When an elite SWAT werewolf saves a teacher’s life, they are both sent on a different path.
Jayden Brooks lives for his work, his pack, and his mother. As part of a team of alpha werewolves who make up Dallas PD SWAT, he puts his life on the line daily to stop gang activity and save lives. Selena Rosa believes in saving lives in a different way; she works hard to keep her students out of gangs and on the path for something better. When she finds herself at the wrong end of a gun, Brooks and his team intervene. He and Selena have an instant connection. The wolves have a legend about The One, and Brooks is hesitant to acknowledge that Selena might be his—but he’s still very interested in dating her. It’s not until things get heavy for them that he realizes she is becoming a werewolf after her traumatic, near-death experience. The potential outcome of her not taking that information well, combined with a new gang leader in the area and werewolf hunters on the loose, leaves Brooks pulled to all sides. In the eighth book in the SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team series, Tyler (Wolf Hunger, 2017, etc.) continues a central conflict that has been developing for several books. For a newcomer, key details are not clearly reiterated and characters are not very well introduced. Even Brooks, who was a secondary character in earlier books, is not given a complete introduction. A newcomer might also be uncomfortable with what appear to be the first protagonists of color in this series both coming from stereotypical, tragic backgrounds. Brooks, having grown up in a housing project, lost his father to gang violence at a young age. Selena, similarly, grew up surrounded by gangs; she never knew her gangbanger father and barely remembers the mother who abandoned her. The violent trauma that sends Selena over the werewolf edge? Also caused by a Latinx gang member. Were the majority of the characters of color regular, hardworking people, it might be less noticeable; unfortunately, this is not the case. With the exception of Brooks and Selena, who are both overwhelmingly perfect, and a few of Selena’s students and associates, there are no acknowledged people of color on the good side. Combined with unclear explanations of wolf shifters who don’t appear to actually turn into wolves, this book leaves much to be desired.
A disappointing contribution to the paranormal suspense genre.