Harley was thrust into the realm of the supernatural at the hands of a sadistic shifter, and his world will never be the same.
Harley’s one-night stand turned into a nightmare when a vengeance-seeking shifter kidnapped him to use Harley as a pawn. Things didn’t go so well for his abductor, or for Harley. He’d never have believed there were werewolves…shifters, rather, in the real world. After being freed, his mind is a mess and he doesn’t know how to cope with the things he’s experienced. Fear and anger are powerful emotions, and when they are out of control, the harm caused can scare one’s soul.
Val Whitley only ever had one goal in life—to serve in Marcus Criswell’s guard. Val had looked up to Alpha Anax Criswell for a long time and was honoured to serve him. When an accident alters Val’s life, possibly forever, he fears he’ll be of little or no use to his Alpha Anax. What good is a physically damaged shifter, especially one as messed up as he is?
When Val is sent out on an order from Alpha Anax Criswell, he thinks he’s being pawned off since he’s blind in one eye and is less than any other shifter. He doesn’t expect to find a strength he never knew he had, or the love of a destined mate…
I have to admit, I was a little confused at first by the beginning of this one. The prologue starts a little into the story, and when chapter one starts we get a very upset (and rightfully so) Harley. Who, I’m trying to remember from all the previous charterers and books. As well has continue to read he’s disjointed rantings and ravings. Makes for a very confusing and not very fun first chapter or so. On top of me, myself wondering why we had another book? Since the bad guy was killed two books ago and we had a secondary character ‘got there story told, HEA’ in the last book.
But the story finally settled down, and we got the back story on why Harley is the way he is even before the capture. And the what happen to Val, and why even though he’s a guard to the AA we’ve not had any interaction from him. We also meet Ryder, Harley’s brother who was attacked and has his own story to tell.
Collectively, these people make a great team. And maybe because we didn’t spend much time alone with Val and Harley, I just didn’t get much of a connection with either of them.
Reverence returns fans to the ongoing series storyline that was last visited at the end of Rendered. Up to bat is Harley, the human that Joshua Dobson kidnapped and terrorized back when he was trying to get Alex off of his trail. Not surprisingly Harley trusts no shifters and cannot leave Marcus’s territory fast enough when finally given the okay to return home, no matter how strong of a pull he was feeling from the unconscious and injured shifter he discovered in the infirmary. Because he doesn’t trust shifters, he refuses to tell Nathan and Marcus what Joshua did to him except to confirm that he was not raped. But as Harley sorts through his memories we learn that although he might not have been penetrated by Joshua or any of his men, he was violated. In an effort to “escape” his memories and nightmares, Harley begins clubbing, drinking, getting high, and hooking up with random strangers. It is during one of his clubbing nights that he encounters Val.
Unbeknownst to Harley, Val is a shifter. He’s another of Joshua’s victims and he’s been sent by Marcus and Nathan to insure Harley’s safety – with strict instructions NOT to mess with him. Due to the injuries he sustained when Joshua hit him with the Hummer, Val doesn’t ping Harley’s shifter-radar but he does set off Harley’s gaydar and Val is firmly in his sights for the night. While I didn’t like that Val was injured, I had to agree with both men that having Val’s wolf-side suppressed was probably the best thing that could have happened once they realized they were mates. After what Harley endured at Joshua’s hands, there was no way he would have accepted an aggressive shifter for a partner let alone as a mate. And while they didn’t wait long before getting sexual – and good grief was the alley scene HOT (only in books is making out in an alley sexy) – they did take it slow (by shifter standards) and got to know and trust one another better before they fully consummated their relationship. I enjoyed watching them connect emotionally and building the level of trust needed for a non-shifter relationship. It also made for some hot foreplay and sex scenes.
In addition to having Reverence pick the series thread back up, I liked how Bradford dropped in references from Resilience so that fans can identify where the books’ timelines overlapped. I really liked the introduction of Harley’s brother and am excited to find out where that storyline will take series as well because something is seriously brewing there. Reverence is another great addition to the Southwestern Shifters series and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Harley and Val heal mentally and physically so that they could start their lives post-Joshua Dobson anew … with each other. I am looking forward to reading Revolution so that I can find out what happened to Adam’s friend Jameson as well as catching up with Adam and Todd.