The Pack or the Panther
by Tara Lain

Series: Tales of the Harker Pack #1
Published by Dreamspinner Press Source: Publisher

Reviewed by Jo

Cole Harker is the son of the Alpha pair and one of the best trackers of the pack.  Cole has never hidden the fact he is gay, however, every single member of the pack, but one has ignored him—including his parents. Cole has put up with the rare dates and has let the pack treat him as if he was straight. But now Cole is about to make a decision that will most likely ruin his life forever. His parents have arranged a mating for him with the daughter of another pack for political reasons. A lifetime mated to a woman, no matter how much Cole might learn to like her, will be a lifetime of sacrifice and hiding in the shadows.


Paris Marketo is gay, an exotic male dancer, a first child of the Alpha of the Marketo pack, and a panther, not a wolf like the rest of the pack. When Paris is told of his sister’s engagement and asked to come home for the celebration, he agrees for a couple of reasons. When Paris goes to a bar with other members of his pack the night before the mating celebration begins, he is overcome by the most wonderful scent ever, and it helps that it comes from a really tasty looking male. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that is the same male who has been mated to his half-sister, Analiese. Even worse Paris discovers that Cole is gay and wonders just what his dad is thinking.


Cole once again surrenders to the needs of the pack and goes into the mating, only to find out that he isn’t the only one having second thoughts and, even worse, he’s sexually attracted to his intended’s half-brother.  On a night that turns both packs upside down, Cole and Paris have an encounter that will take their lust to the next level. But the danger being held over both packs’ heads is still there. and Paris wants nothing to do with any pack or its politics. When Cole learns that the same person threatening the pack is also threatening Paris, he springs into action. An inter-pack war is on the horizon. The Harker and Marketo packs still need to be joined so that they will fight together. Once again, the Alphas come up with a solution. The question is, will Cole and Paris’s love survive this second round of pack pressure and the war to have the future just in front of them?


Everyone knows that there is no such thing as a gay shapeshifter. That is until two packs are forced to acknowledge what has always been in front of them.  Paris and Cole prove that it doesn’t matter who you love to be a strong warrior in The Pack or the Panther.  I have to say, if I was Cole, I’m not sure I would have sacrificed my future for a pack that treated me so badly. I understood why Paris went on his own journey and left his father’s pack.  But there were many times when I wanted to biff both Cole and Paris in the back of the head and make them see things that were right in front of them. However, both had me loving them by the end of the book. I also loved how they forced both packs to open their eyes and acknowledge that gay shapeshifters do exist and deserve to be treated the same as every other member of the pack. Paris’ surprise at the end had me laughing out loud and told me that life in both packs was going to be a wild ride for many years.  The Pack or the Panther wraps suspense with passion with large touches of humor along with the danger—all of which kept me intrigued until I turned the last page.


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