I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Veterinarian Lena Windsor grew up expecting to be mated to shape-shifter Alex James and his brothers, Joe and Will, when she finished university, but when military vet Alex leaves the three of them behind to re-enlist, she builds a new life for herself, eventually coming home to take over her fathers’ practice in Harmony, where she reconciles with Joe and Will. One day, Lena begins to suspect that someone has been prowling around her house while she’s at work and uses a nanny cam to find the culprit. She’s shocked to see a very changed Alex, who is dealing with a severe war injury by bonding, in wolf-dog form, with the stray dog she adopted who has a similar injury. She’d never turn away an injured animal, not even when he’s also the man who broke her heart. Can she help him to heal without falling in love with him again? Note: There is no sexual relationship or touching for titillation between or among siblings.
I was so excited to be asked to review Desired by Wolves, the second book in Diane Leyne’s Call of the Wolf series. I loved the first book in the series, Claimed by Wolves. It was a sweet story with a lot of humor and I was expecting more of the same in Desired by Wolves. Boy was I wrong and I’ve never been happier to be wrong. Desired by Wolves pulled at my heartstrings almost from page one. I was so moved by the story that I caught myself shedding a few tears – both in sadness and happiness.
Lena and brothers, Alex, Will and Joe grew up together. Their hometown of Harmony is a community of werewolves where ménage is the norm. Lena always knew that the James brothers were her fated mates. She was willing to give up anything, including her dreams of veterinary school, to be with her men. But before they could officially mate, Alex disappeared. He didn’t want Lena to give up her dreams and he felt they were all too young to make a lifelong commitment. Alex re-enlists in the Army and disappears leaving the others to move on with their lives.
Fast forward ten years later and Alex is back in Harmony. A lot has changed in that time, especially Alex. He has suffered a devastating war injury that has severely impacted his self-confidence. He believes that Lena could never love him in this condition and he is determined to keep his return a secret. But secrets always have a way of being discovered, and now Lena has to learn to forgive Alex and help him heal without losing her heart again.
Desired by Wolves took me on an emotional journey with highs and lows. It broke my heart to see the emotional and mental damage that Alex suffered. I shed a few tears at seeing this once strong and confident Alpha be afraid of loud noises, suffer panic attacks, and basically become a shadow of his former life. Ms. Leyne painted such a realistic picture of a soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and my mind couldn’t help but go to the thousands of our American soldiers who must be facing the same problems everyday. I was amazed at Ms. Leyne’s ability to describe Alex’s new demeanor in such a detailed way that I was just as saddened by the changes as Lena was despite never knowing the pre-war Alex.
Lena was a strong heroine who was able to move on from heartbreak and follow her dreams to become a vet. It was her compassion and empathy that not only made her a great vet, but also be the perfect person to help Alex deal with his PTSD. Her loving and caring way helped heal him and I hope that our returning soldiers are lucky enough to have their own “Lena” in their lives. Lena reminded me of myself in that she loved Alex but still held onto her anger and his autocratic decision all those years ago. While I understand that Alex thought he was doing the right thing by holding off on their mating since he was going off to war and could potentially be killed, I understood Lena’s anger and frustration. It can be so frustrating when a man makes a decision that he thinks is in his woman’s best interest without consulting her.
I truly appreciated that Ms. Layne talked about the work that Alex had to do in order to deal with his PTSD. She painted a realistic picture of the steps needed to recover emotionally from such a horrific experience. Alex saw a therapist and attended a support group and opened his heart and soul to the people who loved him.
Desired by Wolves was not your traditional ménage. Though Will and Joe were a part of Lena’s life, the main focus of the story was the relationship between Lena and Alex. Yet I didn’t feel anything was missing because I was engrossed in Lena and Alex’s story. Will and Joe were there to support their brother and their mate and their dedication and love was apparent even without being the main focus. That is a testament to Ms. Leyne’s strong story-telling abilities.
While Desired by Wolves can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading Claimed by Wolves because it’s a great book. And once you have read both books, I believe you will become a Ms. Leyne fan like I am.