Reviewed by PizzyGirl
ITLE: Off the Beaten Path
AUTHOR: Cari Z.
NARRATOR: Jack Wesley
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 6 hours, 23 minutes
RELEASE DATE: January 12, 2018
When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.
Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely.
I am so in love with this world! The shifter dynamics, the human/shifter interactions/rules, the government involvement, the alpha requirements, the pack dynamics, the lone wolves, oh man! It is all so well done. The author gave me so much information and spent a good amount of time setting things up really well for me to understand both MCs and all the external influences they would have to battle to be together.
She also gave me MCs that were robust and strong. They were both men of passion and of strength, which easily came through in all their actions and thoughts. I connected to both from the onset and needed to see them get everything they wanted and deserved in life. They both had to give up so much to make things work, especially Henry, and I was so invested that I NEEDED to see them happy and whole.
And the secondary characters were just as rich and likable. I honestly hope this turns into a series because this world was fabulous and I want to know more about many of these shifters. I want to know how things work out in the long run and the doc has so many mysteries that need to be unravelled!
My biggest complaint about this story was the romance. I liked the slow slow buildup. It was a great way to establish familiarity and explain the growing attraction, but a part of me feels too much time was devoted to the secondary storylines that the buildup to love was sacrificed. By the time these men finally made it to the love stage, I felt it was rush, yet it was also overly slow. And maybe that was because a lot of it had to be happening off page because the focus needed to be on the Father/daughter and the Alpha plotlines. I think the intent may have been to have a fated mates type thing, but it didn’t really play out that way so for me personally, I needed a bit more to truly feel the bond along with the men. You may think different so I HIGHLY encourage you to read this yourself!
I also wish the ending wasn’t so quick. I would say it was “too easy” but there were enough hints dropped that I knew there was some hard work done off page, but I personally would have loved a bit more confrontation or action. Again, might just be me, you need to read this yourself and make that decision.
I don’t know if you got it yet or not, but I highly recommend this story to everyone. It is a great world and I really hope this becomes a series.
This is my first time listening to Jack Wesley and I am happy to say I really enjoyed listening to him. He gave me great impressions of the characters brought out the emotions well. I would have liked maybe a little bit more growl per the story, but still, it was a solid performance and I would listen to him again.