Title : Wild Magic
Author : Poppy Dennison
Series : Triad, Book #4
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Fantasy, Paranormal
Length : 108 pages (e-book)
Published : September 25, 2013
Rating : ★★★1/2
Joseph Anderson was heartbroken when his childhood best friend Dominick Levent moved away. Years later, Joseph is a successful real estate broker with good friends, an easy smile, and a stunning house. When he finds a dying mountain lion who miraculously shifts into Dominick’s sister, Joseph must find Dominick and reunite him with the two young sons she left behind.
When mountain lion shifter Dominick gets a call telling him his sister is dead, he rushes home to protect his nephews and avenge his sister. Seeing Joseph brings back the feelings Dominick tried to bury and he dares to hope Joseph’s newfound knowledge of shifters means they can finally be together.
Joseph Anderson thought he was simply going for a hike when he hears a mountain lion attack. As he happens upon the scene of what evidently isn’t an attack at all, he finds two young children crying over a very sickly mountain lion. Because that wasn’t surreal enough, the mountain lion shifts into one of his childhood friends. She’s dying and asks Joseph to take her children to her brother, Dominick. Joseph is overwhelmed by his newfound knowledge of shifters, his need to care for two small children, and needing to contact Dominick. Joseph fell in love with Dominick when they were teens only to have Dominick suddenly cut him from his life. All Joseph knows is Dominick is a US Marshal. While on a job outside the US, Dominick gets a phone message from his childhood friend, Joseph, which leads to a phone call where Joseph has to tell him about his sister’s death. Dominick immediately goes to Joseph’s home, which is actually quite nicer than anything Dominick had expected, and sees his nephews again. Unfortunately, Dominick doesn’t know what killed his sister or if any or all of them are in active danger. He also doesn’t have a place to live with his nephews and will have to change his office within the Marshal system. He needs more of Joseph’s help.
Dominick was in love with Joseph when they were children. The depth of his emotion made it hard for him to control his shift while around Joseph. To maintain the secrecy and safety of shifters he severed all ties. He never got over the loss. It seems Joseph was also really hurt by the loss. Both men have lived productive and successful lives apart, but still remember keenly both their love and the hurt it caused. Both men also realize the welfare of the children far supersede any petty anger they may feel about secrets and crushes from the past. Dominick uproots his life to take care of his nephews. Joseph gives them a home during the process. Dominick also learns his old pack was completely wiped out by whatever killed his sister. He has no one but Joseph and his friend to turn to for help with the kids. Finally, both men admit to still carrying a torch for the other. Amongst all the family and romantic drama, Dominick has to go to work. As a Marshal he’s responsible for the safety and whereabouts of witnesses. He is out to find a witness who just so happens to be supernatural. Dominick knows there is no way he can take the guy to jail, it simply will not work. He can however help Dominick find out about the death of his sister and his former pack. Dominick and Joseph learn they aren’t alone in raising little mountain lion cubs.
This was a story of losing and rebuilding family. The loss of Dominick’s sister and how it impacted both his and his nephews’ lives was tragic. Whereas the previous triad books were about the violence and how to stop the bad guys, Wild Magic was about the aftermath and the clean up. How do you rebuild your life when the glue that held it together is gone? Dominick has to start over at work as well as take care of others instead of continuing to live his life as a loner. In both cases he ends up happier for it. He also finds a new extended family in the process. Joseph has to give Dominick a second chance.
Okay, so a story about rebuilding your family should have a good romance at the heart of it. After all, this is a romance novel, right? I thought the romance fizzled out. The majority of the book the two guys were circling each other not knowing how get back what they had in their youth. Suddenly, they’ve forgiven and are ready to go again. All’s well that ends well. It all happened in about three pages. I found myself not really buying it. The men did have romantic thoughts toward each other, but they largely dealt with the past and the opportunity missed. Other than some jealousy, the opportunity to roll out the men falling in love again as they built their life together without realizing it was also missed. Instead, we have two guys all but entering a committed relationship a few pages after that wasn’t even an option either man imagined was possible.
Rated 3.5 stars by Faye