Title: 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.