beloved shifter tropes. Weiss has to have himself under control after his mate betrayed him, and he goes to his friend for that help. I liked Weiss a bit more in this book than I did the first, though I still felt the same irritation with his overly alpha tendencies. He received more of a comeuppance than I was expecting after reading the first book, and while I was glad to see him learn a bit of humility, it was a harsh lesson. Exactly what was needed in one way; I understand more now why they called Amanda insane in the first book, and this just enhances the story. The people trying to affect changes are going to drastic measures and really harming their case more than anything.
Enter Timothy Sands. He has had a crush on Weiss for several years, and knows just how much of an ass Weiss can be. He also understands the nature of the beast, so to speak, and yet deals with it accordingly, properly. Be that because he is a half-breed or from being a psychologist, I don’t know, but I loved his demeanor and his attitude. He has his own problems within the realm, and deals with them well. I think it shows just how strong of a character he is that he has fallen for Weiss and his domineering personality, though he himself is also a stubborn sort. I loved getting to know more about the Weiss’s son and the part he will play later in life.
Paranormal politics, as well as those of the PIB, are a big part of this book and bring up even more of the realistic issues people face today. The dynamics were dizzying, but understandable, and all too relevant to real world debates on similar topics.
The mystery here deepens and expands on the first book, and though this is, again, a complete story, you are still left with questions about who exactly is behind all the disruptions. Other characters that I adored in the first book made a return appearance, and I want to see their stories, too, no matter if they are straight or gay. In fact, I’d really like to see the author’s take on a good straight relationship in this world she has created. Regardless of my desires, I am really loving the series and hope the author continues to deliver an excellent tale.
Thanks for the excellent read!
You can buy A Counselor Among Wolves here: