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"Desert Wolf" by Heather Long

Desert Wolf (Wolves of Willow Bend, #8)Desert Wolf by Heather Long
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Desert Wolf" by Heather Long is a rare kind of book. The blurb on the back cover explains quite succinctly the lead up to this book, and also describes what happens in about 85% of the plot. Cassius needs an Omega to unify his pack. He asks Sovvan to come. It took her several months, but she decided to help. Now Cassius is traveling to the New Mexico-Texas border to meet Sovvan and her guardian, Faust.

I love how Ms. Long takes what might have been a page of narration and stretches it across several chapters. As a reader, I learned about the hell Cassius has endured to become alpha and hold the position. I also learn how much he wants to help his pack become better. I also learn what an Omega is, and who Sovvan is. She is gentle and strong, curious and calm, and exactly what Cassius needs.

Ms. Long includes mayhem, betrayal, playfulness, love, hate, and more into this one book than I have seen in a long time. The characters pop out, and you care about what happens to them. From the youngest child to the supposedly unflappable alpha, you want the best for everyone. The action seems real; the pacing of the story almost perfect. Every fight scene had me cringing at the punches, and torn between wanting to read more to find out what happened and wanting to put down the book because I hated when characters I cared about got hurt.

One of my favorite parts of this book is the creation story of Cassius' pack, the Sutter Butte pack. First, you hear it from an outsider's point of view and you wonder what Sovvan is getting herself into. Then you hear it from an insider's point of view, and though it is basically the same story, your heart will go out to the people of Sutter Butte.

For the record, I never read any of the other book in the Wolves of Willow Bend series, but I never felt as if I needed to for this book. That in itself is the sign of an amazing author. Though I must admit, I will be getting the rest of the series now because I want to know what happened before.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story, who loves fantasy books, who loves werewolves, and who likes a good old-fashioned love story.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

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