Title: The Pack or the Panther (Tales of the Harker Pack Series)
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 149 pages
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Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.
When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.
This is the first book by Tara Lain I've read and based on this novel, it will not be my last. I've heard good things about her Balls to the Wall series and so I was excited that she was delving into the paranormal genre, and she didn't disappoint. The Pack or the Panther starts out as a typical arranged marriage plot, but it is soon apparent that Ms. Lain is going to take that trope and turn it on its head.
Cole is gay and doesn't want to marry Analiese, but to protect his pack, he agrees to the marriage. The day of the wedding, she runs off, and Cole is left holding the bag. Analiese and Cole's parents decide that Analiese's brother, Paris, a lone cat shifter would be the perfect match instead. Between fighting and having scorching hot sex, Cole and Paris have their work cut out for them to make their marriage a real one. But, will outside forces tear them apart?
What I loved about The Pack or the Panther was the chemistry between Cole and Paris. Yes, Cole is your typical Alpha, but Paris is anything but your submissive mate. He's a delightful change from the weak, smaller men that are mated to a big, powerful Alphas and I liked that. It's rare that M/M shifter books surprise me anymore, but this book did.
I don't give out a lot of A+ reviews, but The Pack or the Panther deserves it. Highly recommended and looking forward to the next one in the series.