Pros: Good werewolf story; very sexy; fun characters
Cons: Characters in part 3 didn’t have quite as much time or depth; one plot was oddly shallow
Rating: 4 out of 5
Donovan is a Protector—an enforcer of werewolf laws—and it’s his job to bring home the next pack Alpha, Wyatt, before Wyatt’s father dies. When he finds Wyatt, however, he also finds his mate, Lisa. There are just two small problems: she’s human (a mating that’s forbidden by tradition), and she’s pissed off the local rednecks.
Kelon, Donovan’s brother, is also a Protector. He came to help Donovan but certainly doesn’t approve of his mating with a human—until he happens upon Lisa’s sister, Robin, and discovers his own mate. He’d give up his pack for her, and is determined to bind himself to her even knowing that she’s dying.
Wyatt is expected to be the next pack Alpha, but he doesn’t agree with tradition and believes the pack needs to change to survive. He doesn’t see a problem with were-human matings, and doesn’t want to have to kill his pack-mates in order to survive their challenges and become Alpha. He’s grateful for Donovan and Kelon’s support, but he wasn’t expecting his own mate—Lisa and Robin’s older sister Heather—to become a part of the equation, too.
Normally this sort of story of triple-couplings would be divided into three books rather than three stories in one book. On the one hand, this is a refreshing change. On the other hand, it did cause a couple aspects of the stories to get short shrift. The aspects of danger to Lisa and Robin are handled in a somewhat shallow manner—the danger to Lisa is resolved somewhat anticlimactically, and there isn’t enough buildup to the nature of the danger in Robin and Kelon’s story. Then Wyatt and Heather, who don’t put in much of an appearance until the third story, feel somewhat cheated in terms of character depth (they’re very interesting characters, but we don’t get to explore them quite enough).
I do also have to ask—what is it with the sheer volume of paranormal books that have some concept of a ‘true’ mate? I mean yeah, it’s romantic to think that there’s one person just for you, but it isn’t necessary for a great love story, and as a plot device it’s getting to be rather over-used.
That’s the extent of my complaints. I really enjoyed this book, and found it quite engrossing. The characters are fun and sexy, and each is distinct from the others even though they share traits in common. The exploration of this author’s take on werewolf society is enjoyable, but takes a back seat to the characters (I mean that in a good way—there are so many paranormal books focused on weres and vamps lately that it’s nice to see one that doesn’t think it’s breaking all-new ground). In fact, I’d rather enjoy seeing a sequel to this that took on the repercussions of the end of this book but wasn’t necessarily a romance.
That said, however, the romantic and erotic aspects of Sarah McCarty’s Running Wild are very hot. As is often the case with werewolf stories, there’s an element of dominance & submission, but the female characters are also quite strong and independent (it’s a tough line to ride, but I think McCarty does it quite well). The sex scenes (usual adult material warning: very explicit sex and plenty of it!) sizzle.
Despite my above negative notes, I think Running Wild is a fantastic book. The characters are fun; the relationships are very enjoyable to explore; and the milieu definitely sucks you in.