REVIEW: Thrown to the Wolves (Big Bad Wolf #3) by Charlie Adhara
When Agent Cooper Dayton agreed to attend the funeral for Oliver Park’s grandfather, he didn’t know what he was getting into. Turns out, the deceased was the alpha of the most powerful werewolf pack on the eastern seaboard. And his death is highly suspicious. Regardless, Cooper is determined to love and support Park the way Park has been there for him.
But Park left him woefully unprepared for the wolf pack politics and etiquette. Rival packs? A seating order at the dinner table? A mysterious figure named the Shepherd? The worst is that Park didn’t tell his family one key thing about Cooper. Cooper feels two steps behind, and reticent Park is no help.
There are plenty of pack members eager to open up about Park and why Cooper is wrong for him. Their stories make Cooper wonder if he’s holding Park back. But there’s no time to get into it…as lethal tranquilizer darts start to fly, Cooper needs to solve the mystery of the alpha’s death and fight for the man he loves—all before someone else dies.
Dear Charlie Adhara,
I reviewed the first two books in this series, and was looking forward to this one. Although I have to confess that when I read Ami’s ARC review I was a little apprehensive. The lack of communication between the leads is the plot turn that more often than not annoys me if the narrative does not present good reasons for said miscommunication and the reasons had better be something more convincing than *author needs the characters to keep secrets from each other because that is the only way plot can move forward.*
As the readers of the series know, in the previous book Oliver supported Cooper during the visit to Cooper’s family and in this book it is Cooper’s turn to accompany Oliver when they have to visit his family/his pack after Oliver’s grandfather death.
It was hinted in the previous books that Park does not have the greatest relationship with his pack, especially since he pretty much left them behind. It was also hard to miss that for some reason Park did nor want Cooper to see him during the shift so it is not as if the author did not attempt to foreshadow the issues that finally came to light during this book. I still did not expect just how much pain Park carried from his past. If I think about it, I think the books so far had been structured very nicely – Cooper dealt with a lot of painful stuff from his past in the second book and that helped his relationship with Oliver grow by leaps and bounds. In this book it is Oliver’s turn and they both came through stronger as a couple and hopefully as individuals as well.
What I initially did not like is that Parker who encouraged Cooper’s communicating with his father and brother in the second book, Parker who seemed to value the communication a lot in the said book just really didn’t communicate with Cooper as to what to expect from their visit (as much as Parker could predict of course). What I did not like even more that Parker did not communicate with his family at all as to Cooper being human.
I have to say though, the author achieved an almost impossible feat here. She convinced me that Park had his reasons for not talking to Cooper or his family before they came back. I bought that Park was that afraid of his past, or more specifically he was that afraid that he would not measure up to Cooper (things that Park did in the past.) Really, it almost never happens and it happened in this book. Park’s vulnerability in this book was very sweet without making the character unbelievable for me. It is as if the author kept peeling layers from the guys and making sure at the same time that the core stays the same.
“Cooper was surprised to see unspilled tears appear in Park’s eyes. “I didn’t want you to see me like that,” he whispered. “Me in my fur. An animal whose only language is dominance or submission. Something scary. I’ve scared so many people away. Didn’t want to scare you away, too.””
““I’m sorry I lied to you,” Park whispered, his words a vibration against Cooper’s heart. “About my past. Please just give me another chance. Please don’t—don’t leave me.” Cooper inhaled sharply and his hands spasmed against Park’s skin. “What?” He pulled away to better see Park, who seemed reluctant if not outright anxious to leave Cooper’s embrace. “I’m not leaving you, Oliver. God, why do you think that?””
At the same time I did wish that the book stopped with the men not communicating with each other just a tad bit earlier in the course of the story than it did. As I said, I was mostly convinced by Park’s reasons for being quiet, whether he was right or wrong about his fears. However it went a little bit too far, because when Park wants to tell Cooper and somebody says the wake is about to start, it is hard for me to consider this more than a ridiculous plot development, but overall I was convinced and thought that the author did a very good job.
I am going to be almost quiet about the mystery subplot. Once again readers of the series know that each book has a significant mystery story. I will just say that similar to the second book I am not sure how I feel about it. I mean it was certainly fun to read and I wanted to know who the villain is. I just wonder if the author even wanted the reader to say Aha when they look back and say that’s how we should have known who the villain was. The red herrings were all there, but what about the real clues? If they were there, I missed them.
One last thing, the sex scenes were so good. Not only I did not skip them, but I wanted to reread them and THAT almost never happens. Moreover, I think that if one takes those scenes out the story will not stay the same, sex added to the development of the relationship IMHO.
Actually the very last thing I want to say is this – ending had a “head scratching moment” for me. Oh I was overjoyed about their happiness, I just thought that a certain change in a certain status came out of the left field.