Carlin is an Alpha Wolf Fighter, one of only three in the top spots at the Souterrain - an underground fighting club, run by the Elite to punish shifters who have gone outside of the laws. He's happy enough, only has to fight exhibition matches, has his own apartment space, food and sex on tap - yep, life is good.
So when Martin offers him the chance to fight for his freedom, Carlin turns it down. It's no fun being a lone wolf and Carlin is quite happy where he is. Then Lucas catches his eye. A handsome man, a stunning fighter, moving up through the ranks fast. Lucas might not have the killer attitude that most men at the Souterrain have, but he's got the moves. Carlin has no problems insisting the man is brought to his apartment - sex is never a bad idea. But when he catches Lucas's scent and realizes the man is his fated mate, suddenly getting him to bed is the least of his problems.
Lucas wants to be free, and for the first time in a long time, so does Carlin. Unfortunately, there is more to Lucas than meets the eye. Martin certainly has no intention of letting him go, and if he has to have Carlin killed to keep Lucas at the Souterrain, then the man has no problems with that either. Suddenly, the deal Carlin makes with Martin goes horribly wrong, and Carlin and Lucas realize that the price for freedom might be Carlin's life - and even then, Lucas will not be free.
Warnings: M/M sex, HEA, some violence (they are in a fight club after all). A growly Alpha who lets his emotions get the best of him, and a hybrid shifter with a wicked imagination.
©2015 Lisa Oliver and Thomas J. Oliver (P)2016 Lisa Oliver and Thomas J. Oliver
I really loved this very unique shifter story. But be warned, although it has a satisfying HEA, it is not a finished story; as there are many question left open. Nevertheless, I think it is a story worth listening to. In this AU, there is a ruling shifter royal family that hasn't been heard from for years. In their place they have left the "Elite" in charge to keep the shifters in line and make sure their existence is kept from the humans. The Elite seems pretty corrupt and have formed an underground MMA fight to the death circuit with shifters that have been "arrested" for violating shifter law. This is a pretty dark element of the story as the fighters lives are really sad, as some of them know they will eventually be killed for really minor infractions.
Carlin is one of three top alphas that has survived all his fights. Lucas is a shifter rising in the ranks who dreams of being free from this torture; as he hates killing his opponents. The fighters realize they are mates and plan for Carlin to fight for the right for both of them to be free. However, there are forces at work that Lucas and Carlin don't know about that are conspiring to keep Lucas away from Calin and never plan to let him go; as he is unique among shifters. And we are off . . .
I thought the world building in this story was really good, but since this is just the first story, not complete. It seems there is still a lot more to tell, such as where the heck is the royal family? Do they know what is happening in the shifter world? Who are Lucas' parents? I also really liked the pop culture references in the story, that was fun.
Derrick McClain's performance is fantastic. He really nailed both fighters (and a variety of supporting characters) and brought their story to life. Since this is told from both POVs, that was critical. I hope he continues with the next book which I look forward to. Highly recommended.
Carlin and Lucas are both victims of an administration that wants total control of it’s subjects. Carlin has a bit more freedom, but ultimately he’s just as limited as Lucas when it comes down to it.
When Lucas and he figure out they’re true mates they both suddenly have something worth fighting for and against.
Though this is a much darker shifter story (perhaps that’s the influence of Lisa Oliver’s son as writing partner) it still has that very romantic element along with the wonderful world-building.
I loved that Lucas has the ability to shift into more than just a wolf – that’s a unique twist that makes me excited to see what else happens in this series!
I recommend this book and the author highly!
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