Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes

Reviewed by SinChan
Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 246pgs
5 Pants Off

When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father's prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate. 

Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.

Quade is a jackal shifter and works as a bodyguard for Roman. Just when they reveal the paranormal secret and bring their relationship to a new level, Quade's sister shows up at their door, asking for help. After Quade's banishment, a string of alphas took control of the pack and the latest one is a tyrant. Everyone thinks Quade is the rightful alpha and the pack needs his help now, but can Quade give up his new found love and help a pack who stood up and did nothing to prevent his banishment?

This story has two great MCs. Quade and Roman are both strong characters in different ways. Roman is heavily scarred from a car accident, but still shows his scarred face in public and refuses to allow that to slow him down. He's the head of his family's company and runs many community events. He's very resourceful and super rich, but doesn't seem to abuse his inheritance (too much). It's an interesting and different set up in the story that Roman figured out Quade's shifter identity without Quade revealing himself and kept his knowledge a secret. In this relationship, Roman is clearly the "clever one" and with a personality to handle Quade's alpha personality.

I think Quade is very self sacrificing. He left his pack even though he had every right to stay. He should hate everyone in the pack who didn't step up to defend him when he got kicked out, but he helps them in their time of need instead.

The best part of the book is the tug-of-war between Quade and Roman for control of their relationship and their witty dialogue. Quade is so protective of Roman, but Roman is the smarter one and knew when to set in and override Quade's decisions. The story also sidetracks into Quade's previous romances showing up. It's a great contrast to show how Quade's idea of love matures and provides more detail on shifter life and mentality. The one downside of the story is the character's ages. Roman is 27 and Quade is 46. Sometimes it doesn't feel like they are that old....

I love the side mystery with Roman's other bodyguards. They seem to be other types of shifters. And there might even be some predator-prey love relationship going on. I just think that Roman's father must have had a shifter radar.

The romance between Quade and Roman is delightful to read. The drama with Quade's pack, fighting the tyrant alpha, and Quade's ex boyfriend adds to the romance and cements their relationship through trials of hardship. The paranormal aspects of the story are well explained. Overall, this is a great paranormal romance book and definitely a recommended read.

5 Pants Off

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