Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3 stars
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: What lurks in Dartmoor?
After his father’s death, Finn Darcy returns to his ancestral home to become chief of his werecat clan. The mysterious Druids Lodge lies nestled in the shadows of Dartmoor National Park, where the legendary Beast of Dartmoor, a large panther, roams the woods and moors.
Finn cannot take his place as the head of the clan before he claims his mate, Luke Devlin, the one he marked while when they were children. Feeling he was deceived at the start of their relationship, Luke refuses to accept his fate. He bides his time, determined to escape when the opportunity presents itself, before Finn’s jealous and possessive dual nature destroys everything they have left.
But then werecats and their mates start disappearing, and Finn is adamant his mate must be protected at all costs. Events take a grim turn when Finn is abducted and forced to fight for his life. Luke must choose between his chance at freedom or saving Finn.
Review: I used to really enjoy shifter books. I still do like to pick them up randomly when the blurb sounds interesting. I like something a little more than just “my mate” type books. Which was the case here. Druids Lodge had many of the typical shifter tropes. MINE! Was a huge focus of this book. There was also a lot of sex despite the MCs fighting for most of the book. I had some hope for this one based on the blurb. It had it moments but ultimately wasn’t for me.
This book started off pretty good with Luke and Finn reunited after many years apart. There’s some obvious hostility coming from Luke. He thinks Finn abandoned his father. The real story is a shocking revelation. Finn is a cat shifter who was sent away after his cat form accidentally marked Luke as his mate when they were boys. After Finn’s father’s funeral he expresses his need for his mate to Luke. How he’s waited for years for a chance to be with him. Luke is understandably upset. His world is turned upside down and apparently he’s to be forced to mate with Finn. Despite his anger at his predicament he has sex with Finn who again marks him as his. Luke doesn’t realize all that he’s consented to and feels resentment towards Finn for tricking him into a lifelong commitment. He lashes out frequently. They have their moments when they connect but it’s mostly just fighting and sex. Finn loves Luke but he’s had years to come to terms with their fate together.
To be honest Luke was super frustrating. He’s stubborn and gets him and Finn into multiple bad situations by being impulsive. The cat jokes were so obvious and not at all funny. To me they came off as condescending considering how rude he is to Finn for the majority of the book. The jokes were also used way too frequently. The cat half of Finn was very alpha like. He wanted his mate to submit. Finn struggled with keeping his cat half and Luke happy. There were times when I found the cat, Finn and Luke’s relationship interesting. There were also times I didn’t like it. Like when the cat was in control and screwed Luke. I just couldn’t get into this. Finn also did some dumb things throughout the book. So did the cat!
There were also some conveniently overlooked plot holes that bugged me. Like the lapse of the hired bodyguards that led to all the trouble and why that was never addressed. Too many things were just brushed away. The shifter lore for this world wasn’t really explained. The best part of this book had to be when we finally realize what the bad guys want with the kidnapped shifter couples. The baddie was OTT but I found this part of the book the most interesting. It was over very quickly and the darker elements tamped down with more sex and sappy moments from the MCs. I think people who love shifter books loaded with tropes might like this one. Personally for me it was a miss.