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Publisher's Summary

Penned Con Winner of Best Audio Book 2019

The primal rule of winning: don't fall in love with the contender.

Three months shy of her 18th 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.

Except Ness.

Thus begins a treacherous game.

The rules: winner takes all...including loser's life.

Fans of Kresley Cole and Cassandra Clare will devour A Pack of Blood and Lies.

  • Contains Alpha males.
  • Not suitable for children under 14.
©2019 Olivia Wildenstein (P)2019 Olivia Wildenstein

What listeners say about A Pack of Blood and Lies

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A Pack of Blood and Lies

After the death of her father six years ago, Ness Clark and her mother were forced to leave Boulder, Colorado and the wolf pack of which Ness was the only female born to in nearly a century. Now, just three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced back to the pack by her aunt and uncle. Once there she is confronted with a pack in upheaval over the death of their previous alpha, Heath Kolane, an all-around awful and cruel person. In the top spot to replace Heath is his son and heir Liam Kolane. Ness can't let his bid for alpha go unchallenged, but what she finds is that Liam Kolane sparks an interest in her that she's never felt before. Could he be different from his father or is it all an act in order to make Ness give up her challenge? Regardless, Ness is here to fight, for her pack, for herself, and possibly for her heart.

When I initially read the blurb for A Pack of Blood and Lies, It read like what I've been missing from my YA recently. When I actually started the book, I found a few cases of incongruity that did not mesh with my perceived ideas.

First off, the story gets off to a jumbled start when, after Ness is pulled from her current home in LA, we're suddenly back in Boulder...a month later. Sooo much has happened in this month. Olivia Wildenstein fills in the gaps in what happened within the month piece by piece but instead of each instance being a revelation that only expands upon the plot, it felt a little jumbled and messy at times.

Also, Ness was not the easiest heroine to like. She's rash and impulsive. Yes, she has a lot going against her first and foremost the fact that the pack is built upon a heaping pile of misogyny that was almost over the top with it's "boy's club" mentality. I can somewhat forgive Ness because she's got a lot of pushback, but I didn't feel the growth I had expected I would feel from her after everything that happens.

What irked me the most was the idea that nobody was put off by the fact that Ness is the only female born to the Boulder pack. She's considered an anomaly. But when we see an example of another pack (complete with more than one female pack member) no one bats an eyelash. The entire system within the Boulder pack is foul and clearly broken. This is abundantly clear when we learn about the former Alpha's many instances of cruelty and violence, mainly perpetrated toward women. But instead of questioning the mores of the Pack, everyone seems ok with the status quo, even Ness. Remember, she's not competing for alpha out of a sense of proving herself capable, she's doing it in order to thwart Liam Kolane's chances.

Let's talk about Mr. Kolane while we're here. He is the typical brooding, protective alpha male. Unfortunately, I wasn't swooning for it. If you take away that aspect of his character (whenever he's around Ness) he is seemingly a good guy, and truly seems to want to do right by the pack. He's intelligent, he knows the customs. He doesn't seem bothered by Ness being the lone female - although he doesn't seem to want to break the status quo and he tends to get a little hurt when she does something better than him which enables him to flip flop on his feelings for Ness quite easily.

I did enjoy the mythology presented here. Olivia Wildenstein does a great job of sticking with the basics (no silver!) but also putting her own spin on the traditional werewolf story. I'm especially interested in the pack dynamics. I don't think that this first outing shows the Boulder pack very well (see broken comment above), but by the end I'm interested to find out if we'll see any changes.

I know it feel like I've only been griping about the book, but I feel like where the characters are at the beginning it's only natural. It's clear that changes need to be made within the pack as well as with Ness herself. Ness goes through a lot over the course of the book. She learns a lot and her eyes are opened to things she never thought of before. I would definitely be interested to see where Ness goes from here.

I felt like the narrator had a nice clear voice that did well with Ness's character. I wasn't too keen on the other characters's accents, tones and/or inflections though. I had a couple of issues with the audio sounding tinny and moments of static.

4 people found this helpful

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Great narration!

