"A pack of outcasts and misfits? An alpha who doesn’t really want to lead? A shifter who has no idea how to recognize pack territory nor any knowledge of sifter history? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but I have to say I ended up really liking the story, Partly because the characters were great, each with their own little quirk (or two), and partly because I just like stories with a mysterious history and a group of men who have to fight for their right to exist... Jesse is not just an amazing survivor, he also has a great sense of humor and doesn’t obey just anyone’s orders. I couldn’t help but feel for him – he’s a shifter who was found wandering the streets when he was seven, didn’t remember where he was from or who his family was, and didn’t find out he was a shifter until he was fourteen and shifted accidentally. Then his foster parents kicked him out and he’s been running ever since. Now he feels this strong attraction to Matt yet he wants to keep his independence. Yep, sparks fly all over the place, for many reasons, as soon as Jesse appears somewhere. But the internal fight with himself and what he never admitted to himself before – that he wants to belong – is the hardest on him. Matt may be an alpha, but he never envisaged leading his own pack. I loved how he tries to establish law and order at home, just like in his job as town sheriff. But with a bunch of individualists that is a tall order. Still, he does an admirable job until Jesse comes along and derails all of them. Matt doesn’t want a mate, having lost the man he loved years ago, but there is not much he can do. Attraction is attraction, and his struggle as he tries to resist is a lost battle from the start, Not that he minds very much once he gets used to the idea – and the sheet-melting activities Jesse and him get up to. If you like shifter stories with deep, dark secrets and a villain out to rule the world, or at least all the shifters in it, if you like reading about strong and stubborn men who battle it out before they get together, and if you’re looking for a light read that is as entertaining as it is hot, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
4.5 SWEET PEAS: "LUCKY’S OPINION: This book was an absolute joy to read! Matt Urban is the alpha of a group of shifters who aren’t welcome in other places. He never wanted it, but he grew into the position. Enter Jesse, a wolf who has an independent streak a mile wide, doesn’t believe in shifter politics, and sure as hell doesn’t believe in ‘mates’. The buildup of this story was taken at a nice, easy pace. No rushing toward the conclusion which, I do have to admit, had some very exciting parts. Matt proves himself to be a force that needs to be reckoned with. His pack is fantastic and they do him proud, stepping up to show they’re willing to sacrifice themselves for…well, read the story to find out what secrets Jesse harbors and how it will impact Matt and his pack. Love shifters like I do? This is the first book in the series and I already want book two like yesterday!" -- Lucky, Mrs. Condit Read Books
4.5 STARS: "Jesse is running and he's not exactly sure where he is running to but he sure knows what he is running from: Anything that controls him. He's in control of his own life thank-you-very-much and he doesn't need anybody or anything. When, in his wolf form, he ends up in another alpha's territory he high-tails it right out of there and into Matt's packs lands. Matt leads a sort of cobbled together pack, which he had no intention of doing. Now he's got an unknown shifter that he is drawn to in his house and on his lands. The trouble is he wants to keep the strange man because he thinks he might just be the one thing he's always wished for and he'll have to convince Jesse they are meant to be together, even if Jesse is An Impossible Mate! The voice given the characters here including how they say things and what they say makes this a real standout in the saturated world of paranormal MM Romance. Jesse absolutely and unequivocally comes off as a young man who has been running, who fights and doesn't want to depend on anyone but himself. His way of speaking verifies he hasn't had a lot of education. I loved that Jesse referred to Matt by his last name; it was so authentic to "manly men" and to the story. Matt, as the sheriff, was picture perfect, tough, rugged, an alpha by happenstance rather than desire. The war in his head over what he should do is every bit as entertaining as the fighting between the big bad and his pack. I found this one very polished and very easy to read. It was engaging and the life the men lived just burst forth off the pages. I'm very happy to see it’s the start of a series because there are many more tales to tell about Matt's pack!" -- AlexJouJou, Manic Readers
4 STARS: "Matt Urban is a typical Alpha, strong, sexy and broken. His pack however, is anything but normal. But he’s settled into a fairly normal life as a sheriff of a small town with his rag tag pack. Until of course trouble enters the scene in the shape of a scrappy, mouthy loner by the name of Jesse Turner. When some of the pack members stumble across an injured Jess, Matt decides to let the young man heal at his home before sending him on his way. Little did he know that this stranger was his mate! Matt and Jesse were a fun couple to get to know because of the opposites attract scenario, Jesse being wild and free and defiant while Matt was tight and structured and used to having his way as an Alpha. Though both men are broken in their own ways and had learned to live with that, Joy Lynn Fielding was able to bring these two together in a beautiful, and sexy way. The attraction between the two was hot and sweet all at the same time. The author did a great job of painting the sordid backgrounds of the characters in this book. She was able to pique my curiosity for more information on the rest of the members in the back all the while driving home that even if you don’t want something, sometimes you need it. Great read for those who root for the underdog and love a little angst with their men." -- Plumeria, Long and Short Reviews
“What the hell, Matt? This is about me, and you want me to stay cowerin’ indoors like some little old lady?”
