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This is my second book by Alisa Woods, and l'm really enjoying her world building skills. I've listen too quite a few shifter stories over the years, but this is my first wolf shifter who mates a witch, it was a surprising good plot with interesting characters.
Olivia stumbles upon Jaxson when she saves him from being attacked in his wolf form. What she didn't realize, Jaxson had his attackers just right where he wanted them, but he can't fault Olivia for trying to do the right thing. He's investigating why shifters are disappearing. There's an immediate attraction, and pull between them. When Jaxson learns she is looking for a job, he hires her to be his secretary, and to help him find a mate between several eligible shifter candidates. Being the alpha, he is expected to take a mate. His wolf pushes him to mate Olivia; however, he is really just trying to delay mating, and an excuse to spend more time around Olivia. He is keeping a dangerous secret which is the real reason he doesn't want to take a mate.
Jaxson isn't the only one with a dangerous secret. When Olivia was younger, and just coming into her witch powers, something horrible happened, and now she is ate up with guilt. When she learns the truth about Jaxson, and why he doesn't want to take a mate, she puts a plan in motion to free Jaxson from the curse, so he can finally mate. She really comes to care for Jaxson, and is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Dougles and Delisha both did a great job on the narration.
I won a free copy of this audio from the author, and enjoyed it. I liked how this plot uses magic, and it kinda reminded me of the Mercy Thompson world, just not as long, or descriptive, and with dual POV's. For being on the shorter side, it was good, well developed, and really peaked my interest and wanting to listen to the other character's stories.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
3.5 "Spell Defying Love" Stars for the story and 4.5 Stars for the narration.
Reminiscent of a fairy tale like UF/PNR tale, Jaxon is an interesting, quick (just under 6 hours) tale. The debut of the River Pack Wolves Series appears to be laying down the framework for a band of shifter brothers who each have their own secret reasons for being unable to take on a mate and thus assume the alpha role for the pack, even as each book in the series tells the journey of how one brother finds his love match.
The underlying UF/PNR plot in Jaxson is fairly standard (shifters and witches that generally conform to many of the basic UF/PNR conventions we have become accustomed to in shifter/witch romances). In that regard, the witches are notorious for wanting to take on shifters as love slaves and thus feared and generally hated by the shifters--meanwhile a shifter's bite can be dangerous to a witch. Layered into this background relationship is a suspense conflict that evolves around an unknown threat against the shifters. Werewolves are slowly disappearing and the River Pack Wolves, who run a security firm, have been engaged to try and solve the threat.
Jaxson is presumed to be the only River Pack brother that can take on a mate and therefore is the current presiding alpha of the River Pack Wolves. Jaxson, however, is hiding a secret that he believes gives him at most one year to fulfill the political objectives he has for the pack since he can never mate.
It is with this backdrop in place that Jaxson meets Olivia Lilyfield, a woman he believes to be human, but who is hiding her own deep dark secrets. Jaxson doesn't understand why he has such a strong magnetic reaction to Olivia, but though he hires her under the guise of being his mate matchmaker (the person who is supposed to find Jaxson his mate), he can't help but feel the strongest attraction for Olivia. An attraction that Olivia feels just as keenly. But can there possibly be a HEA in the future for Jaxson and Olivia when secrets loom in the midst and danger lurks around the corner?
Enhancing the overall effect of the story is the well performed narration by Dougles Berger and Delisha Forest. Mr. Berger performs the chapters from Jaxson's perspective and Ms. Berger the ones from Olivia's. This style generally works well for this story giving the listener a clear differentiation between the POV being shared.
Mr. Berger and Ms. Forest are also generally adept at producing differentiated voices for each character, although Mr. Berger provides less differentiation among his characters, but nonetheless I had no trouble distinguishing the speaker in the dialogue scenes. Additionally, both narrators do a good job of acting out the mood of each scene.
Jaxson generally held my attention. Perhaps my only observation is that the romance between the hero and heroine had a bit of a love at first sight form of attraction to it. Given the natural animosity between wolves and witches--not to mention Jaxson's need to find a mate to remain as the alpha leader for his pack--I would have expected a little more conflict prior to the resolution on this point. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the fairy tale quality of the underlying UF/PNR suspense plot which held my attention throughout the entire listen.
Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Jaxson to be better than the print version?
I had previously read (and reviewed) the print version of this story and was intrigued to discover how the audiobook version compared. I'm happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it!
What was one of the most memorable moments of Jaxson?
One of my favourite moments from the story is when Olivia, distressed after resigning from her job, is walking home. When she discovers two men attacking and tormenting a wolf the feisty Olivia goes to his rescue armed only with her camera phone! What a lady!The time when Jaxson reveals why he believes he can never mate is also very moving and the way in which Olivia endeavours to release him from these constraints are also definitely not to be forgotten!
What about Dougles Berger and Delisha Forest ’s performance did you like?
The narrators read alternating chapters and this works well, though I admit it wasn't what I'd expected! I had assumed they would read it more like a play with them reading characters of their own gender but, having thought about it afterwards, I actually think the way this is actually done is an even better technique that works very well. Both are clear, easy to listen to and use different intonation for the different characters so it is easy to 'listen' to and identify whichever character is speaking.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The story is an emotive roller coaster ride with readers taken through the whole gamut of emotions as Jaxson and Olivia experience attraction, rejection, danger, anxiety and so much more on their journey to their HEA.
Any additional comments?
I had previously enjoyed the print version of this story and I have to say it was also great to listen to it. I was impressed with the narrators and would certainly listen to other books from them again. I won this audiobook in a competition without any obligation to listen to or review it. This is my honest review and I have to say I'll be listening to more in this series in future! My review of the story can be seen at https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R3K1NKWN8JA0CH/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B014ZHGHYQ
I really liked the story and look forward to listening to more River Pack Wolves in the future. Unfortunately I would have liked it even better with just one narrator as I found it distracting to have two, especially when they narrated the voices for the other characters as this resulted in each character having two different voices.
My first Alisa Woods book, i loved it but i wish it was longer, i feel that the story wasn't explored enough, but apart from that, i have enjoyed it very much. The narrators are both excellent and both do males and females really well.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
nice intro to the 3 brothers. looking forward to jacks secret but especially Jared. Although there wasn't a lot of depth to the story it still connected albeit loosely. it kept a nice run on and descriptive words helped the lack of depth to become readable and enjoyable. I'm hoping these characters will come back in the future books to fill the depth