The story was lots of fun. The narrator really brought the Boulder Pack to life.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it

Great story put together and the narrator did a fabulous job. Great pace and worth it. I definitely recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

This is my first book by this author and it was amazing. I love all pnr books so this was right up alley. Ness is forced to go back home after her Mom's passing. Will she challenge Liam, the son of her enemy to be alpha? Entertaining, intrigue and so good. I look forward to more books by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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This was ok.

While the idea behind the story was interesting, the reality was not. The narrator was awkward and failed to make the story come alive for me.

1 person found this helpful

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Mixed Feelings

Truth: I have mixed feelings about this audiobook. The voice actor is amazing. I found her very easy to listen to, which is saying something, as I’m kind of an audio snob and have shut off many a podcast or declined to purchase many an audiobook after listening to the sample because I couldn’t get past the voice. Too nasal, too affected, slight lisp, blah blah. I admit I’m hard to please. I honestly didn’t expect to love Sara Hannan’s voice, but I truly do. Her performance showcased her talent and range as she gave voices to an impressive number of both male and female characters, all distinctly, somehow without overreaching or getting goofy. Her voice is almost musical - and it’s a solid, universally likable music. I don’t know how else to describe it except to tell you I could listen to her talk all day.

The story on the other hand . . . I wanted to love it, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. Based on the reviews (I’m guessing maybe by friends of the author?), I expected way more intensity, but it just wasn’t there. The author’s writing style is solid and I enjoyed her descriptive language very much, but the story itself felt flat. I didn’t find any of the characters especially likable - or dislikable, for that matter. The bad guys weren’t that bad and the good guys weren’t that good. The highs weren’t that high and the lows weren’t that low. It just felt . . . unremarkable. Yes, I realize it’s YA and maybe my expectations were unreasonable from the get go, but I still had high hopes after reading the reviews. And anyway, YA has the potential to be engaging and keep you on the edge of your seat (Hunger Games, anyone?) but that was not the case here. At least not for me. Bottom line: the technical writing skills are there, but the storytelling isn’t.

1 person found this helpful

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not my thing

didn't like it. was written poorly and was to slow to get to the point and I spaced out alot during this.

2 people found this helpful

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So fun as an audible - great narration

I am so in love with this book. I have a tangible need for books 2 and 3.

Ness is stubborn and fearless. Liam has a quiet and determined confidence. Its possible this book had me at shifter romance, but honestly the story is such a page turner. I was fond of the plot, but I think its the incredible spark of the characters that had me getting upset over the adulting I had to do in between reading.

I've read one other book by Olivia Wildenstein, Harshville, which I thought was wonderful. After reading this I'm planning to systematically devour everything she writes.

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A Start to a new life

AhhhhMAZING!! This book is simply amazing! It was full of conflict, inner turmoil, new friendships, betrayal & family.

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Loved!!

Another great listen from this author! I am so glad I have stumbled upon her books! I have enjoyed everyone so far. I really enjoyed the book. It sucked me in right from the beginning. I liked the characters and how they progressed in the book! I can’t wait to start the next book in the series!!

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  • Books_Polished
  • 04-08-21

I liked it! But also not?

This one is a weird one for me.
I didn't like the beginning, or better, I didn't like the big time jump we do between prolog and the first chapter.
There are lot of things that happen in that time that are important for the story, but we don't get to see it.
But to make sure we know it anyway, it is mentioned a lot in side notes.
It makes it really hard to follow and care for Everest story, as he is introduced as this person she hates and then suddenly he is nice?
It confused me a lot and I was very much questioning if I should just DNF.
I am also confused ehy August seems to be important.
I know from the synopsis of the next book that he has a reason, but he seems to just pop in and out at random, with no other thought to him, when he is not in scene.
But then we get to know Liam more and I was gripped and wanted to know how the story continues and how all the lies are connected to each other.
That was thr point where I put book 2 on my wishlist.
And then the ending came around and by the last 30min I was just bored.
There was too much mush and tying all up in a nice bow.
Which would be fine for a standalone I guess, but for the beginning of a series it seemed too neat.
I still want to know how the story continues, even though I am more interested in getting to know other characters more, than continue with the same couple.
But I have hope that DJ Wolverine will still have plenty of appearances 😉

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  • Roger P.
  • 01-01-21

good story

I really enjoyed how unique the storyline was but I will say the bull headedness of the main character drive me nuts. still enjoyed it though and the narrator was good.

