Title: Trouble’s on the Way (Outcasts #2)
Author: C.L. Mustafic
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 20th 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 52500 words/ 185 pages
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 1.75 stars out of 5
After leaving the Outcast pack, Clay Anderson and Damian Macoon head to Alabama where they’ve both secured a job with the construction company that employs Damian. Their new relationship is off to a good but not too harmonious start in no small part due to Clay still holding a grudge against Damian for turning him into a werewolf. So when they walk into the office trailer parked on the job site and Clay realizes that their boss is none other than Damian’s fated mate, things get even more tense between the two.
Billy Ray Hicks was raised believing he was going to find his mate and be a cherished member of whatever pack he ended up in, but those dreams came crashing down when his bonded mate ran away and disappeared from his life before the mate bond was completed. Billy Ray always figured he’d run into Damian again but never suspected his mate would have a boyfriend when he did.
With tensions mounting between Clay and Damian, Billy Ray becomes the focal point of their ire. Damian ends up in the middle of two men—one he wants and one he needs—who both want him. Now he needs to convince them that they all belong together before he loses both.
This book wasn’t for me that much is clear, sadly. I keep wondering if there were any indications on what to expect in the second book from the first book’s tags and details. I don’t honestly know if I’ll be reading the next since I came so, so close to give up on this story and mark it as DNF. But I’m too stubborn and after the first half I didn’t feel as sad and angry with the characters but I am disappointed since this was not how I thought the story would continue. Although you might still like it. My problems here were Clay and Damien’s relationship, I started thinking Clay should just leave, that they’d be better off by themselves. I couldn’t feel any romantic emotions between them and Clay behaved like a jerk, saying things that hurt Damien but still left it at that without bothering to apologize, even though he saw that Damien was hurt.
Then Billy Ray was introduced as Damien’s mate bond and this mate bond apparently compels them to do stuff even though they or at least one of them doesn’t want to. Or does Damien? I find the characters to behave uncharacteristically and there’s a severe lack of communication here. I also don’t like how everybody seems to think it’s fine the way Damien behaved and how Pete tries to talk sense into Clay. And Billy Ray’s reasoning for it to be okay… To be able to properly explain all my problems with how the characters behaved I’d have to give too much away and I don’t want to spoil the story if you want to read it.
So this is what I think you need to know in order to decide for yourself if you want to read it. All of the characters behaves uncharacteristically at a certain point, without that there wouldn’t be so much happening. For example, Damien seemed to be fine without his fated mate before he met him again and then suddenly, he needs him? The world build is very lacking and I still don’t have a clue how the Blaine and Damien story went from the first book. I still don’t know what it means being an omega in this world and why Billy Ray would suddenly be irresistable to everyone else. Are omegas rare?
There’s nothing wrong with gender fluidity or bigender, however that is not something I wanted to read, but a convenient set up for a possible male pregnancy later in the series, as some people seem to think. If that’ll happen – I really don’t know. Still Damien had sex with Billy Ray while calling him her. And it doesn’t stop there.
I didn’t like Billy Ray’s character and having built up a connection to Damien and Clay then to suddenly be thrown a new character at me, which I didn’t know, and expect me to like him because of the mate bond doesn’t work with me. I saw Billy Ray as an intruder into whatever the thing is that Damien and Clay has. Therefore I didn’t accept what Damien and Billy Ray did. But Clay’s pressured to accept and I fear he’ll fold before I do.
There are two things I did like though, how Damien put Billy Ray ‘on hold’ for Clay’s sake and that Clay didn’t push Damien away near the ending.
The book leaves off pretty much where it began but with two added people. They left a mess behind and it seems as if they are just going to avoid it by going somewhere else. Of course I don’t know how the next book is planned out but the ending in this one felt lacking.
If you read this book I’m very interested in hearing what you think of it.