Book Reviews

Unexpected Demands (Hidden Wolves 2) by Kaje Harper

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 25-February-2021

Book Blurb

He'd rather fight enemy wolves and rogue humans than face his own heart.

When Aaron took down a violent, power-crazed wolf and inherited half a pack, he knew being Alpha wasn't going to be easy. A week later, he's finding out what an understatement that was. Other werewolves are calling for the extermination of his pack's gay wolf, or for Aaron's own death, and the risk of exposure to humans is growing.

Aaron can't afford to let his long-suppressed sexuality escape his rigid control. When one of his younger wolves is in trouble, it's simply Aaron's job as Alpha to help and protect him. But keeping a cool distance from a young man who appeals to all his senses could be Aaron's toughest challenge.

 

 

Content warning for substance abuse, some violence.

First edition published by MLR Press, April 2012.

 

Book Review

I couldn't wait to jump into Aaron's story. He totally hooked my interest in the first installment of the 'Hidden Wolves' series and, as much as I loved the story of Simon and Paul, the power and dominance of Aaron, plus his willingness to do whatever to care for his pack, just hit me right in the gut. 'Unexpected Demands' is book two in Kaje Harper's 'Hidden Wolves' series and I would strongly recommend that you read the first book before delving into this one. It can probably be read as a stand alone, but there's a lot of information and background that you'll need from the initial story so as not to feel a little confused.

It's been a really exhausting week for Aaron ever since he challenged the old alpha, Karl, won and then the pack was split between the wolves who wanted to follow Joshua and the old ways, and the ones who wanted Aaron and a new, more progressive pack. Aaron is now alpha of a small pack, ten wolves, with Simon, a gay werewolf, and his mate, Paul, along with some of the younger and more submissive wolves from the old pack. This is quite a formidable task for Aaron as many of the old pack wolves still want Simon and Paul dead, not to mention other pack alphas across the country have heard of this and are demanding their deaths along with Aaron's. I think saying it's been an exhausting week might be a little mild. On the positive side, Aaron has also received a number of requests about his pack, and the male-male mate bond between Simon and Paul (unheard of!), from other young wolves who are obviously gay and looking for a home.

Becoming alpha is a whole new world for Aaron. He was raised by an abusive father who demanded he be strong, basically by beating him half to death. When he could, Aaron left and spent time with different packs and in the human world. Having lived the last thirteen years fading into the background and keeping silent, he's now having to remake himself again, while still hiding his biggest secret. In an attempt to stave off assassins sent by other packs, Aaron invites a delegation formed from other packs to come to neutral territory and "test" the mate bond between Simon and Paul. Killing a bonded mate is only slightly less horrible than killing a pup in wolf law and Aaron is hoping that proving the bond will help protect Paul and Simon. With the very real and somewhat imminent arrival of multiple alphas and enforcers, Aaron has to deal with another problem. One of his youngest members, Zach, is an alcoholic, which no one knew, and is going through the DTs. Aaron feels like he's going to implode with everything occurring.

Zach. A week away from twenty-one, he started drinking when he was fourteen when his dad died. Being that Zach was full pack then, he heard and felt his father die through the pack bond. Raised afterward by his abusive grandfather, Zach has been trying to find his way. He's very smart, good with computers, a little rebellious, got a spine of steel, is stubborn, and a lot lost. Karl really did a number on Zach by using him and encouraging his drinking, all for Karl's gain. Zach is ninth in the pack structure, one above the lowest ranked wolf, but with the new information Aaron now has, he decides he might need to use a lighter touch with Zach as apparently all the beatings his grandfather gave him didn't seem to control him. Unfortunately, Zach staying at Aaron's so he can watch over him since everyone else has day jobs, is causing Aaron's steel control to fray. Aaron is doing everything possible to shut down the alpha bond with Zach and to treat him like a little kid, but it's costing Aaron. And, when Aaron and Zach discover each other's secret, the flames ignite.

Once again, I made the silly assumption that all of this was enough for a good story. Kaje Harper proved me wrong by turning around and writing a great story. Amidst the secret romance blossoming between Aaron and Zach, humans kidnap Simon because an idiot wolf posts Simon's picture and whereabouts on one of the wolf sites. Oh, this is bad. Secrecy from humans is the one thing all wolves agree on, and now some idiot has leaked information because he doesn't like a wolf being gay. This can't possibly end well. And, it doesn't. But, their secret is safe.

There isn't a single thing about Aaron and Zach's story that I didn't love. They each brought out the best parts of the other and because of that, they can each grow in the relationship and within themselves. The writing, as always, was fantastic, the storyline was intricate and unique. Thank you, Kaje, for this wonderful addition to the series!

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 314 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-February-2021
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WYVBK1K