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  • inga
  • 12-27-20

Absolutely hooked

I received a free audio copy of this book directly from the author for an honest review.

If one thing has come out of this year it’s finding a couple of great authors Olivia Wildenstein is one of them. Her books have brought me so much interest and joy and this book certainly hasn’t disappointed! I think the characters are interesting and well thought out and though Ness isn’t my favourite female character in a book ever she’s definitely relatable in certain situations, others are a little bit extreme for what I’d do in the same instance at least I think but who knows what you would do in the same position?! Liam is certainly an intense creature up against her for Alpha. Honestly I was so hooked on this story I just couldn’t stop listening.

One thing that I’m sure I didn’t see in the synopsis is it most definitely should mention it has some trigger warnings and should be in there but that’s probably my only real complaint.

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  • Lady Kathreen Robertson
  • 08-23-20

amazing voice such a gripping story

My first audio so descriptive I absolutely loved it. thank you so much for all your hard work I look forward to the next book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wealie
  • 05-24-20

Poor audio quality

Poor audio quality with a lot of feedback at times. Needs some attention to clean up

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mac
  • 03-13-20

Amazing

I loved this book. Great series. I highly recommend this book.
Amazing characters and great storyline.
The narration is pretty good too.
❤️😹🤩🥰🥳

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Toni walker
  • 01-11-20

Loved it

I loved this awesome audiobook narrated so well written awesome I do hope book 2 not to long

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cas
  • 11-03-19

Perfect for teen romance introductions to werewolves

I found it enjoyable listen and narrator voice was great.
I would recommend to teen readers.
For something light and fast pace sort of book.

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  • Brianna Belbin
  • 10-02-19

Fighting for Her Place in the Pack

This was a great start to The Boulder Wolves series! Ness and her mother were shunned from their pack because she was a female. She’s forced to return, but no one recognizes her anymore. The alpha of the pack has died, so his son, Liam, is unopposed to become the new one until Ness decides to challenge him. She believes he’s just as evil and vile as his father, but there’s more evil in people you’d least suspect. The trials that she had to go through to compete for the pack leader position were extremely rough, but she kept pushing forward even when death threats started coming her way. I loved Ness’ fierce and determined personality to fight for what she believed in and Liam’s hot and cold personality that left you wondering where he truly stood and if you should root for him or not. The characters Olivia has created are all mysterious, intriguing, and well developed; the world/ politics of this book are descriptive and vivid. Along with the main plot, there were multiple subplots that kept you on your toes guessing what would happen next. This book was filled with death, mystery, suspense, romance, and a misogynistic society. There are trigger warnings for rape, suicide, abusive relationship, and foeticide.
Sara did a fantastic job with this narration! Her voice was easy to listen to and her male voices were done well. Her performance heightened the experience and brought every character and emotion to life!
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • A.R. Greyson
  • 10-01-19

Intreguiging start.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book after hearing the narrator in the first few minutes. But I ended up really enjoying the story and the enemies to lovers aspect. I am definitely interested in finding out more about the world of the Boulder pack, and seeing resolution to the series arc.

Though there were random instances with odd word choice that would make me pause. Such as "I wrapped my phalanges around his." Or something to that effect. Why use "phalanges" when "fingers" would do?

The narrator was a bit flat would have liked to hear more emotion from her. There were also often parts with a loud air like static that should have been edited out. However she wasn't difficult to listen to, mostly unseasoned in her craft. Her accent for the only POC(who is also designated to being the help) is cringe worthy.

While my "negative" comments were longer, but I honestly enjoyed this book quite a bit and would recommend it. I would say the negative is really only about 3% of the book at most.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-20

My opinion on a pack of blood and lies

The book is enchanting and almost made me believe that werewolves are real. I love the romance and also the use of emotion
Hope to read more of your books soon!
Random reader.