The Strength of the Pack (The Tameness of the Wolf #1)

17258293Title: The Strength of the Pack (The Tameness of the Wolf #1)
Author: Kendall McKenna
Cover Artist: Jared Rackler
Publisher: MLR Press
Length: 336 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Lasha

Summary Review: A fun and interesting take on the werewolf genre.


A Marine werewolf and his commander bring legends to life while surviving combat deployment in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn’t know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas’ platoon, the Marine Corps’ True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant’s authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond. During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.


I’ve read and enjoyed Kendall McKenna’s other two books, Brothers in Arms and Waves Break My Fall. So, I was excited to find out she was doing a werewolf book. As with her other novels, the plot centers around military personnel, but this time throw in a paranormal aspect, which makes for an exciting read.

Lucas Young’s platoon is about to go back to Afghanistan when he’s assigned a new Sergeant, but not just any Sgt. No, Noah Hammond is a shifter, but not any plain ole shifter, he’s the True Alpha of the Marine Corps. Which it means he’s basically the biggest bad-ass werewolf you’re ever likely to meet! The two grow closer and the bond they form eventually means they are mates, but the war, injuries, miscommunication and other issues cause problems. Can they survive them?

What I really liked about The Strength of the Pack was the intense relationship between Lucas and Noah. Yes, we have all the usual tropes you usually find in a werewolf/shifter novel like claiming, biting, dominance and mate bonds, but the difference with this book is that it is all set around guys serving in the military during a war. The werewolves are not a secret team of paranormal assassins, but have been integrated into the Marine Corps and everyone knows about shifters. A nice change for this die-hard shifter nut. Add in some really amazing world building, hot sex scenes, a realistic plot (Ms. McKenna really seems to have done her research on the Marine and how they operate) and I was sold. This is one series I am looking forward to reading more about.

The only reason I did not give this a 5 star review was that I found there to be too many “mission” scenes as the men went out and fought the bad guys in Afghanistan. I love a military-themed plot, but in my romance novel, I want more romance than action. Other readers may feel differently, but other than that little niggle, I cannot recommend this book more highly.

Tameness of the Wolf Series



  • Wave have you read Naomi Novik’s books about Temeraire and other dragons? In a sense this book reminded me of those series – just as dragons had been integrated in British (and other countries military life as we learn eventually) here we have werewolves integrated in us military life pretty successfully. I thought in the first seventy percent of the story we had a perfect balance between very believable life of the soldiers and the romance. I actually liked the last thirty percent of the story a bit less – wanted less sex more action, but I could see how she wanted to satisfy everybody. I do think you should try it.

    • Hi Sirius

      No I haven’t read these books and you know how I love dragons, whether shifters or in their natural form. I’m off to Amazon to check this author out.

      • OMG, you must read at least the first one – In his magesty’s service. I stopped at book four because I felt she started to run out of steam, but I really liked the first three books. I now see that they made them in one book together, the first three I mean

        But at least try the first book IMO.

  • Missions vs romance in a military themed book? I’ll take the missions because there are too many poorly written m/m military books in this genre. I’ll definitely put this book on my TBR. Thanks for this review Lasha – this story sounds unusual.

  • Hi Lasha,

    I was excited too about new werewolf book, I really enjoyed the first half of this but then I got irritated cos Lucas seemed to lose the readoning part of his brain and I just did not believe he would not know what was happening in his relationship with the gorgeous Noah. So I was not as enthused as I wanted to be about my fave genre. 😮

    • Too funny! Was about to email you about this book just now. Here is what I wrote on Amazon just now:

      Overall I really enjoyed this book. I liked the original twist the author gave to werewolves’ involvement in this society. It is really really hard to find original twist of any kind on werewolves these days. I can understand that, but I keep looking :).

      I enjoyed the werewolves’ matter of fact involvement in US military and how while everybody knows and accepts them, military still struggled sometimes with accomodating those Marines who need to go furry on the full moon. I really liked how believable every day marines life felt and how action sequences seemed relevant and needed to the story.

      Now, about the love story – I really liked Noah and Lucas, I liked them as US marines and I liked them as two people figuring out how their relationship fits all sorts of boundaries. I even did not mind their mating bond, I just felt that Lucas lost some gray matter of his brain closer somewhere in the second part of the book. There was only for as long somebody who lives and works so close with werewolves could remain clueless IMO. It did not annoy me lots, but was kind of irritating. I also felt that the ending was a bit abrupt.

  • That culture clash between the military chain of command and the werewolves’ pack hierarchy sounds very intriguing and original.

  • Oh somebody just loaned me this book, so we shall see what I think – I do love me so action, although mating bonds… Hmmm, we will see. Thanks for the review Lasha 🙂


Please comment! We'd love to hear from you.


I've been reading romance books since I was 12 and when I found m/m books a few years ago I fell madly in love with the genre. My favorites tropes are: GFY, police partners in love and May-December romances. I also adore paranormals and in my spare time away from Jessewave, I review pararmormal m/m books at my own blog. Give me a good shifter book and I'm a happy girl!
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