Pack Mentality: Natural Selection

Pack Mentality: Natural Selection by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/M, M/F/M, M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Viscaria

Ryan is pretty happy working as a Park Ranger and living with his big bear of a lover, Loyal. The one thing he misses is a pack of his own. He’s a werewolf, and everyone knows wolves are social creatures, right? When a new pack moves in on his territory, Ryan hopes they’ll play nice.

The new pack in town has been burned before, and Kamen and the others aren’t sure if they want anything to do with Ryan and his bear. They’re willing to live and let live, but when Loyal gets kidnapped, will the pack throw in with Ryan and help save him?

I enjoyed this book a great deal. It made me laugh and it made me sigh… and that’s quite a bit to get from a really short story.

Ryan and Loyal are two of the most endearing shifters I think I’ve ever run across. Ryan is earnest and quite a bit like a puppy begging for attention, while Loyal is methodical and solitary except for his lover, his love, Ryan. Where Ryan wants, no needs the socialization that comes from being within a pack, Loyal is perfectly content with it being just him and Ryan. I simply adored these two, and loved watching their interactions with one another. Their loving banter, as well as the love play between them had me grinning on more than one occasion. They really were quite obvious in their adoration of each other, and it made my heart melt.

While this story was mainly about Ryan and Loyal, it was also about characters that have apparently been in previous stories by this author. While I loved getting to know these other people, shifters and magical creatures… I did feel a bit left behind when it came to knowing their stories and how they came to be in their pack. I didn’t know much about how they wound up in the relationships they have all found themselves in within said pack. That and the sometimes stilted narrative are the only reasons that I can’t bring myself to give this book a higher rating.

Aside from those issues named above, I did truly enjoy this book. The plot moved rather smoothly from one point to the next, and read rather quickly. I enjoyed the verbal playing that most of the characters throughout the entire story engaged in. I found that Ms. Talbot has a witty sense of humor in her writing that has me wanting to read more of her work. This was a fun read about a romance that has already begun, but now needs to be saved. A delightful quick read that will leave you with a smile and maybe a couple of chuckles. A definite recommend on my part.

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