“Okay, who let the civilian have the axe?” -Nic
Mate, book one
ebook, 249 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Monsters do exist...and they’re the good guys.
Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late night emergency is wheeled in.
Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous...and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they're not an emergency room, Lillian can't turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near fatal wound in mere hours.
When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead... and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren't insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?
Warning: Contains blood, mayhem and nude werewolves operating heavy weaponry. Large amounts of sarcasm, and smart-ass vampires may offend some readers. No civilian hospital staff were harmed in the making of this story.
I was in no way prepared for Jack Harper. And maybe that was just a plain stupid error on my part. The guy was being checked into a mental hospital despite being perfectly sane, so why wouldn't he act the part? Either way, I wasn't braced for the big guy to burst into song. Talk about a wtf/facepalm moment. Crazy funny from the start.
Rolled in on a gurney, losing blood and pumped fill of silver nitrate to guarantee he stayed down, Jack still manages to recognize the scent of his mate when she rushes forward to help stem the bleeding. He catches her before she makes physical contact but her presence is enough to wake the beast inside him. A wolf that's raging inside with the need to claim its mate... and rip apart the bastard that intends to harm her.
At that instant I knew I was dealing with a possible biped werewolf that needed the moon to shift, which I ordinarily loathe, but here, I couldn't have cared less. It didn't matter, I was totally rooting for Jack!
The lust for blood and/or the woman shielded behind him wages war inside Jack and for the first time I truly understood why werewolves get shelved in the horror section despite the overwhelming romance fashioned around them. Here, I got it. Other places, not nearly as much.
Riding the shoulder of the book is Major Antonia Fielding, human turned science experiment Vamp, or, as they call them, Blood. Inheriting a prejudice against Lycans from her newly developed self, Antonia is sent to contain the outbreak. After she's forced to watch the only person that ever came close to being a friend, Garry, be turned into a zombie. Yep. All the viruses are alive and well in this series. But Resident Evil's got nothing on this!
Jack's first stop amidst the chaos is to break free his beta and right hand man, Darcy Foster. Awesome all on his own, Darce is soon revealed as Antonia's mate. Also rescued are Richards, Blake, Thom, Palmer, Joe Sanders (gay, in love with Richards), and the lone female of the squad, Nic.
She [Nic] stilled, her expression deadening. Slowly, her gaze marched down to his groin. He didn’t bother to hide the tented fabric at his crotch. His scent would give him away anyway.
She lifted her brow, lips pursed. “Impressive. Weird but impressive. Didn’t know RAs got you off this badly.”
He snorted and waved a hand dismissively. He was in too good a mood to be brought down by her sarcasm.
“She’s here!” He had been going to keep the amazing news to himself, but instead he found himself blurting the words out without any apparent intervention from his brain. Once they were out, there was no taking them back, so he stood in the middle of the corridor grinning like a fool.
The two other wolves froze. There was no question what he meant. A wolf only meant one thing when he said “she” in that tone of voice. He was talking about the other half of his soul, his perfect mate. The woman made especially for him.
“One of the RAs? Man, that sucks. I’m sorry,” Sanders, a man of few words, spoke into the silence.
“Oh. God, no. She’s not an RA. She’s one of the troops that came with them—”
Nic speared him with a look so icy he was surprised his blood didn’t freeze.
“She? With the troops? There’s only one woman with them and she…” Her lip curled in disgust. “She’s a Blood.”
Darce grinned and nodded like a fool. He knew what she was, and he didn’t care.
The female werewolf’s gaze stabbed toward his groin again. "Seriously, Darce? We’re about to be overrun by RAs and you’ve got a boner for some Blood bitch?”
The characters here are done to perfection. Even mere human Lillian. She doesn't freak out or attempt to flee. She stays glued to Jack's side through it all. And not because of some overwhelming, lame ass, cheesy mate bond but because of common freaking sense. Fills the role of alpha female quite well, too. =)
It's been a good long while since I've felt the compulsion to highlight the hell out of a book but I just could not help myself here. May the author forgive me.
“Which one do I get?”
His lips compressed. “None of them. You stay behind me and down out of sight behind the cabinet.”
She looked at him as though he’d grown another head. “Excuse me? Can you repeat that? I thought you just told me that I don’t get a gun.”
He picked up a shotgun and cocked with a swift, efficient movement.
“Yup, that’s exactly what I said.”
“Well, fuck that! I want a gun.”
When the group makes their final break for freedom, it's Darce that hangs back to take care of the rogue soldier hot on their tails. A feat he achieves beautifully. Damn it if Darce didn't have me in the palm of his hand. From his very first word to his last scripted syllable, that man had me hooked. When he and Antonia finally come together, Antonia can't figure out what she wants to shred more. His flesh, or his clothes.
And HOT damn if Jack didn't pass my bed test! *squeal*
Carter outdid herself with this book. She's no stranger to shifters but speaking on this alone... epic. She stayed true to their essence and managed to avoid sounding like the broken record so many writers of animal shifters tend to do. By the gods, this woman's amazing!
5 out of 5 stars to my first favorite of 2013. Hell, I'm about to kick this thing back to the beginning and read it all over again.
Mate Series (taken from Author's Website)
1 - Perfect Mate
2 - Blood Mate (WIP)
3 - Broken Mate (Planned)
4 - Hidden Mate (Planned)
5 - Unwanted Mate (Planned)