Series: Moon Shifter #6
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Sexual Content: Explicit sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Kim
He walked away once; he won't do it again.
Wolf shifter Aldric Kazan is no stranger to pain. Since the loss of his mate a century ago, he won't allow himself to fall for someone again—not even the feisty female who stirs things in him that he thought were gone long ago. But as a supernatural investigator, he's forced to team up with the same woman he vowed to stay away from.
She let him in once; she refuses to do it again.
Natalia Cordona refuses to back down from any challenge—even if it means joining forces with Aldric, the sexy and brooding man who won't get too close. Locating missing vampires before a volatile war breaks out seems nearly impossible as the duo struggle with their explosive and undeniable attraction. Now it's up to Natalia and Aldric to trust each other to stop an all-out war from breaking out that would destroy the harmony they've all worked so hard for.
DARK PROTECTOR does a fabulous job of catching up the Moon Shifter series, while introducing a fresh conflict and interesting characters outside the ranch where most of the characters live. Vampires are missing during a particularly sensitive time in vampire/werewolf relations, and a war between two clans would be bad news for all supernatural creatures. It’s in the best interest of all parties involved to find the missing vamps, which is why Natalia and Aldrick end up working together.
Natalia has gotten a bit braver since the previous book, when she killed her first person. She also met Aldrick, fallen for him, and then tried to get over him when he leaves her hanging.
Much like his brother, Aldrick works as an enforcer, which puts him outside the pack structure. He’s been roaming for a long time, working mostly for the Brethren, the ruling vampire committee. He hasn’t wanted to socialize with werewolves for decades. After a terrible tragedy with his mate, he even spent years as a wild wolf, unable to think or shift back to human form. He is the definition of a messed up alpha hero, but he manages to be likable.
Even when they don’t get along - which for an urban fantasy novel is almost expected - Natalia and Aldrick are on fire together. His reaction when he sees her in the arms of another man is particularly violent, even if he figures out quickly that it’s only a ruse to get information. I loved all the arguing Natalia did, and the chasing Aldrick had to do in order to get her to listen. When he does catch up to her, and eventually open up, it’s like setting a match to paper.
The mystery Natalia and Aldrick are helping to solve took a backseat to their love story, and I didn’t really mind; it was more of a reason to bring them together. While it was somewhat exciting, it never felt like the missing vampires were a huge, world-threatening plot. We heard a lot from the main villain before they were exposed, so perhaps that lessened the mystery for me.
Many of the books in the Moon Shifter series call back to previous pairings. It was fun to see Jayce and Kate again, as they were so incredibly hot in previous books. While the whole pack doesn’t make an appearance, there is definitely a sense of family and belonging transmitted in the writing. The pack is a tight knit group, living in a small collection of farm houses on a ranch. The wolves hop to each other’s houses, steal cookies out of the pantry and watch each other’s cubs when things get busy. Compared to the quiet desperation that inhabited the ranch in the first book, it’s a thriving community. It’s great when a series manages to keep the feel of the original novels while evolving the story and the setting.
I believe the next book is the last one, and I think it's Christmas-themed, which could be incredibly saccharine or good fun - hard to tell.Series Titles:
- For more exciting modern werewolf suspense stories, try the SWAT (Secret Wolf Alpha Team) novels by Paige Tyler, Frozen In Amber, by Phyllis Ames, Under Her Skin by Margo Bond Collins, The Geek Job by Even Langlais and Changeling Moon, by Molly Harper.