Brand meets his dream girl in college—a half-human, half-leopard shapeshifter who cannot shift. Werewolves and cats are natural enemies but the power of their sexual chemistry overwhelms them. She steals his heart and makes him whole. When she abandons him it fractures his world and he knows no woman can ever take her place. Though many seek his attention, he is cold and unattainable.
The love they share is soul deep but the fate of Charma’s family lies in her hands. The memory of every heated touch they share will cut out both their hearts when she leaves him but to save them all, she must run. After nine years of desolation and heartbreak Charma is back. She risks forfeiting her life to warn Brand of an impending attack but she doesn’t hesitate. Brand has her in his arms once more and he will never lose her again.
I am ashamed to say that although this book has been on my Kindle since its release, this is the first time I’ve actually read Mating Brand. I know. I know. And now that I’ve read it, I’m glad I’m not flexible enough to be kicking my own arse literally instead of just figuratively. After learning of Brand’s love for a cat shifter he met in college in His Purrfect Mate, I was so glad to finally get the chance to read their story.
Dohner adds to the knowledge of Brand’s lost love by using the Prologue to give the reader a taste of the love and passion Brand and Charma shared and the heartbreak both suffered when Charma left. Jumping nine years to the present we learn rather quickly that Charma’s life in the intervening years has been torturous and once I learned why she did it, any animosity I felt toward her for breaking Brand’s heart disappeared. Her mate’s cruelty was only outmatched by his father’s and they make her decision to betray her pack an easy one. Unfortunately for her, the visiting males haven’t gotten the memo that cats aren’t to be attacked in Harris Pack territory due to Anton’s mate being part cat and Charma finds herself under attack while still in her car. Thankfully the pack enforcer on duty is able to defend her until backup arrives to take out the attackers. But despite all that has happened that day, Charma is still unprepared to learn that her savior is Brand. Fortunately Brand’s shock is short lived and he immediately claims what he lost all those years ago – the woman he loved, his mate.
I loved the second chance romance aspect of Mating Brand. Despite almost a decade apart, both Brand and Charma find that their feelings haven’t diminished. Nor has their passion! They certainly made up for lost time. Repeatedly. I enjoyed how the author used Shannon’s kidnapping from His Purrfect Mate as the basis for the conflict between the pack and the pride and kept a series thread running from book two to book three. That said, you do not have to read the previous books first to enjoy this as Mating Brand does stand on its own. The action was heightened further during the attack when Charma calls her sister and learns that her brother-in-law is among the cats sent to attack the Harris pack. While it wasn’t surprising to see the lengths to which Brand would go to protect Charma, it was surprising to find out who rescued Charma’s sister. Oh I cannot wait to read that book. Mating Brand was an excellent addition to the Mating Heat series and I look forward to the next time Dohner’s shifter muse come a-knockin’.