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Stolen and Forgiven (Branded Packs) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 14, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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These stories take place in a world where humans were dying from the Verona virus. An ailment that shifters are immune to. Shifters came out and basically saved what was left of the human race which thanked them by forcing them into compounds and taking away their rights. These stories take place 25 years after the Verona virus.
Holden Carter was 15 when the shifters came out. He became Alpha of the canine shifters in his camp. He has been doing his best to protect them ever since. He is tired and lonely. He needs his mate and he isn’t likely to meet her with the set up the humans have forced him into. So he is really surprised to find that the dying human tossed into their compound is his mate. He forces the change on her to save her life. It may have been the most selfish thing he has ever done but he can’t regret it.
Ariel Sands was born and orphaned in the height of the virus epidemic. She doesn’t know why she was kidnapped experimented on, eviscerated and left for dead but when she finds herself surrounded by shifters and informed that she has been turned into one she is torn between joy that she is alive and fear of being what she has been taught were animals.
Ariel may be just what Holden needs to keep on going if his turning her doesn’t bring the SAU done on them even worse. Can Ariel embrace her wolf and accept Holden as her mate?
Stolen is a dark story that had me in tears but ultimately left me with a feeling of hope.
Soren Slater is Holden Carter’s second. He discovers and abandons love while acting as ambassador to the felines. The Tiger Princess Cora knows that Soren is her mate and is heart broken when he leaves her and takes a wolf to mate. Now his mate is dead and the SAU has determined that the Felines and Canines are to share a compound and Cora and Soren will be thrown together again. Can she forgive and forget? Soren has never forgotten Cora. Will she understand that it was duty that took him from her?
I didn’t like Soren a whole lot in the first story but all is forgiven in this second chance romance. Cora makes him work for it and it is fun to watch him fall.
This book is not an easy read but once you pick it up I dare you to put it down.
Holden is suppose to take a mate- but he and his wolf haven’t found her yet. It is his duty as the Alpha to do this. Since he can’t Soren does, even though he does not love the woman that he is mated to. Instead he loves Cora, loves her and leaves her for the good of the pack. Hopefully to never see her again. Since Soren’s mate has passed there has been more pressure on Holden to mate. He goes out of a nightly run to get rid of stress and comes upon a corpse- or what will soon be a corpse. His wolf and he decide as one to turn this woman, because she is his mate. Ariel wakes up to find that she is very much alive thanks to a hunky man who bit her.
She is thrust into a world that she has no clue about. After all she was a human and what the government told the humans about the shifters would make you shiver in your boots. I adore Ariel- she takes everything as if it was no surprise. She steps up and helps the Pack. She does not back down. She instantly feels a connection to Holden but hello he did save her life. She is met with a lot of resistance. Someone will betray the Pack and that is where Cora comes in.
The betrayal of the Pack leads to the government forcing another shifter pack to move in with the wolves ironically a cat pack. Ummm great strategy as we all know that cats and dogs fight a lot. The government is kinda banking on it. Cora’s daddy happens to the Alpha of the Golden Pack. She is also the woman that Soren cast aside for the good of his Pack. Now that his wolf mate is dead he understands that mating for the sake of the Pack was a bad idea. Cora is now back in his sights and well to be honest she never left his heart. He just has to make her see that what he did was not as awful as it sounds.
Cora at times comes across as a spoiled brat- yes, she can have any cat she wanted. Yes is the Alpha’s daughter- but come on and forgive a wolf already. She drags out the forgiveness part of this relationship a little too long. Especially when faced with a common enemy, SAU (Shifter Accommodation Unit).
Stolen and Forgiven was an entertaining read. As the first book in a new series there was a lot of world building. Since mated pairs are fated there is instant-lust here, but for the sake of the storyline it is doable. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series- it comes out Sept. 15.