Hellfire by Gale Stanley
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (87 pages)
Other: M/M/F/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play/Intercourse
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle
After her pack is killed, Kate hides her inner wolf and goes on the run. She moves in with a rising rodeo star and tries to blend in with the humans.
Gage and his lover, Tanner, are at the rodeo for one reason – to see Shiloh Ford, champion bronc rider, in person. The two Lycans are shocked to discover the human cowboy has a fiancée, and she's a wolf. Desperate to bring the she-wolf into their pack, Gage and Tanner befriend Shiloh, but the wolf-shifters find they're just as attracted to the cowboy as they are to Kate.
Despite the electrifying bond between Kate and the two Lycans, she refuses to turn her back on the life she's built with Shiloh, but when fire forces her out of their home, Kate has to make a decision. Will she continue to reject her true nature or accept her place in the wolf pack?
Author Gale Stanley has created a fantastic tale that spans sixteen years and a cross country trek.
Betrayal led to the massacre of their families and a fear of humans. Like many of the remaining men of their pack, Gage and Tanner turned to one another out of necessity, comfort and a scarcity of female Lycans. When a chance meeting with a lost female member of their pack, Kate, brings out their mating instincts they’ll have to decide if she’s worth the risk. Kate no longer travels alone. Gage and Tanner not only have to woo the wary female, they’ll have to decide if they can trust and love her very hot human cowboy protector.
This is a short story so the reader isn’t required to relive the entire history of the characters but it is nicely sprinkled throughout the novella. Rather than overwhelming the story or holding back what is happening in the present, bits of the past and memories from Gage, Tanner and especially Kate add to the overall believability of the tale. Kate’s memories are especially compelling and paint her a sympathetic character.
The only non-Lycan member of the cast of main characters is rodeo star Shiloh Ford. In a manner similar to Gage and Tanner, Kate and Shiloh hooked up based on necessity and comfort. Shiloh is a likable character who has immediate chemistry with both Gage and Tanner despite their secretiveness.
There are several other character pairings mentioned throughout the story but mostly in passing conversation. We never really get to meet the other human/Lycan mates but their stories sound like they would be interesting. Ms. Stanley has already written and published the two follow-up books in the Southwestern Shifter series but they appear to be centered on other wolves in the pack.
Readers may notice the scenes sometimes jump rather quickly between chapters without a truly smooth transition. I had to flip back and re-read the previous paragraph a couple of times to be sure I understood the transition. Don’t get me wrong, though, this was really only a minor disruption and didn’t kill the overall enjoyment of the book.
If you’re looking for a short story series with lots of heart and heat, check out the first book in the Southwestern Shifter series, Hellfire. This novella is great for a quick read and the follow-up stories are conveniently already published. Ms. Stanley is a clever writer and worth checking out.