Author: Kaje Harper
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 388 Pages
At a Glance: Kaje Harper’s Hidden Wolves series just keeps getting better and better. She is continually recreating this paranormal genre and breathing new life into it with each installment.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Stepping out of the closet as a gay man may be a walk in the park, compared to coming out as a werewolf.
From the moment artist Dylan Shore arrives in Chicago, his life gets twisted like a kaleidoscope. Why does a street gang he’s never met before want him dead? Why is a hot but odd mathematician stalking him? And how can half the things Alex Corwin says possibly be true, no matter how honest he seems?
Alex has a frightening dilemma. Dylan is attractive, appealing, out and proud. He’s also completely unaware that he’s a werewolf. It shouldn’t be Alex’s job to tell him, and warn him that gay wolves usually end up dead. But someone has to, before he finds out in blood and violence.
Chicago’s not Alex’s home town, but somehow he needs to protect Dylan from the local packs, protect the Packs from being outed by Dylan, and keep his cool around the first man to touch his own deeply-closeted heart.
Review: Staying off the radar is hard enough when you’re a shifter, but hiding from your family because they would never accept the fact that you are gay is perhaps the loneliest way to live. Alex is in his thirties, young by wolf standards, but still a virgin, in every sense of the word. While on assignment from his pack in Seattle, he settles uneasily in Chicago, makes nice with the local pack and bides his time till he can go home. Then he runs into a wolf—a wolf that doesn’t realize he is one—a wolf who is running for his life from the very pack that Alex has carefully been avoiding after his initial introduction, to garner approval from the alpha to be on their turf while doing his research. Naturally he helps the guy out, but when he realizes that Dylan Shore has no idea he is a shifter—that, in fact, he has never allowed his inner wolf to surface—Alex is determined to help Dylan get out of town before the pack hunts him down. Oh, if only wishes could always come true and attraction was not so very strong, because in short order Alex and Dylan are running for their lives from the pack, from government sanctioned scientists, and then from the world.
I am not giving you one more clue as to how this story, Unsafe Exposure, evolves, other than to say that as the fourth installment in her Hidden Wolves series. She has upped the ante and gone the extra mile to build two new characters that I absolutely fell in love with from the word go. Honestly, that is saying a whole lot right there because those familiar with this author’s wolf shifter series know that Ms. Harper has created some pretty fantastic guys again and again in these books. But Dylan and Alex are just special—Alex, in particular. To hide who he was from people he genuinely cared about and respected for so long; to never act on the fantasies and hopes he had about finding someone to love, to be intimate with, to care for—dreams he buried so deeply within; to truly live a half life in so many ways and then risk his own in order to save a man he barely knows but who strikes such a deep chord within him that he cannot walk away; that is a hard and selfless life, and that is Alex, in a nutshell.
Because Dylan is, in many ways, similar to Alex—leading a life that is focused on caring for his younger sister after their mother dies—it is so easy to see why these two men are drawn to each other from the start. But fate is a hard mistress and the hand she deals these two is fraught with danger and turmoil. Escape after escape, we watch Dylan and Alex run, fleeing for their very lives and still they are hard pressed to find a place that is both safe and home. For many reasons, these two men are destined to travel a road that is hardly easy and often lonely, which only makes their feelings for each other grow stronger.
Those familiar with this series will get a glimpse of familiar faces, and I know I, for one, enjoyed seeing how they fared. True to form, this author doesn’t allow her characters to take the easy road. Theirs is a realistic journey, and even though you may enjoy visiting those old friends during this novel, don’t be surprised to learn that life still balances very much on the edge of a knife for many of them. But, as always, there is woven throughout this incredible story much hope for a better tomorrow. It may be a bumpy ride, but home is still there and friendships have only deepened over time.
Kaje Harper’s Hidden Wolves series just keeps getting better and better. She is continually recreating this paranormal genre and breathing new life into it with each installment. Her characters are living, breathing men who meet the challenges thrown at them and move on, battered and bruised, but determined to live the life they deserve. I predict that fans will rave about Unsafe Exposure, and I encourage those who are new to this author’s books to start with the first one of these gems and save the latest for last. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
You can buy Unsafe Exposure here: