Title & Link: Second Chance to Mate
Author: Charlie Richards
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Buy Link: Buy Link Second Chance to Mate (Kontra’s Menagerie)
Genre: Paranormal M/M
Length: Novella (96 pp.)
Rating: 4 stars
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: A nice installment in the paranormal series, Kontra’s Menagerie.
Blurb: On the Road: When a meddling interloper stops a mating, Fate decides to give someone a second chance.
Aaric Tamang lost his chance at bonding with his mate almost seventy years ago. Because his family line had been under a curse, he’d walked away from the woman Fate chose for him rather than put her in danger. Now, decades later, the curse has been broken, but since his mate had been human, meeting up with her was impossible. Then why does the scent of a male wolf shifter catch his attention like no man ever has before? Crain Ponders claims they’re mates, but that can’t be right, can it?
Review: I will begin by saying that if you have not been reading this series all along, this will turn out to be just an okay novella that makes good sense but has little impact due to the fact that you have not been invested in Aaric’s family and the curse they were under. However, if you have been a fan of the Kontra’s Menagerie series then this will be a welcome addition!
Here’s the thing. Much like other paranormal series, there is a certain mold they seem to fall in and stick with for the duration. I am not saying this is a bad thing. In fact, this type of novella is like candy to me. Every once in a while you want a sweet treat, something light, that’s just a bit sappy and full of yummy sex, and just long enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. Second Chance to Mate is just such a diversion!
The story is relatively simple but keeps from being formulaic by allowing for the idea that a perfect mate can exist within a family’s bloodline rather than rest in just one person. Hence, Crain is actually the son of Aaric’s long lost mate–the same mate that actually never even knew of his existence. He sees her at a gas station one evening while traveling. Knowing that for him to accept a mate would seal her death, he retreats and for years, his inner wolf mourns the lost opportunity. Suddenly, there is a severing effect and his wolf moves on. Aaric rightly thinks that his mate has died.
What Aaric did not factor in was the idea that fate has taken care of shifters who miss that one opportunity at a lifetime mate. When he suddenly realizes the tantalizing scent of his mate is pouring off a young man, Aaric must now grapple with the fact that not only has he a male mate but a second chance at happiness and love.
This little story by Charlie Richards has all the elements needed for a quick and easy escape. Smoldering glances followed by frantic touching and hot sex abound in this story as well as some really sweet moments when Aaric realizes that he has been granted a second chance at happiness. Crain, who has suffered under an abusive former Alpha and been rescued from scientists intent on causing him harm is both fragile and vulnerable, just the right partner for the gentle and loving Aaric.
I think the only piece of this story that threw me off was the scene where Aaric showed Crain something special he liked to do–suffice it to say that I felt it was just a bit…strange and not at all what I expected two hot wolves to be doing! However, other than that, Second Chance to Mate was a really enjoyable paranormal story–just enough to allow those who follow the series to enjoy seeing another wolf fall in love and find their mate!