“You watch your mouth round my office secretary,” Matt warned. “She’d have your balls for saying that, and rightly so.”
“You know what I mean, damn it. This is my problem—you all shouldn’t have to deal with it in the first place, and you sure as hell aren’t keeping me out of it.”
“Jesse.” Matt leaned in closer to him. They were the only ones in the kitchen. Matt had cleared the rest out before having this conversation, and now Jesse understood why. He didn’t want his authority challenged in front of them all. But fuck that—he wasn’t part of the damn pack and he’d do what he damn well wanted.
“Firstly,” Matt said, “I need someone here to keep an eye on Tristan—”
“He’s nineteen years old,” Jesse spat. “Don’t give me that bullshit, Urban. He doesn’t need a babysitter.”
“He’s not like you, Jesse. Sure he’d fight, and he’d go down hard, but up against the kind of wolf you described? The kid wouldn’t stand a chance, and I’m not doing that to him.”
“So let Bryce or one of the others stay.”
“And secondly.” Authority rang through Matt’s voice in a way that made even Jesse think twice about ignoring it. “It’s you they want and I am not losing you, you stubborn bastard, no matter what you say.”
“You’ve got no right—”
“I’ve got every damn right.” Matt snarled. “This is my house, my territory, my pack, and you’re my mate. You will do as I damn well tell you.”
Jesse fought not to flinch at the power that flared so bright and hot in Matt. He could see now why even Karl and Christian obeyed him so swiftly. But no matter how scary Matt was in that moment, nobody told Jesse what to do.
“I want you to lock the door behind us, and you will stay here tonight.” Matt was already moving to the door, confident that Jesse would obey him.
Jesse was just winding himself back up to tell Urban to go fuck himself when Matt looked back over his shoulder. “Please, Jesse,” he said.
It sliced Jesse open, the sudden vulnerability and trust Matt showed him by asking. He found he had no defense against it.
He sighed. “Guess I better get my colorin’ books and crayons out if I’m on babysitting duty,” he said, and didn’t miss the way Matt’s shoulders relaxed as he went out the door. “It’s just for tonight, mind you,” Jesse flung after him.
“Getting that loud and clear,” floated back on the air.
Jesse was rolling his eyes at himself for being such a pushover when something else occurred to him. He made his way over to the window and looked out. There was a bunch of wolves in the yard. He recognized Christian straightaway—the small but muscly bastard with a hint of red running through his coat and picking out the tips of his ears, reminiscent of the mahogany color of his hair. Bryce was big and steady, with a gray coat. The dark, slight one had to be Jason. And then there was Matt. Jesse’s breath left his lungs as if he’d been punched. God alive, Matt was beautiful. He was the most beautiful thing Jesse had ever seen. He was big, rangy, and powerfully muscled, and his sleek, light-colored coat looked almost blond in the moonlight.
Something tugged sharply inside Jesse—he wanted to be out there, running beside his mate under the moon. He grabbed at the counter in front of him, suddenly dizzy. Because Matt was his mate. Goddamn it, Matt was his mate.
He turned away and slid down until he was sitting on the floor. The room was spinning and he couldn’t breathe. He’d been alone so long. Always. And that was the way he liked it, or so he’d convinced himself. Now, suddenly, everything had changed and he knew that if he left here tomorrow, there’d always be a part of him he’d left behind here. Matt was Jesse’s. Just as Jesse was his.
His breath was coming in sharp, painful pants, and he had to do that breathing thing he’d taught Tristan earlier, because panic got in the way of everything, even the ability to fight. But goddamn it, Jesse Turner didn’t belong to anyone. Just like Matt Urban didn’t, he realized suddenly. Neither of them owned one another. They just belonged together. And that was all there was to it.
