Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: Once Bitten
SERIES: Darker Hollow #2
AUTHOR: Shannon West and T.S. McKinney
PUBLISHER: Painted Hearts Publishing
LENGTH: 189 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 4, 2017
When Mason comes back to Dark Hollows, he doesn’t quite get the homecoming he’d hoped for.
Mason, who has become something not quite wolf and not quite vampire, has new powers of his own that he’s still trying to figure out, not to mention a complicated relationship with his new mates. He knows his brother Jax will be shocked to find out he’s still alive, and he’d expected some resistance to his new mates, Finn and Valerian, but not the open hostility he meets when they arrive.
The Dark Hollow alphas, Marco and Cade, are not at all pleased to have another alpha like Finn in their territory. And as for the beautiful vampire, Valerian, only Mason’s sudden display of his startling new powers forces an uneasy and tentative truce among them. Meanwhile Mason is still struggling to forgive Finn and Valerian for what they did to him in the past, and his mates are growing impatient for him to make a decision about their lives together.
The sudden reappearance of an ancient, evil vampire named Cassius makes the entire pack hyper-vigilant and uneasy. When Mason and Finn discover the creature is Valerian’s sire, they fear Cassius’s influence over him.
Oh. My. Gah. They left me hanging! Lol. It was so good and I couldn’t put it down and before I know it……the end! Eek! They left me hanging! I hope book 3 is coming soon. I am very ready to read book 3.
Once again, we are with Mason and his mates, Finn and Valerian. Mason has decided it is time for him to go home and let his brother know he is alive and ok. While they all knew it would be tough with another alpha coming into the fold, the addition of a vampire have made things extra hard. No one trusts Valerian because of what he is and with Finn being another alpha tensions are extremely high. There is fighting and posturing and all of it is getting too much. I think that is my only problem with the book. The alphas are just so assholish. More than I’m used to and it’s frustrating because you want to punch them. But I love that the mates take no guff from these alphas! They need to be knocked down a peg or two. And just when things didn’t seem like they could get much worse, they do. Valerian’s sire is back and he wants Valerian back. Like, now.
We learn more about Valerian in this book though and I love that. Because we get to see how he got changed over and how his life with his sire really was. And it wasn’t pretty. You empathize with him and learn to love him even more because of what he has been through. Valerian is also learning what it is to love and be a mate and it is beautiful to see the changes they are all making. Even Finn. Finn has been knocked down a little as he has learned to see things from another point of view and learned himself what it is truly like to be in love and not just in mated lust. Mason, through it all, has stood his ground and everyone has finally learned a few things. Humility being a big one. And each time something happens, they learn more of what it’s like to be a true mate and in love. I love the way the authors have done this. But we also see the strength in each of them as each battle comes to them. Not just strength of the body but strength of the heart and mind. They learn they need each other and there is no other for them. For the next battle they face (hopefully book 3 is soon. Heehee) they will need each other more than they will know. After a rocky start with Mason’s old pack, things are beginning to change there as well. Hopefully for the better.
I’m so sad I can’t sit down and read the next book to see what happens. That’s how good they are. They leave you on the edge of your seat and keep you coming back for more. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Happy reading!