There isn’t a safe place in the world when someone wants you dead more than they want to live.
Ryder Johansen is trying to figure out the shifter world. He was turned without his consent, another bad thing in a life filled with shitty choices. Now he’s learning that he doesn’t have to be an untrustworthy jerk. He can be more than the sum of his past.
Maarten Visser is at a loss with his life. His pack abandoned him—him! Their alpha!—once his brother Luuk was back in power. Maybe a trip to visit the North America Alpha Anax will give him some perspective. Or maybe it’ll kill him.
Marcus and Nathan are getting their pack past the attack that destroyed their other compound. They’ve got everyone settled in a new, secure place. Except it’s not as secure as they thought, and someone is out to destroy them and hurt Marcus as much as possible along the way.
While Revenge was supposed to be about Ryder and Maarten’s mating, it seems to be an equal split with an unexpected and cowardly attack on Marcus and the shifters’ headquarters in New Mexico. But this isn’t a complaint because I found the way in which the two storylines were woven together to be exactly what was needed for many reasons. With the influence and support that Marcus provided to resolve the European Alpha Anax conflict in Revolution it was only natural that he take steps necessary to teach Ryder how to act as an Alpha Anax so that he’s prepared to take over in South America when the time comes for him to issue a challenge to the current Alpha Anax. The attacks on Marcus and the compound provides a perfect “on-the-job” training opportunity for Ryder to see how dangerous the Alpha Anax position can be and the chance to see how he responds under pressure – especially when his mate is at risk.
I must say that I absolutely loved the way in which Ryder and Maarten discovered they were mates. As one of the shifters who was turned against his will, Ryder has VERY limited knowledge of the shifter culture. So when he finds himself wanting to rip out the throat of a guard he has nothing against, he’s appalled by his response. Fortunately Sissy was there at the time (loved the pegging conversation by the way) and was able to prevent Ryder from doing something he would regret and guide him toward his mate, even if Ryder didn’t realize that was what was happening. While Ryder might not understand the significance of being mates, he has no problem responding to the sexual attraction between him and Maarten and wastes no time getting down to business. Yowser! Unfortunately the attacks against Marcus begin almost immediately thereafter, the first being the brutal murder and mutilation of a pack member. Because of what was going on, Ryder and Maarten didn’t have the luxury of getting to know one another slowly after their mating, but this doesn’t keep Ryder from reacting strongly (<=understatement) when his mate is injured. As the attacks ramp up, Marcus proves why he is the North American Alpha Anax and Ryder shows that he is indeed qualified to serve as the South American Alpha Anax.
While this is not the first book in the series with elements of action, suspense, and violence, Revenge certainly seems to outdo its predecessors in these areas. I was quite surprised when the identity of the attacker was discovered and considering all of the damage and destruction he wreaked on the pack, his death was over far too quick for my liking. Oh yes, Revenge made me quite bloodthirsty in that aspect because that coward deserved to be drawn and quartered – literally. The burden of the loss clearly weighed on Marcus’s heart and Nathan’s support as his mate was invaluable to Marcus (and the series). I thoroughly enjoyed Revenge and cannot wait to see what Bradford has in store for the Southwestern Shifters in Reluctance.
Ryder, finally gets his voice. He’s so lost and confused you can’t help but want to root for him. Maarten is an interesting character and at first I thought I would not like but by the end really liked these two together. Maarten is so understanding with Ryder and his turning and situation. And the connection was intense and hot.
The new addition of charaters is a nice touch, Sissy is a great one. The high energy, high intestacy fight towards the end was brilliant.