Six months in his enemies hands has left Marcus Criswell a shell of the man he used to be—or so he thought until his destined mate rescued him from a cruel death.
Six months have passed since Marcus Criswell, Alpha Anax of the North American shifters, disappeared. Held captive, tortured and driven to the brink of madness, he still refuses to give up. Even when his captors abandon him, leaving him chained without food or water, Marcus will not accept his fate.
Until his fate changes with the appearance of his mate, Nathan Grant. Now if only the two of them can survive long enough to enjoy it.
Nathan Grant doesn’t know the first thing about shifters other than he is one and should avoid all others. He’s followed that advice all of his life. Raised by humans, Nathan is more than a little uncomfortable with the idea of being around any other shifters. One spontaneous day spent running as his wolf in Lincoln National Forest forces Nathan to reconsider what little he thought he knew, and to risk his life for one very unforgettable man.
Surviving isn’t easy, and Marcus is all too aware he’s only a shell of the man he used to be. He wasn’t broken completely, but he’s definitely fractured, and even finding his mate might not be enough to help him heal.
Reckless picks up six months after Relentless and we learn that Marcus has been missing the entire time. The book opens amidst Marcus’s clinging to his fragile sanity as he fears that he won’t survive much longer as it appears that his captors have abandoned him, leaving him chained with no access to food and water. Within a few pages we meet Nathan and while it’s clear that he is a shifter, his response to Marcus’s suffering is at first bewildering as I wanted him to rush in a yank Marcus out of his prison immediately. Not one to leave her readers hanging for long, Bradford reveals why Nathan is both drawn to Marcus and wanting to flee at the same time and I soon found myself feeling almost as badly for Nathan as I did for Marcus. But that’s only the beginning of Reckless and the action and romance that follows kept me flipping pages until I could no longer hold my eyes open and returning to my Kindle as soon as possible the next day.
While I am relieved that Bradford chose not to detail the six months’ worth of suffering Marcus endured, his physical state, memories, and nightmares made it apparent that his kidnappers took great pleasure in abusing him. Despite his fear of other shifters, Nathan is unable to abandon Marcus and waits until he has no choice but to enter the camp and attempt to rescue Marcus. Because Nathan has had no interactions with other shifters since he was a young child, he does not understand why he is drawn to Marcus and compelled to help him regardless of his fears. Marcus on the other hand immediately recognizes that Nathan is his mate but is too ashamed of his physical appearance and emotional trauma to let Nathan know what is going on. Fortunately this is not enough of a deterrent to keep him from accepting Nathan’s help to escape his captors. But their trek to freedom is not an easy one as Marcus’s physical condition slows them down enough that his captors are able to plan an ambush. And Marcus finds himself in the position of having to soothe his mate when Nathan’s wolf instincts kick in as he protects his mate.
One of the things I enjoyed about Reckless is that because Nathan had no experience with shifters and because of Marcus’s own post-abduction issues, the men had to take time to get to know one another. Any attraction either felt was ignored for their own reasons and this gave them a little bit of time to form an emotional bond first. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for mating instincts taking over and causing a rush to mate. But given the abuse that Marcus suffered, the slow approach felt right in their case. It goes without saying that when the two men were finally ready to mate, it was hot. I also liked how much Nathan and Marcus were able to help the other heal. And while Marcus’s initial meeting with Nathan’s surrogate father did not start off on the right foot, I was glad to see that they were able to set it aside for Nathan’s sake. Equally enjoyable was getting to catch up with characters from the previous books, even if Aiden and Marcus’s reunion caused me to get a bit teary-eyed. As the party responsible for Marcus’s abduction has not been caught yet, I cannot wait to read Rendered to find out what happens next.
So far, I think this has been my favorite story of the series.
The hopelessness Marcus feels not just during the capture but while trying to heal. And Nathan, being completely clueless about shifters. Therefor not caring about all that AA stuff and just caring about Marcus. The cuteness of what Nathan is and having us to guess, is he really a wolf?!
I love the way that Nathan is so protective of Marcus, doesn’t understand why, but one wrong word and look out!
And of course all of the old favorites make an appearance and plot and plan to make sure this never happens again. Unlike the others, this one really leaves you with a cliffy. Good thing I’ve the next book.