(Website, Twitter)Published by Olivia Wildenstein on April 18th 2019
Genres: Family, Paranormal, Romance
The primal rule of winning: don’t fall in love with the contender.
Three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it’s been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don’t recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.
Especially Liam Kolane—son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness’s traitorous heart race, which isn’t good. After all, he’s a Kolane. Like father like son, right?
When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.
Thus begins a treacherous game.
The rules: winner takes all…including loser’s life.
I was intrigued when I read the summary of A Pack of Blood and Lies by Olivia Wildenstein. I do enjoy the paranormal genre but just haven’t come across a lot lately that I have been interested in so when the summary caught my eye, I wanted to check it out.
When the book kicks off, we are introduced to Ness, our main character. She is living in LA and has been there ever since she and her mother left Boulder to get away from the pack. As the reader, we know something happened, but we don’t learn about it until much later. After her mother dies, Ness’ aunt, uncle, and cousin unexpectedly show up to bring her back to Boulder and that is really where the story begins.
I have mixed feelings about Ness. I loved that she was willing to push the pack to accept her and initially I loved her whole “crush the patriarchy” attitude but her reasoning behind attempting to become Alpha was an issue for me. She wasn’t doing it to make things better or challenge the status quo, she was doing it so that she could try to take something away from Liam. I appreciate that her feelings changed eventually but I had an issue with her reasoning. Ultimately, I did feel bad for Ness. She didn’t really have a place with the pack and there were so many people who were just using her along the way, I was actually rooting for her.
Liam is the son of the prior Alpha and it was always believed that he would take over when needed so he is definitely unhappy when Ness comes along and ruins his plans. I have mixed feelings about Liam too. His actions toward Ness were so mixed that he would do something nice and then turn around and be a jerk, but he would justify it by saying it was because he was jealous…or something else. All in all, he was just ok for me as a love interest.
I did find some of the other side characters interesting. You have Everest, Ness’ cousin, and August, a close friend. Both accept her and try to help her find her place, but I wish we would have had more of them and a better understanding of where their heads were at.
As for the story, the fight for the role of Alpha is core to this book but there is also a mystery around what happened to Liam’s father, Heath (former Alpha) as he was not a well-liked guy and since he turned up dead, people have been wondering what happened. It just so happens, that Ness might know something about Heath, and it ends up putting her in an interesting position.
Overall, I found this book to be interesting and I will most likely pick up the next book in the series to find out what happens next. There is a bit of a twist at the end and I would like to know more. If you are interested in a new paranormal, check this one out.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy in exchange for an honest review.