Title: Bitten by Desire (Regent’s Park Pack: Book Three)
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 311 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, Contemporary, Shifters
At a Glance: I’ve enjoyed every single book so far in the Regent’s Park Pack series, but this book is my hands down favorite yet.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Two lovers from rival packs. Have they come together only to be forced apart?
Alec Knight, a beta in the Regent’s Park pack, guards his heart carefully. Ghosts from his past keep him alone and angry, any hope of a relationship impossible while guilt from the pack wars still haunts him. With the anniversary drawing near, Alec needs a distraction.
As a lowly member of the Primrose Hill pack, Mark Appleton isn’t used to having his alpha’s attention. Lately he’s had more than his fair share, and not for the right reasons. Despite growing suspicions that all is not well, Mark tries hard to do better, but constant criticism leaves him desperate for a stress outlet.
Sex is a good way for shifters to let off steam, and while their packs attack each other with accusations and lies, Alec and Mark work out their frustrations in bed. Pillow talk and shared secrets lead to a closeness neither was expecting, but when pack relations reach an all-time low, any future for them seems out of the question.
If they want to be together, they’ll have to go against their alphas’ wishes—except Alec won’t and Mark can’t.
Review: I’ve enjoyed every single book so far in the Regent’s Park Pack series, but this book is my hands down favorite yet. In this alternate London, Annabelle Jacobs has created an urban landscape in which humans and werewolves coexist though are governed independent of each other. Pack politics and business are conducted at the pleasure of the alphas, their betas, and their respective packs, overseen by an Alpha Council, never commingling with human justice unless a wolf does something which has a direct negative impact on humans. The urban fantasy world mixes the supernatural with the contemporary, and offers up some familiar werewolf fiction tropes delivered through sexy, gorgeous and compelling characters.
I loved the Romeo and Juliet aspect of this book and have been dying to know all about Alec—the brooding, distant beta to the R-pack—since he was introduced in Bitten by Mistake as Nathan’s adversary. Alec has a backstory that had a direct impact on Nathan’s life, and though that doesn’t play a huge role in this book, other than in Alec’s lingering guilt and regret and anger at Nathan, it was nice to see not only a resolution to it but the forgiveness it brings with it.
Going back to the romance in the story and its problematic aspects, Alec and Mark being from different packs isn’t forbidden, as such. The conflict comes into play in the Primrose Hill Pack’s alpha. Alpha Newell is a bit of a corrupt and evil bastard, so the issue for Alec and Mark, apart from the fact they start out looking for just a one-and-done night together, is that their packs are on the brink of a major confrontation. And that one night only became a lie they each told themselves out of a sense of self-preservation.
The pack dynamics are well-balanced with the romance throughout the series. The mate bonding is instinctive—there’s something just so primal about that fated mating that’s innate to shifters; the Mine possessiveness works for me in fiction. But the accomplishing of it all is a mix of romance and protocol. Wolves don’t bite bond with each other impulsively—or, they aren’t supposed to; it’s against the law—but that doesn’t diminish the intimacy and impact of it when they ultimately do. It’s primitive and sensual, and Jacobs has no problem translating the intense intimacy of those scenes to her readers in a visceral way.
The conflict between packs has been brewing and finally boils over in this book, adding no small amount of danger and betrayal to Alec and Mark’s growing and undeniable feelings for each other. When the final confrontation happens, I was fully invested in where the story had led me to and where it was going. The members of the Alpha Council are notable in their supreme authority, and the justice they mete out is a triumphant period on the sentence that the villains in the story deserved.
Charismatic characters, sufficient world building, touching and sexy romance, and a series arc that is headed in a new and interesting direction will keep me coming back for more. If you like shifter fiction, the Regent’s Pack books are addictive, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to read them as standalones or out of order. Start at the beginning and savor every detail throughout as they unfold chronologically. Now that the pack dynamics have evolved to include the formation of a bigger territory and more members under Alpha Cam Harley’s jurisdiction, I’m excited to see not only where Jacobs will take the series next, but who her next pairing will be. I wouldn’t mind at all getting to know Will, Mark’s best friend, a lot better. Just sayin’.
You can buy Bitten by Desire here: