Title: Forgiveness (Forbes Mates #4)
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 27th 2018
Genre(s): M/M Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 224 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.
Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human, Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves—and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.
When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it. Where Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?
A note for those that haven’t read the series:
There are two types of mates in this world: destined and chosen. A destined mate is recognized immediately – their wolves recognize each other and their scents drive each other crazy. Simply meeting starts the bonding process, which is finished through sexual intercourse and biting.
Chosen mates form a similar bond, but only after sex and the bite. They don’t have the same recognition as destined mates, but they and their wolves are usually still quite happy, and their bond is almost as strong.
The bond is described like a thick vine made up of many twisted strands.
Nine years ago, when his chosen mate broke their bond, Eric Joyce shifted to his wolf and ran. Nine years since he’s been home, and since he’s been human. When he meets a mysterious stranger who tells him it’s time to go home…
“My poor lost wolf,” she murmured, tilting her head in a mimic of him, considering him. “I understand your pain, but you are not ready to be wolf all the time. You have more to do in your human form, and you need your pack. My wolves aren’t meant to be alone, not like this. It is time—past time—for you to return to your pack and those who love you.”
Eric returns and is shocked at how long he’s been gone because time moves differently then they are in wolf form. Now because of his extended time as a wolf Eric’s lost some fine motor skills and needs to relearn how to use his opposable thumbs again.
Ben Arellano grew up with a human mother who demonized his wolf half. Even though she’s one half of a destined mates pair because of her very Catholic upbringing Ben’s mom has more issues than People magazine. Ben’s father protected him as much as possible, but between his mother and living in a very gold-‘ol-boy area of Texas, Ben has suppressed his wolf, and bisexuality, most of his life.
Ben’s father helps him find a job with the Forbes pack as their new accountant and on the day Ben arrives at Alpha Tanner’s home he meets his destined mate: Eric. Ben is cautious, but happy, and accepts that Eric has to work through his past first before they can claim each other.
“I cannot exactly understand. I have never been through what you’ve been through, but I can be patient, Eric. I have wanted my mate for so long, and I will wait. You are worth it.”
“I hope you can. It could take a long time for me to get past some of this.”
“I’m sure it will. But I will help you if I can.”
Eric and Ben are two men with hard pasts Forgiveness is about reconciling what’s gone on before, for both of them, so they can build a future together.
“I do not want anyone else, cariño. Until you tell me you do not want me at all—and even then, I do not think I will do anything. Even if you outright reject me, I do not see myself wanting anyone else. I already care about you. I hurt for all you’ve been through.” He closed his eyes when Eric slid his arms around him and held him tight.
“I won’t. I mean it, Ben. I’m not going to reject you. I… I don’t think I have it in me. My wolf wants you. I am sure you were given to me by Diana herself. I can be a bit of an idiot, but not that much.”
Ben chuckled. “Well, then. We just give it time.”
I really liked getting to see some of my favorite characters from the other Forbes Mates series, with all of them getting some page time and each of them helping Eric and Ben to realize what they’ve been given.
This is a sort of slow burn romance, even though they are destined mates. Personally, I found myself frustrated with the time it took for Eric to finally claim Ben, even though he accepted Ben was his destined mate immediately. There’s a very long time before he finally realizes that Ben is not like his chosen mate and that a destined mate would never willingly break their bond. I was also confused with Ben’s mother and her attitude (which seemed really odd to me because she was half of a destined pair).
Forgiveness is a story about overcoming your past and learning to trust, with a bit of angst, and a very happy ending.
“Eres mío. Para siempre.” He kissed the spot on Ben’s neck he’d bite in a short while. “You are a gift to me from Diana. You are mine, for always.”
Please note that this is not a standalone story. You really should read the other books in the series before beginning Forgiveness.