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on February 12, 2008
So much has changed in Jamie Buchner's life in the past two years and things seem to keep changing. She'd finally had enough of her husband's infidelity and neglect of their son so she left him. It took a year, but the divorce was final. She spent a year in Atlanta so that Andreas, their son, could be easily accessible to his father. The problem is, Derek couldn't be bothered to keep up contact with him so Jamie moves back to Cedartown, Ohio, to be closer to her family. Family that is happy to be a part of Andreas' life. Andreas is now five and he's soon going to be in school but Jamie isn't looking forward to it. Her whole life has revolved around her son since he was born and she's going to miss him. Finally going out one Saturday night to have contact with adults, Jamie goes to a bar for a drink. When a man buys her a beer, Jamie knows he looks familiar, but until he came up to her and starts talking, she couldn't really place him.

Seth Kolski moved around a lot as a kid since his father couldn't keep a job all that long. He always wanted to own his own business, but couldn't run one effectively, so he had to work for others; a situation that eventually caused problems. Two years ago while both Seth and his sister Veronica were living in Atlanta, his life drastically changed. Veronica had shown her on again, off again boyfriend, Brian Carver, that she was a werewolf. Veronica disappeared and Brian kidnapped Seth and caged him, taunting him about how he was going to torture and kill his sister. Seth went wild and through a stupid move on Brian's part, he was able to escape. To protect Veronica, Seth killed Brian while he was in wolf form. Seth moved back to Cedartown and took a job at a local elementary school as a gym teacher and has been hoping that Veronica, still missing from that night two years ago, will come home.

I love werewolves and Strength Of The Pack, although gentler than I'm used to in this genre, is a wonderful story. The coming together of Jamie and Seth is at times both beautiful and frustrating. Seth couldn't trust anyone after his time at the hands of Brian Carver and Jamie, through the folly of her marriage, found it hard to trust as well. Watching these two grow in both love and trust is beautiful. Jamie, though not all that sure of herself and too sweet for her own good, shows that she has a backbone and tenacity when it's needed. Seth, although a powerful werewolf, has never been sure of himself because of his abusive father and uncaring mother. If you want a paranormal that is more gentle than most, Strength Of The Pack is a definite not-to-miss book.

reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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on September 21, 2008
A nice change from the uber alpha werewolf romances I've read lately I really liked Strength of the Pack. It was especially nice that this was is a werewolf romance in which the fact that the hero Seth is a werewolf is integral to the story, not just pasted on to some more generic romance to make it a paranormal.

Though there is a brief prequel, Jaime and Seth who knew each other as teens hook-up in a bar. Jaime is there testing the waters and looking for adult companionship after being a single mom for a year and lone wolf Seth is just looking to be around other people to ease his loneliness. But having that past connection, both feel safe enough with each other to indulge in a passionate encounter, before Seth's scarred psyche brings the evening to a disasterous close. Though there was enough hurt and embarassment that the pair avoided each other for weeks afterward, an unforseen consequence of their encounter will have Jaime seeking out Seth. And since it took everything that Seth had to push Jaime away the first time, Seth doesn't have the strength to let her go again, even though an enemy from Seth's past is going to put them both in danger.

My favorite parts of the story were Jaime's heart-to-heart talks with Seth's wolf self, especially when she's confiding to the wolf what jerk Seth is. And I did like Jaime, she handles some pretty strange and dangerous stuff while keeping her head. But above all I really loved Seth, the poor lonely wolf longing to belong but always keeping apart out of fear that his secret will be discovered. Seth who never even had the luxury of belonging in his own family, suffering from his dad's abuse and his parents inability to live as humans. Seth certainly deserved to find with Jaime the love and acceptance and family that he so clearly will cherish and I am glad that I got to see that happen.

I really enjoyed Strength of the Pack and will be keeping out an eye for more shifter romances by Jorrie Spencer.
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on March 24, 2010
I too originally avoided this book because the cover is not all that appealing. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I thought the story was great and the characters well developed.
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on June 12, 2011
This is the first in the Northern Shifters series. I've enjoyed other Spencer books far more.

The family dynamics were as good as usual for this author; you really feel a depth to the character interactions, not like their responses are just created for a specific scene. There wasn't a big plot here, but that didn't detract from the story. I liked the heroine, and I just couldn't help but think she could do better. I found the male lead a little too pitiful to admire. It isn't that he wasn't believable, but I don't really read werewolf romances for the realism!

I suggest the second in the series, Strength of the Wolf, for those looking for a good read.
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VINE VOICEon May 17, 2010
This is the first book of a series, I started with book 4 and then worked my way backwards. I'm glad I did, because if I had started with this book, I may not have collected more. Spencer has clearly grown as a writer since creating this book. Seth and Jaimie knew each other as teens, and meet again 10 years later in a bar. They go back to her place but while the sex is good, the night ends weirdly. Seth has concerns that he can't reveal and he's confused and confusing. Jaimie has issues of her own. The book felt contrived and stilted in ways that later books do not, and the passion did not feel as genuine either. I had mostly read Spencer's m/m books (under the name Joely Skye) and they are so much more intense and the characters are far more complex and well drawn. Unless you need to read this book because you want to know every detail about the series, I would give this a pass. However the rest of the series is well worth it, so I'm not too disappointed.
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on June 5, 2008
People kept recommending this book to me and I kept resisting because frankly, the cover freaks me out a lot. I still don't like it. But I finally caved and bought this, and actually, I was wonderfully surprised. Seth Wolski is a great hero, haunted and driven. He shines off the page where the heroine Jamie isn't quite so lucky. She goes back forth. A lot. Even in the same scene. It gets annoying after awhile. But I stuck with it for him, and for the really well done pace. I ended up devouring this and went out to look for the author's other books as a result.
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on August 14, 2014
A decently written, enjoyable, and sometimes action-filled relationship between a divorced, single mother and a wolf afraid of ruining her life. A revenge seeking enemy and an introduction to a tough, powerful protective wolf (who features prominently in later Northern Shifter stories) adds a nice bit of action to a cautious romance. I especially appreciate how the author handles werewolf mating - a bond that is certainly recognizable and present without using the "instant mate" trope.
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