I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Unconditional by Lauren Dane
Series: Cascadia Wolves #7
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2013-08-06
Genres: Erotica, Paranormal
Reviewed by Jo
Their second chance generates a dangerous kind of heat...A Cascadia Wolves StoryAs a cop, Michelle Slattery is familiar with the dark side of human behavior, but this case is way above her skill level. Mages have been scouring the country kidnapping witches, draining their energy, and leaving their broken bodies behind. With Michelle’s best friend among the missing, she appeals to the Owen witches, who send her to the last place she’d thought she’d see a familiar face. The werewolves. When a witch seeking help shows up at the Pacific Pack headquarters, Josh Neelan gets the shock of his life. She’s none other than his high school sweetheart, the one he left behind when he was bitten and turned. Their intense sexual chemistry still sizzles for a reason—she’s his mate. As they begin to work through their issues, their rekindled romance quickly flames red hot. But the closer they get, the more dangerous the outside world becomes. And they realize magick-thieving mages are just the tip of the iceberg. Warning: Bossy alpha wolves, witches who take no guff, sexytimes, bad words, and some violence.
Michelle Slattery is a cop and a witch and as both she has seen the more nasty side of human behavior. Witches are still in hiding from the human population but when her childhood best friend and fellow witch is taken by Mages, Michelle is ready to make a bargain with anyone to get the help she needs to find her; especially when the witches that have been taken have all ended up dead. That is what takes Michelle to the Pacific Pack and where she finds an even bigger surprise.
Josh Neelan is the Enforcer for the Pacific Pack now, but before he was bit he was the first love of Michelle’s life. Josh had to turn his back on his life after becoming a werewolf and the only regret he had was leaving Michelle and their love. He is seriously shocked when the woman who came to ask for help in locating her friend was Michelle. Josh had never known that Michelle was a witch, but he knows immediately that not only was she his high school sweetheart but she is also his forever mate.
Josh immediately agrees to help Michelle and realizes that he also knew the missing woman. Even with the help of the powerful Owen witch clan and the resources of the Pacific pack, it’s like a game of catch up as Michelle and Josh track down the Mages who have their friend. As they hunt, Michelle and Josh also have to come to terms about their past and the passion that is ready to explode between them now. Both realize that they are very different people than when their love first happened, but it seems to have just simmered in the background waiting for this time. As Michelle and Josh gather some answers, they discover that something much larger than Mages kidnapping and killing witches is going on and it looks like it’s going to affect all the Others, not just the witches. Happily ever after is not totally in the cards for this mission in more ways than one. When the last card has been turned, will the love between Michelle and Josh be strong enough this time to survive and flourish?
High school sweethearts find their way back to each other in the midst of deadly danger in Unconditional. I could feel the shock and then the passion when Josh and Michelle turned and saw each other for the first time in years. I wasn’t surprised at all that the feelings they had as teens exploded into a forever love filled with passion and strength. There were many times that I hurt for what Michelle was going through, but her inner strength and Josh’s loving support made it possible for her to overcome ever adversity that came her way, no matter how hurtful or life changing. I also loved how there were appearances from so many other characters from the other series (Bound by Magic, Cascadia Wolves, and de la Vega Cats) that this book was a bridge to. The loving and tragic journey that Josh and Michelle make in Unconditional while searching for the Mages, the missing friend and discovering their love anew had me page turning as fast as I could and yet hating how fast those same pages were going.
I will admit that I reread the last third of this book prior to writing this because things happened so fast that I was afraid I might have missed some of the details. Instead I found that the love between Josh and Michelle was a sweet and warming as I thought the first time. I just had to Joyfully Recommend Josh and Michelle’s story as a must read for everything I have said and all that I really haven’t. Do you have to have read their other books in theBound by Magic, Cascadia Wolves, and de la Vega Cats series to enjoy this one – no, probably not but I will say that you will understand and enjoy the larger world if you have – especially the Bound by Magic and de la Vega Cats ones, but come on – the sexy wolves and the take no prisoner women in the Cascadia Wolves should not be missed either.