Marked by Sean Michael

Title: Marked
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Buy link: (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance/Shifter
Length: Novel (298 pages)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Lily

Review Summary

The story of a mated pair finally coming together against the wishes of their pack after a long separation. The story is interesting but suffers from repetitive dialogue.


Cody can’t help but watch Barker, even if he knows it’s stupid, especially around the full moon. Even with sunglasses to hide his deformity, though, he can’t keep Barker away from him, and he can’t manage to say no when Barker calls Cody “mine”. Barker has never agreed with the pack banishing Cody. So what if Cody doesn’t fit into the narrow confines of what the pack says is normal? He should never have let Cody go, and he’s not about to let his mate slip through his fingers again.

Full moon or not, Cody is not your average werewolf. When the pack finds out he’s back in town, the pack is concerned enough to stick their noses in. When they discover that Barker may have figured out how to solve Cody’s shifter problems, the situation turns dangerous. The pack wants to make sure Cody’s secret doesn’t affect their entire way of life. Can Barker keep Cody safe, and make his mate understand that they’re meant to be together?


Cody and Barker are mates but have been apart since Cody was banished by his pack years earlier. Unable to fully shift and considered an abomination he’s been alone ever since. However Cody can’t deny his compulsion to be near his mate and he’s back in town to catch glimpses of Barker. But this time things will be different since Barker’s finally decided to take a stand and fight for his mate. Will he be able to convince Cody to forgive him for not fighting for him before and more importantly, how will they survive the pack’s murderous intentions?

I’ve always enjoyed reading shifter stories, especially those featuring werewolves, and so I was looking forward to reading Marked. I did enjoy reading Sean Michael‘s take on the shifter theme but the story suffers some from the repetitive overuse of the word “mate”.

Cody’s condition and their separation made for an interesting and different plotline since most shifter stories go out of their way to show the mated pair together no matter what. I liked how Cody tried to keep his heart from further pain by insisting that they were mates but not in love. This was an important distinction for him and it took a bit for Barker to prove himself to Cody. Frankly I was slow to warm up to him too. Barker’s written as the Alpha of the pair and I found their long separation strange but since it worked for the plot I was ultimately okay with it.

Aside from the two protagonists there are a few other characters in the story and they fall into two groups, the “bad guys” which are the pack leaders and the “good guys” which came as a surprise to Cody and Barker. Things turn really ugly when the pack finds out that Cody, with Barker’s help, may finally have come into his own. As their lives are threatened the lovers have to decide who they can trust and with the help of the “good guys” the story comes to an action-packed ending.

This story is typical of the author with solid writing, mostly likable characters, an interesting and fast-paced plot and many scorching hot sex scenes. Sean Michael‘s put a bit of a different spin in his werewolf story with Cody’s condition and it’s always nice to see something different in this genre. Something that I rarely mention in a review but felt I had to bring up is the cover of the book which I found very unappealing. Luckily I read the ebook version and so didn’t have to look at it too much but still in my opinion I don’t think it’s the best choice for a M/M romance story. Not even for a shifter romance.

Overall I did enjoy reading Marked despite the constant, and quite annoying, repetitive use of the word “mate”. Fans of the author and those interested in shifter stories may enjoy this story as well.


  • Yikes! Bob Barker was always telling people to have their pets neutered… that would be most unfortunate in an M/M romance. 🙂

    I love werewolf stories and one of the things I like best about them is the “mate” concept (it makes insta-love more plausible), so I probably won’t mind having the word repeated a few hundred times. The cover is hideous, so I’ll just load it on my Kindle and enjoy.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Diane, I love werewolf stories and really enjoy the mate concept. Even so the repetitive use of the word gets to be very annoying. At least for me it was.

      Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  • Hmmm, a werewolf named Barker? That’s just too funny! Great review, Lily. I tend not to mention cover art either (unless I like it), but I’ll admit that I found this one unappealing as well.

    • Thanks, Val. 🙂

      That’s so funny! I never made a connection with the name like that. I kept thinking of Bob Barker instead. LOL

  • The ugly cover is appropriate considering it’s close to Halloween! Thanks for the review, as a fan of Sean Michael, it sounds like I would like it.

  • Lily
    I always thought that mates were together until death and that even then when one mate passes away the other does shortly after, so I was surprised at the plotline. However it was ingenious and I like Sean Michael’s writing so I’ll probably read this one. Barker, as the Alpha, should have had more guts to stand up to the pack but I’m sure there were good reasons.

    What bothered you in the prose, such as the repetitive use of the word “mate,” I would find distracting as well.

    When I saw the cover I remarked to someone (maybe it was you) 🙂 that this would be an excellent recommendation for the 6th Ugly Covers Competition, and shortly after it was submitted. LOL. It’s pretty ugly, isn’t it?

    • Wave, the fact that they were apart for so long after mating was strange but the story is nevertheless entertaining. Even with “mate” written a few hundred times. 🙂

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