Team Paladin, 1
While recovering, Marine special unit Team Paladin wins a $565-million dollar lottery. The first thing they do is hire a personal assistant to deal with the insanity that much money will bring.
Desperate for a job, Lucky Duvall responds to an advertisement for a personal assistant. He is hoping that seven is his lucky number as this will be his seventh job interview for the week. The god of a man who interviews him makes him long for more than just a job with the team.
Lion shifter Shane Thomas has more on his hands than he can handle. He has a team of battle scarred interspecies shifters who have decided to move away from the civilized world. Then he meets Lucky, his mate. Will he be able to convince Lucky to take a chance on him and the team and their crazy dream of moving to Montana?
Shane Thomas and his Marine Force Recon buddies had all been chipping in to buy a bunch of lotto tickets each week. Shane was dubious at best with their chances, but didn’t see the harm in joining in. After they each complete their rehab the only shifter-Marine team has been promised their freedom, and winning the jackpot is the icing on the cake as far as Shane is concerned. The main problem is the team now needs an assistant to help with all the technical issues – booking hotel rooms, helping them manage their accounts and all the day-to-day stuff none of the shifters are able to do themselves while recuperating from their wounds. That’s when Shane met Lucky and his world turned upside down.
I found this to be an interesting story and a great set-up for the rest of the series. With a whole bunch of ex-Marine shifters (including a lion, a panther and a bear – oh my!) there are plenty of personalities in the mix and clearly the author plans to write further stories about the other team members. There’s a definite hook in the ending, designed to entice purchasing the next story and plenty of the main plot left hanging to tempt readers.
I liked Lucky – a slightly odd young man determined to walk his own path. I felt him easily relatable and enjoyed his quirks. Shane’s character was a little more difficult for me to get a handle on. While clearly the team leader, I never fully understood exactly why. As a lion shifter I could easily understand his enjoyment of the warmth and sunshine. I also understood his alpha tendencies, but his team mates were just as alpha-orientated and I began to wonder if it was his Marine rank that led him to be the leader and not his personal characteristics as such.
I enjoyed reading the story and getting to know both Shane and Lucky, but couldn’t help feel that much of the plot was bogged down in the “setting up” aspect of the story. Things like dodging the reporters and actually getting their lottery winnings, explaining about mates and shifters and so forth. A large chunk of the story felt very much to me as if it were laying the groundwork for all the following stories to come, and that was a shame because Lucky and Shane were both really interesting characters and a lot of fun together. I would have preferred had their relationship moved a little faster and be seen a bit more – to help make the details and slow-moving plot aspect seem like it dragged slightly less.
With fun characters and a fair bit of snarky humor this is a good story and well written. I enjoyed it and apart from a bit of lagging in places feel this is a great read. With six more characters to go there’s sure to be plenty more for readers to enjoy.