Title: Wicked Cowboy Wolf
Series: Seven Range Shifters #3
Author: Kait Ballenger
Format: Kindle, 352 pages
Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca (January 28, 2020)
ISBN: ASIN: B07Y5NMP88
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
If they think he's wild now, they haven't seen anything...
Years ago former Grey Wolf Jared Black took the fall for a murder and was driven from his pack. Now he's the mysterious criminal cowboy wolf known only as The Rogue. He's a fierce protector of vulnerable loners, but now that a vampire threat endangers all wolves, he must confront the pack again, including the only woman he's ever loved.
Maeve Gray has her own battles to fight. Pack duties dictate her every move—and she's sick of it. Ever since she escaped the clutches of her pack's enemies, her one goal has been defeating the bloodsucking monsters for good. But each passing day further risks the lives of her friends and family. Mae needs a solution—and fast—so when The Rogue shows up on the Grey Wolf ranch, offering everything Mae's heart desires, she has no choice but to trust him. But for this cowgirl, sleeping with the enemy could prove as deadly as it is desirable...
“The Rogue. The Dark Devil. The King of the Misfit Wolves. She’d heard the nicknames more than once.”
Wicked Cowboy Wolf is the third exciting installment in Kait Ballenger’s fabulous Seven Range Shifters series. It can be read as a stand alone if that is your preference. However, reading the series in order would increase your enjoyment. This series revolves around the seven shifter clans that call the Montana Mountains their home. I was drawn by Jared “The Rogue” Black’s and Maeve “Mae” Gray’s second-chance-at-love story from the beginning.
Jared is the mysterious, clandestine leader of the rogue shifters who has been mentioned before in the previous books. It’s a perfect time for his story as the last book ended with Maeve Gray being rescued from the vampires by him. While he is known and feared by many names, he’s actually a good man at heart - a miracle considering the horrendous hand he has been dealt in life.
Maeve is the beautiful, vegetarian princess of the Grey Wolves pack. Her brother, Maverick, is the pack’s alpha and her place is to support him without question. She is expected to marry well to benefit the pack even as she still mourns for Jared, her childhood friend. Her elusive dream is of living her own life and making her own choices. Dreams aside, of necessity, her focus is on eliciting the other clans’ support to save shifters from the vampires. In desperation, Maeve enters a dubious alliance with a dangerous criminal, the Rogue, to find the antidote to the lethal serum developed by the vamps.
Jared and Maeve were inseparable childhood besties. When Jared was just fifteen, he took the fall for a crime he didn’t commit to protect Maeve, sacrificing his life for her. Jared was cast out from his pack while Maeve was told that he died. In truth, Jared did not die though he was badly disfigured. His life reminded me of a famous quote: “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” He believes himself to be a villain and unworthy. He disavows being a hero as he protects the weak, gives hope to society’s misfits and doesn’t allow women and children to be hurt on his watch.
Believing Jared to be dead, Maeve never considers that The Rogue is he while Jared hides his true identity from her. I wanted to shake them both.
Supporting characters include Tucker, a teacup pig, and Bee – short for Beelzebub, Jared’s “gentle giant” mustang.
Following please find a few of my favorite lines from Wicked Cowboy Wolf.
“Nothing good ever comes from deals with a devil like me.”
“You’re playing with fire,” he warned.
“I’ve never been afraid of fire,” she whispered back.
“You don’t scare me,” she whispered.
“Pity,” he said. “I should.”
“Make no mistake, Princess. I’m no hero.”
I have been a fan of Kait’s since she shared a release, After Dark, with Gena Showalter. Kait’s contribution to the anthology was Shadow Hunter - a page-turner that introduced her fabulous Execution Underground series. Her Seven Range Shifters series is set in that same complex world populated with a variety of supernaturals. No worries. It’s not necessary to be familiar with that series to fully enjoy Wicked Cowboy Wolf.
Wicked Cowboy Wolf is a fast-paced, steamy adventure. It’s action-packed and peppered with horrible betrayals and dangerous battles. The characters are well-written and the ramifications from the tragic circumstances that split them asunder as teenagers will break your heart. All is not dark as there’s plenty of witty banter to provide comic relief. Wicked Cowboy Wolf is a wonderful addition to this series and I can’t wait to see where Kait takes us next.
Suggested Reading Order:
#1 Cowboy Wolf Trouble
#2 Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing
#3 Wicked Cowboy Wolf