When Danger Bites by Heather Long

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Magic/Paranormal/ Military/Paramilitary/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense/ Speculative Fiction/ Urban Fantasy 16th April 2017
When Danger Bites by Heather LongWhen Danger Bites by Heather Long
Series: Bravo Team WOLF #1
Published by Entangled Publishing on May 8th 2017
Pages: 300
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three-stars

Buttoned-up Corporal Kaitlyn Amador is dangerous on every level. As a human, she poses a threat to Marine Captain Jax Raymond’s special Force Recon unit. Though the team has a reputation among the other recon units, only their commanding officer knows their secret. As a woman, the danger posed is entirely different. Jax can survive the temptation for only so long before his wolf takes over and pursues what it wants.
Military intelligence specialist Corporal Kaitlyn Amador is the first woman in the Marines to be assigned to a recon team. And everyone’s watching her. Her mission? Not only prove herself worthy of her place in the group, but uncover the mystery of why Bravo Team is so successful. A mission that gets more difficult every time she’s near Jax...

I went into this not quite knowing what to expect despite having some experience reading different authors’ takes on the way they take on shapeshifters. Heather Long’s story however, is a nuanced one, pitting a strong, kickass intelligence officer holding her own in a secret pack of marine wolf-shapeshifters. But because Bravo wolf team is classified—their existence is a result of secret government pacts with several wolf alphas—, Kat Amador’s secret mission will compromise them all and put everything into peril.

Long’s own brand of wolf-shapeshifter mythology is part-Nalini Singh and part-Paige Tyler, a good mixture that subscribes to the wolf pack canon at least, with a lot of attention paid to dominance and submission which is admittedly part of this sub-genre of the paranormal universe which I don’t exactly like but something that seems necessary. It’s very well-written though, with dialogue that very clearly puts across the conflicts on varying levels: military command vs. pack order, a sole human woman needing to find her own footing amongst testosterone laden shapeshifters who are also soldiers and how Jax tries to reconcile his personal desires with how he was meant to make Kat wash out.

Overall though, ‘When Danger bites’ is a good read but it’s also one that feels like an ‘establishing’ book, as Long sets up the context, the history and the Marine wolf team out for us, while juggling a pairing that spent most of their time training and trying to ignore the attraction that’s between them. While I liked Jax/Kat’s chemistry as well as the camaraderie between the other soldiers, I couldn’t exactly get into the pairing seeing as so much of the focus lay with Kat trying to keep up with the team while trying to rein in her own growing suspicions about their success.

When it all finally comes out, the conflict and resolution are somewhat blurred lines, with mentions of mating, an unknown, faceless alpha and ‘turning’ a human—all of which felt like teases that were never really elaborated upon, let alone seen materialised. Instead, the ending bit, which was really Kat’s triumph in yet another survival course, felt like a let-down and I couldn’t really tell what would happen with Jax and Kat past their agreement to go ‘steady’. These loose threads curtailed my enjoyment somewhat of what could have been a very solid read, seeing as I would have liked to have seen a greater development of Jax/Kat’s relationship. But it’s something to hope for in the next few books in the series as the other wolves finally settle into their skin.

three-stars

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