Bethany reviews ‘Unacceptable Risk’ by Kaje Harper. Published by MLR Press on October 11th, 2011, 332 pgs.
Why I reviewed this book: This week is Paranormal week and I thought now was the perfect time to try Kaje’s Wolf series.
Note: We were provided a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
Simon Conley was born a werewolf, making him one of a tiny minority in a sea of vanilla humans. The safety of the pack lies in absolute secrecy, sometimes violently enforced. In a species where pack-members are born and not made, being gay is considered a perversion. So when Simon falls in love with a human man, he’s twice damned. Even his Alpha’s grudging tolerance may not be enough to shield him from the hatred of the other top wolves. Then his lover Paul stumbles across pack secrets Simon was sworn to keep, and if the pack finds out, they may both end up dead.
I want to start off by saying that I have read ‘The Rebuilding Year’ and the ‘Life Lessons’ series more times than I can count, so its safe to say that I thoroughly enjoy Kaje Harper’s books. So you would think that I would have read this series already, right? Well I haven’t, and I am not entirely sure why. Maybe it was the blurb or the cover, not that either of them bad, just that it wasn’t what I was wanting at that time. Or maybe it was because I loved the books I mentioned above so much I wasn’t sure how she would create a shifter world that was as wonderful as her contemporary books. So when she offered us a chance to read all four in the series, I figured now was the perfect time to try them seeing how this is “paranormal/shifters week.”
OMG! All I can say is I can NOT believe I waited this long to start these books. This is not like any other shifter book I have read thus far, and I have read quite a few in the years I have been reading. First off, the werewolves are born, never made, which yes, I know some books are just like this but Kaje takes this scenario to a completely different level. So while werewolves are born, they are only males, there are no female wolves. Ok so yea I can get on board with that. But wait here is where it becomes a little more complicated, no human can EVER know about werewolves. So this means that the women who marry these wolves, never know about their husbands true identity unless they bond. And that doesn’t always happen.
So how does all this play out for the only gay werewolf? Because in his world being gay is unacceptable, punished by death. His only reprieve was an alpha that just tolerated him enough to spare him. When Simon meets Paul in his wolf form, he knows he has made a big mistake. But his even bigger mistake is meeting Paul in his human form, because all Simon can see is a man that he wants, a very very HUMAN man. You can see how this is going to cause all sorts of problems for Simon and Paul. But the attraction is there and Simon’s wolf wants, no needs to protect Paul at all cost even if this means going against the pack.
This is a big reason I loved this book so much, there was no “instant” “I gotta have this man right now” this is my mate” stuff going on. Yes Simon wants Paul, even though Paul has never been with another man in his life. Yet his wolf knows that Paul is suppose to be in his life, even when Simon isn’t sure why. This is a slow burn, while Paul figures his attraction to Simon out, but when Paul finally does, they then must face higher powers determined to get rid of the only gay pack member.
I absolutely loved reading about Simon and Paul, as well as the other members of this pack, even though a lot of them pissed me off so badly. Kaje has taken shifters and put her own spin on them and made me fall in love. The imagery is spot on while you read about this pack and the people they love and care for. Yet its not all rainbows and glitter, no, this world she creates for them is harsh and so ingrained in old school discipline that is sometimes boarders on what we would say as cruel and unjust punishment. But that is what makes a brilliant start to a fascinating series. This is proof positive that Kaje is a fantastic writer and can hold her own with many genres.
So I HIGHLY recommend you get this book and check back for my reviews for the rest of this series. I can not wait to start the next in the series an look forward to seeing where this pack goes.
I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it can be breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, the deepfreeze chill contributes to the breath-taking, but Minnesota’s a kindly, quiet place and it’s home to me now. I’ve been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment, and currently am focused on M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, history, SciFi…) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.
My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing, I really should submit something, somewhere. I was thrilled when it was accepted. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I’ve been just delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.
My first free book became the first story that I actually released – I put it up a month before Life Lessons just for the fun of getting it out there. Lies and Consequences began as a reaction to the November 2010 election. It looked like the repeal of DADT might be derailed by the political shift and I put the insanity of that law into the book. Then as I was finishing the first draft in mid-December the repeal passed. Which was great, but prompted a rewrite to a lighter and more action/romance book. This was a solo effort and I learned a lot from writing and releasing it and from the reviews. Check Smashwords for that one and many of my other freebies.
I now have a decent backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published. A complete list with links can be found on my Books page. This writing thing is addictive. So read, comment, tell me what you like and what you don’t, and help me make the upcoming books even better. I have an author page on Goodreads where I do a lot of book reviews, and this blog is reposted there.
You can find me to chat on my author page on Goodreads most easily – I hang out on Goodreads a lot because I moderate theGoodreads YA LGBT Books group there. I also post free short YA stories on that group, more than 50 of them so far.
You can also email me : kajeharper ~at~ yahoo ~dot~ comor find me on Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/KajeHarper