The Pack or the Panther (Tales of the Harker Pack, #1) by Tara Lain #Review #Shifter Series

Melissa reviews The Pack or the Panther by Tara Lain, Published by Dreamspinner Press January 8th 2014.  202 pages.

pack-pantherCole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.

Why I read this book: This week is Paranormal/shifter week and I loved the premise of this book and said, yep, this one’s for me.

A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.


This book was right down the middle.  Not too heavy, but not too over the top (most of the time).  I can tell there were parts that were intended to be dark and menacing, but fell far short of the mark and were simply disturbing for how corny it was.  This is a cute light read that had some good moments mixed in.

Cole is a shifter with full alpha blood, which means he can shift any time he wants, not just at the full moon.  He’s also gay, which in this world, a gay shifter is not thought to be possible and seemingly brushed aside.  When Cole’s pack is being threatened, his parents arrange a marriage for him to a neighboring pack to join forces and make them both stronger.  The catch?  He’s being forced to marry a woman.  Neither of them are happy with this arrangement and the bride-to-be runs away to marry her human lover!

But never fear, half brother panther shifter is here!  Paris is a hybrid shifter, both panther and wolf, but he identifies as panther is a loner, shying away from pack life and worries.  The attraction between Cole and Paris is immediate and when Paris’ sister runs off, he jumps Cole – literally!  I really did like Paris; he was the best and most interesting character, next to Lindsey (male shifter and Cole’s BFF).

I did have a problem with the stories conflict of the gangster.  I get it, he’s a big bad gangster, but still, the reasoning behind his threat felt…thin.

I would suggest you pick this up and read it on a day you need something light, and really kind of silly; nothing heavy or headache inducing.  And don’t bring logic into it.  🙂


Where to buy: Amazon, B&N


Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara had the first novel she ever wrote accepted for publication in 2011. She’s now on book 27 and counting. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.

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