Matt’s eyes darkened and he bent his head to the body that was revealed to him, his lips covering Jesse’s nipple, hot and wet as he sucked it. Once it was standing proud, he began lashing it with his tongue until Jesse’s hands were wrapped in his hair and he was pressing into Matt’s mouth. When Matt’s teeth closed round it and he tugged, Jesse nearly came from that alone.
“Well,” Matt said. “I guess you liked that.”
“Shut up and fuck me,” Jesse growled, not keen on being made fun of. It was only after he’d said it that he thought maybe he shouldn’t speak to an alpha like that. Matt didn’t seem to care, because he simply pulled Jesse round and shoved him down on the bed on his back, undoing Jesse’s jeans and pulling them off, along with his underwear, until he was completely naked under Matt’s gaze. He knew exactly what Matt was seeing as his eyes ran hungrily over his body. Jesse had no false modesty, but he knew he wasn’t a great prize. Too many scars, a little too lean, and nothing like the strength and grace of Matt. But Matt’s tongue was flickering over his lips as he looked and it seemed he liked what he saw.
Jesse returned that compliment with interest when Matt undid his jeans. His cock was pushing against his black briefs, and when Matt put his thumbs in the waistband and worked them down, Jesse’s mouth watered at what was revealed to him. Matt’s cock was big, dark, and hard, and absolutely perfect. Before Jesse could do more than draw an unsteady breath, Matt was straddling his thighs, leaning down to kiss him again, his tongue impatient and demanding, dominating in a way that Jesse would never usually allow. But from Matt it felt so fucking good that he took it, loving the slick, clever wetness of Matt’s tongue pushing inside him, fucking his mouth open in the same way that gorgeous cock of his would do to his ass. He opened his legs as easily as he had his lips, holding Matt close, gasping and squirming against the hot length of his cock.
Matt suddenly lifted off him, leading Jesse to thud his head back on the pillow and groan. “Damn it to hell, Urban,” he protested.
Matt’s eyes were dark but a smile flickered round his lips as he leaned over to the bedside cabinet and opened the drawer to pull out a bottle of lube. “Do you ever stop complaining?” he asked, opening the bottle and tilting it till the liquid inside drizzled over his fingers, slow and so goddamn teasing.
“Wouldn’t have to complain if you’d just stop your teasing and get on with—oh, yes.” Jesse arched back on the bed, because Matt’s finger was pressing inside him and it was good. So very, very good. Matt knew exactly what he was doing, and just as Jesse was beginning to pant with need, he slid another finger in, until Jesse was being opened up and filled, an unmistakable promise of what was to come. He was nearly helpless under the onslaught, and when Matt started teasing against his prostate in a slow, merciless rhythm, Jesse was writhing and moaning incoherently, fists clenched in the bedding beneath him.
He had just enough sense left when Matt finally withdrew his fingers to remember. “Condom.”
Matt stared at him, awareness growing in his eyes where before there’d been lust. He frowned slightly. “We don’t need one,” he said. And as Jesse stared at him, because maybe he was a drifter-kidnapping lunatic after all, he clarified what he’d just said. “Enhanced healing? Shifters?”
Oh. Oh, God, if that was true, then Jesse had wasted so much time. So many times when he could have been fucked with nothing to diminish just how good it felt to have a cock deep inside him.
“Well, what the hell are you waiting—” he started, and then broke off into a high-pitched moan that fought its way through his suddenly clenched teeth, because Matt was pushing home inside Jesse, slowly but inexorably. He was so big and it felt so good without even thin latex between them that Jesse thought he might die. And when Matt was fully sheathed and still, braced on powerful arms above Jesse, short, panting breaths gusting over Jesse’s skin as he waited for Jesse to adjust, he knew hewould die if Matt didn’t start moving right the fuck now.
“Goddamn it, Urban,” he said, voice tight.
Thank God Matt got the idea. He withdrew almost all the way before thrusting back into him, deep and so maddeningly slow that Jesse was about to lose his mind. He wrapped his legs around Matt’s waist and urged him on, curses and pants escaping him as Matt started fucking into him fast and hard. Jesse reached his hand down, and at the first touch of his fingers on his cock, he was coming. Again and again with every thrust Matt made, wetness pulsing onto his skin until he was trembling with it. Matt groaned at the sight, pumping into Jesse until he stiffened, his head hanging as he trembled through his orgasm.