This is book 8 in the series, and though it would probably be ideal to start at the beginning to pick up on the worldbuilding I suspect was done earlier in the series, it wouldn’t matter too much if you started here. All the minor characters are sketched in well enough for you to get an idea of who they are, and the two protagonists are thoroughly fleshed out with plenty of meaty backstory to get your teeth into.
Jayden Brooks is one of Dallas’ all-werewolf SWAT team. Once you accept the existence of an all-werewolf SWAT team and the fact that anyone with a particular recessive gene can become a werewolf if exposed to a traumatic enough event, you’re pretty much home and hosed as far as suspension of disbelief goes. Physically, Brooks is one of the biggest on the team, six and a half feet of muscle, a handsome black man who occasionally reads almost too good to be true. He cooks, he cleans, he can dance, he loves puppies. It’s no surprise the heroine, Selena Rosa, a beautiful Latinx teacher he rescues from a hostage situation, has a hard time believing he’s single.
Werewolves, however, get fated mates in this universe. They call it The One, and it’s not exactly clear here what makes one were The One for any other, apart from an overwhelming physical attraction.
Selena’s a teacher at a school in an area with serious gang problems, and she spends most of her free time as well as her working hours trying to give her students a reason to stay out of gang troubles. While she’s fighting these battles and dealing with transforming into a werewolf, Brooks has a different problem - a team of hunters out to kill any werewolf they can find.
There are some pretty spectacular confrontations in the book, and one thing I really liked was that Selena was never held back from the action. In fact, her choices led to major breakthroughs on cases Brooks had to deal with. There were really hot sex scenes between the two as well, though being werewolves things did get a bit rough (read; claws and teeth make things messy).
All in all I really enjoyed this, even though starting here in the series meant I had to take some worldbuilding things on faith. There were a few obvious Easter Eggs planted for later books in the series (the cat called Kat who isn’t afraid of werewolves, for example) but I’d definitely be happy to read any more of the SWAT werewolf books! Five stars for an excellent paranormal romance!
Wolf Rising is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.