Title: The Hated Finn (Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Thirty-nine)
Author: Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Length: 113 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: Yes, it’s a formulaic series, but I especially enjoyed the chemistry of this couple and their journey together.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Out of the Cage: A cage of the mind can manifest in unusual ways.
Viktor Minsky spent months recovering after having been captured and tortured for information about his friend. While he still bears the scars, he’s proud that no matter how they’d beaten and starved him, he’d never caved. After Viktor joins a group of vampires and shifters to free captured shifters, he’s charged with tracking down several of the vendors that deliver supplies to the facility. When Viktor stops at the ostrich farm that supplied the meat to the scientists, he meets the owner, Finn O’Riley. Not only is Viktor shocked to discover the man is a shifter, but the scent of Finn’s blood causes his mouth to water. He suspects the shifter is his beloved, the other half of his soul, but Finn’s response to his appearance bluntly proves that he wants nothing to do with him. Can Viktor learn if Finn’s hostility is caused because he’s in league with the scientists, or is it caused by something else entirely?
Note: While this is book thirty-nine in the Wolves of Stone Ridge series, it can easily be read as a standalone.
Review: Viktor Minsky is a vampire from the coven that is mostly populated by the Kuznetsov family and their partners—there are vamps and shifters and humans, and they all get along OK. They have worked closely with the Alpha Declan and the local pack to search for the scientists and facilities where shifters have been taken prisoner, tortured and experimented on. Viktor himself has been kidnapped, tortured and abused in the past, and rescued by the Kuznetsovs. He still deals with some of the aftermath, but for the most part has recovered. He hates his scars and hides them, though.
In this episode, Viktor and some of the pack go after a new facility. Viktor is teamed with Jared (YEA, still my favorite series character) and some other shifters to break in and rescue the captive shifters and to catch more of the crew to find the men behind the operation. While they do rescue some shifters and get more information, there is a lot to follow up on.
Viktor is tasked with visiting the suppliers of the facility and one of those is an ostrich farmer named Finnegan O’Riley, or Finn, much to Viktor’s chagrin. When Viktor visits and realizes Finn is a shifter, he’s appalled. If Finn willfully supplied the cruel facility with meat, he’s not sure how to handle it, but he knows that Finn is not lying when he tells him he didn’t know.
The other thing that Viktor can tell is that Finn is his beloved, but Finn has zero desire to be around vampires or any other paranormal. It turns out that Finn has spent decades by himself, and he likes it that way. His past experience with other paranormals has not been good and he has no intention of involving himself with any every again. Ah, best laid plans!
Finn has a lot of trouble fighting his attraction to Viktor, though, and Viktor certainly isn’t going to give him the chance to ignore him. Vaguely stalkerish, Viktor sets out to “bump into” Finn in town. In his bid to woo Finn, Viktor also gets involved helping a young gay guy in town who is constantly being bashed. When Viktor interrupts their latest assault, and gets rid of the guys, he is unaware that he has started something that might get ugly.
As Viktor breaks down Finn’s reluctance and they go out together, Finn begins to relax a little bit, but he is having a hard time resisting what he is realizing is his mate. Of course, that doesn’t last too terribly long, which is good because there is trouble for Viktor, and he really need Finn’s help.
I really liked this latest book in the series. First of all, Jared is in it, so that always makes a book better for me. 🙂 Viktor is a good guy and so is Finn. There is some tension for both of them that has to be overcome, but their communication was good. Yes, it’s a formulaic series, but I especially enjoyed the chemistry of this couple and their journey together. I hope we get to see a story for Drako in the future. 😉
You can buy The Hated Finn here: