"Shifter stories where one of the men comes from an enemy pack, and the lovers-to-be meet under questionable or stressful, or both, circumstances fascinate me. I guess it’s the tension between the men which comes from not knowing exactly whether they can trust each other. In ‘Red Moon Rising’, which is Tristan and Colby’s story, it is also the tension coming from the other men in Tristan’s pack. They have far less reason to trust Colby, since their emotions aren’t clouded by feelings, and the way Tristan deals with that is very interesting. And so very like Tristan! Add to that the continuing threat from the Wolf Council finding out about Jesse being an Argent from the “lost” royal line, and this becomes an action-packed, tense read. Tristan is the youngest member of the pack, taken in years ago when his home life became unbearable. He has just started college, and has his whole life ahead of him (as Bryce, his main mentor puts it), when Cale’s pack kidnaps him. Colby is the only one who is willing to help, and he pays dearly for his kindness. But once they escape and make it to Tristan’s pack, nobody else is wiling to give Colby the benefit of the doubt – at least not without a lot of convincing from Tristan. As Tristan wrestles with his own emotions as well as the pack’s only gradually decreasing animosity, he realizes how much of an uphill fight he faces. At least he is an optimist and carries enough idealism for three men! Colby may be a member of Cale’s pack, but he is not there voluntarily. Yes, he joined them willingly, but he has suffered a lot of emotional ad physical abuse, just because he has a lack of self-confidence and desperately wants to belong. He has no way out until he realizes he is the only one who can create an opportunity to free himself. My heart broke for him as he gradually adjusted to the very different way Matt Urban runs his pack, as Colby slowly understands things really are different and that he can determine his own fate. If you like shifter stories with men who aren’t “supposed” to fall for each other yet are undeniably mates, if you want to read about enemies who need to learn how to trust not just each other but a whole pack, and if you’re looking for a somewhat tense read that is as emotional as it is hot, then you will probably like this novella. " -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
5 STARS: "All you really need is love... Tristan is young, idealistic, and full of life. When being in the wrong place at the wrong time lead to abduction by a violent pack of rival wolves, he is determined to show no weakness and uphold his Alpha's honor. Colby just wanted to find somewhere to belong and thought that's what he found by falling in love with Nico. Only later did he realize that Nico's heart is ruled by hate. Colby's love for Nico has long since died, but he is surrounded by men who live their lives without honor and knows that they will never let him leave alive. Physically abused and emotionally abandoned, he has long since given up hoping for a better life. When Tristan is brought into the renegade wolf compound, Colby feels a spark of life for the first time in years. His conscience tells him that ignoring the young prisoner is as good as signing his death sentence, and he can't bear the thought of watching the spirit that burns in Tristan's eyes flicker and die. Colby does what he can to ease Tristan's imprisonment, but Nico is a jealous lover who quickly brings Colby to task for his perceived weakness. In a decision brought on by desperation, Colby and Tristan escape, only to find themselves on the run. Can two broken wolves outrun the angry pack hot on their heels and bent on revenge? Will Tristan's pack be willing to offer Colby, a known enemy, sanctuary? Could the spark of attraction that Tristan and Colby feel for each other lead to a deeper bond, or are they surrounded by insurmountable obstacles? In RED MOON RISING, readers will find a fast-paced, well-written and dynamic multi-layered story line. This paranormal adventure is the third story in Joy Lynn Fielding's Strength of the Pack series, but it can be read as a standalone novel. With vividly described settings and well developed supporting characters, this M/M romance is one that captured my heart from start to finish." -- Carly - RuralMom, The Romance Reviews
4.5 SWEET PEAS: " If you are a fan of shifters, I highly recommend this series. The story was well written and captured my attention from the start. I instantly connected with Tristan and Colby and felt emotionally invested in their outcome. I am not a fan of characters falling in love without knowing each other’s history, but I understand that this is part of the shifter dynamics for this series. The characters were well developed and grew as the plot evolved. Tristan began as young and innocent, seeing the world through optimistic eyes. As the story unfolded, he shows his hidden depths, intelligence, and protective nature. He can even admit he may not have seen all there is to see about Colby. In the end, he shows how much of an adult he can really be by recognizing that their relationship will not be easy and committing to making it work. Colby Williams is an emotional prisoner. He has been the victim of Nico’s physical and emotional abuse for nearly 3 years. At the beginning of the story he has low self-esteem and does not believe he is worthy of escape or a good life. As the story progresses and Colby escapes with Tristan, he begins to realize that there is more to life that what he knew with Cale’s pack. He starts defending Tristan to his pack mates and by doing so, develops some self respect. With the help of Tristan’s love and attention, Colby finally finds the courage to confront and defeat his abuser. Finally, I felt that the author did a good job of continuing the overall series arc. Book three picked up where book two finished and seamlessly continued to progress the battle over the Argent wolf. I cannot wait for the next installment!!" -- PizzyGirl, Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books
Tristan snatched up the stew and sat down against the wall, clutching the bowl to his chest as he realized it was warm. He’d gotten so cold in the night and the room still felt like an icebox.
The guy standing in front of the door moved as if he was impatient. Realizing he might take the stew away again if Tristan took too long, he picked up the spoon from the bowl and started eating. It was gross—nothing like the food Jason made—but it was vaguely warm and his stomach needed it because, if this guy was telling the truth, he couldn’t afford to wait for Bryce and the others. He was going to have to rescue himself. Which meant starting now.
“What’s your name?” he asked between spoonfuls.
He looked Colby over as he chewed on a piece of gristle and determinedly swallowed it. Colby’s hair was short, sun-streaked blond, and his jaw was strong and square. He was nearly as big as Nico—broad and tall, a solid wall of muscle. But unlike Nico, whose meanness seeped out of his very pores, there was no threat in his stance. He was ready to move swiftly if Tristan tried anything, that much was clear, but he was keeping his distance and ensuring his body language was easy and open, obviously trying not to intimidate him. And his eyes… The sadness and resignation in those gray eyes had Tristan shivering. Something in them made him think of the moon on a winter’s night—beautiful, but burning with cold and so lonely. He couldn’t tell how this guy fitted in to a pack that had the likes of Nico and Weasel Face, with their violence and meanness. If he really didn’t fit in, he might become an ally, providing Tristan played it right.
“Thanks for this, Colby,” he said, gesturing toward the bowl.
Colby shrugged, looking uncomfortable.
“So, uh, Nico said that Cale’s not here at the moment?”
Colby nodded very slowly, as if he was weighing his response. “He’s due back tomorrow,” he said, without providing any clue as to where he was or what he might be doing.
“Is the rest of the pack with him, or are they all here?”
“Listen, Tristan,” Colby said. “Don’t, okay? Whatever you’re thinking, there’s no way out, and you’re just going to get yourself hurt worse if you try.”
“Hurt worse than dead?” Tristan’s voice was sharp, his attempt to make a connection with this guy forgotten in his scorn at what he’d just said.
“Yeah,” Colby said simply. “You finished?”
Tristan turned his gaze back to the stew to find it was almost gone. He chased the last couple of spoonfuls around, but then held on to the bowl. Once he gave it back, Colby would leave and he’d be alone again in the cold and the dark, with too much time to think and, thanks to Colby fucking Williams, the faintest of hope taken from him. But Colby was from Cale’s pack—he didn’t understand the ties that bound Matt’s pack.
“I’ve got friends coming for me,” he said, looking up and holding Colby’s gaze. “You might think it’s hopeless, but it never is. Not when you’re part of a pack.”
“The bowl,” Colby said, holding out his hand.
Tristan scrambled to his feet. “You could come with us if you help me,” he said. “Start again somewhere.”
“Give me the bowl or I’ll take it.” And suddenly the man in front of Tristan was aware of his own size and strength and willing to use it. Tristan gave him the bowl.
“You want the rest of the water?” Colby asked.
“I—do you need the bottle back?”
Colby nodded, the threat that had loomed from him disappearing as suddenly as it had come. Tristan swallowed the rest of the water down as slowly as he dared, savoring every last precious swallow of the clear liquid.
“Thanks,” he said as he passed the bottle back. Because however bleak Colby’s words had been, he’d shown more kindness than Tristan had expected to receive from any of Cale’s pack.
Colby nodded again, but instead of leaving, as Tristan had assumed, he just stood there looking at him.
“Why are you part of Cale’s pack?” Tristan asked softly. “You don’t seem like the rest of them.”
Colby’s lips twisted. “Just goes to show what you know.”
“No, but seriously, you don’t. Do you want to be here?”
Colby turned away then, his hand reaching for the door handle. “You want me to leave the light on?”
“Please.” It came out sounding desperate, but Tristan didn’t care. And then Colby was pulling the door open, and somehow it felt like his last hope was walking out. “If you leave me here, you’re just as much to blame as the ones who kill me, you know that?” Tristan said, and his voice wobbled.
Colby made no answer. His shoulders hunched, he disappeared through the door and bolted it behind him. Tristan heard his footsteps retreat down the passage outside, until he couldn’t hear him any longer. But at least he’d kept his promise and kept the light on.
Tristan’s knees gave out and he sank down to crouch in the corner, burying his head in his cold, clammy hands. He knew the pack would come for him, knew it with every beat of his heart. The problem was that he didn’t know if they’d be in time.
Nothing in Tristan’s life had prepared him for what it felt like to be with Colby like this and the way he responded to Tristan’s touch as if was the best thing he’d ever felt. When Tristan pulled that tight T-shirt up, Colby helped, skinning it over his head and revealing a body that was every bit as hot and ripped as Tristan remembered. The waistband on his sweats hung temptingly low on his hips, the faint trail of dark blond hair on his stomach drawing Tristan’s eye until he could see where the sweats were tented.
Tristan was kissing him again, wet and messy and eager as his hand worked between the waistband and the warm smooth skin of his stomach, feeling Colby’s muscles quiver at his touch. And then he was wrapping his fingers around the hot length he found in the sweats, the satin skin of Colby’s cock feeling like nothing he had ever known. Colby ripped his mouth away to bury his face in Tristan’s neck. “Please, Tristan,” he was saying, his hips hitching forward desperately, pushing himself into Tristan’s hand. “Please.”
It was the work of seconds to get Colby out of his sweats, and then to walk him back until his knees hit the end of the bed and to tumble him down onto it, in a way that was so far from graceful it might have been funny if he didn’t look so damn hot lying on Tristan’s bed, his cock arched up, dark and hard, his muscled thighs splayed in open invitation.
Tristan’s fingers fumbled at the buttons of his shirt and then he had a T-shirt to pull off, and goddamn it, jeans and boxers and no matter how gorgeous Colby looked, naked and ready for him, he took the extra half a second to pull his socks off because they always looked ridiculous to him otherwise. And then he’d thought about it, so he pulled Colby’s socks off, too, throwing them aside and planting a kiss on one of the anklebones revealed to him. Colby shivered, so Tristan did it again, and this time he licked it too, because it was there and he could. Colby tasted like nothing he had ever known, but the only thing he wanted to taste from now on—spring and outdoors and everything good in the world.
He worked his way slowly up between Colby’s legs, dropping kisses as he went, until he was where he wanted, kneeling between his open thighs, so strong with muscle they could break him in two without even noticing, and licking his lips as he stared at Colby’s cock. He’d messed about some with other guys, and had had sex three times, but somehow he’d never yet done this. Seeing the way Colby was moving restlessly on the bed, and the way his hips bucked up helplessly as Tristan reached out and curved his fingers around the warm heat and weight of his cock, he forgot all doubt.
He bent his head and licked across the head, which was already wet, and tasted Colby’s essence for the first time. He hadn’t known what to expect, but it hadn’t been for it to be this good, this addictive. He licked at it again and again, and then cautiously pushed his head down a way onto the hard length. Colby cried out Tristan’s name, his head thrashing frantically, but somehow he kept his hips still, allowing Tristan to find out what he could take and how it felt to have another man’s cock in his mouth. And it felt so very good. Or at least it did when that man was Colby Williams. He loved the hardness and heat and that taste, and above all, the knowledge of how much Colby was enjoying what he was doing as he moved his mouth up and down, feeling it grow slick from his mouth, and impossibly harder as Colby’s hands clenched in the cover below him and Tristan’s name escaped him again and again, gasped and wondering.
But it still wasn’t enough. Instinct was rising in Tristan, drowning out all else. Even though he knew this was probably the right time to have that conversation about who wanted to top and who wanted to bottom, he had to be inside Colby. He had a bottle of slick in his nightstand drawer, but no way was he stopping this right now, so instead he pulled off Colby long enough to swirl his finger round the sensitive head of Colby’s cock in a way that had Colby bucking up violently and crying out, and then he slid that finger into his mouth and sucked the taste of Colby from it, getting it wet and ready.
When he pushed his mouth down again on Colby’s cock, he worked his hand farther between Colby’s legs until he found what he was looking for. Colby shivered as his finger circled around just where he wanted it, and then he slid it in. Colby groaned deep in his chest, one that reverberated through his whole body as he tensed for an instant, and then opened his legs even wider, encouraging Tristan wordlessly.
No matter how much he wanted to, Tristan didn’t add another finger. Not without the slickness of lube to ease the way. After he’d gotten Colby used to having something inside him, he withdrew his finger and moved so he could get to the nightstand drawer. He needed to take a moment, to breathe, because he was trembling and felt like he was only seconds from coming with the way Colby had felt around his finger, so tight and hot and wanting it so badly.