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Publisher's Summary

Five years ago, Jesse dropped out of college and came home to Rowan Harbor to find safety with his pack. A broken man, he's been living as though the world is ending - allergic to responsibility and spending most of his nights at the local bar. But he can't avoid growing up forever.

On the night of his 30th birthday party, he finds his childhood friend Isla unconscious, attacked in the middle of their peaceful hometown. The wolf inside him wants to protect its people from the slick-haired, smooth-talking vampire who's brought trouble to town, and Jesse can't run from his instincts any longer.

Now that his inner wolf is out of its cage, it's picked the most inconvenient moment to find its mate. Sean Anderson - recently back from college and much changed from the skinny preteen Jesse once knew - is just what he never knew he needed.

Contains mature themes.

©2018 Sam Burns (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Wolf and the Holly

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Second in this series

I like the writing style of this author. This series has a continuing mystery and even though it wraps up in the third book I can see where it could be continued. There is no cliff hanger but with the characters and town I could see where the author could go on. The narrator does an excellent job. I've listened to many books narrated by Chris Chambers. I discovered this series by searching his name.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Magical community

Decent story, romance is a minor sub plot. I like a good community building cast of characters , though, and Wolf and the Holly delivered that. An etstwhile townie is injured. It seems pretty clear by whom but not why. The town’s younger adults need to step into their fated roles and figure it out. The injured bff didn’t have a lot of awake time to be her own self, rather than a cause for quest, but it’s made clear that she’s capable. We finally meet Jesse’s love interest in chapter 5 of 9. The secondary characters are a strength, on the main. Worldbuilding: While I like the community building done, there’s a lot of “fated to be, so it is” in all layers of the mystery, romance, and town council. I made some motivations feel underdeveloped. Why are the old guard standing down now? Why rely on the newbies to rake on old acquaintances? There are a lot of elements that could gave been layered better, rather than tossed in unexpectedly. Things like silver being an issue, and more on how Jesse knows Oak since we don’t know that from book 1. There’s a lot going on for mist of the characters but not enough is conveyed to the reader. I think the best done arc in the book is the squirrels. Steam: Low. There’s an insta-lust & an M/M auto-mate situation that gets a kiss or two & one brief blow in the woods. The romance plot was less well tended than the squirrels. Narration: I don’t know if it was the reader or the author, but any scene with both Jesse & Devon, I nearly always thought I was getting Devon’s POV. This, and the previously mentioned gaps, is why I down rated to 3 stars. It was enjoyable enough, and I’ll keep reading, it just wasn’t clear who was the main character was.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great gay romance book!!

Narrator is really getting better and his pace was nice not to fast. Great love story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I want more!

We first met Jesse as Devon's best friend in Blackbirds in the Reeds. I was intrigued by him and his backstory and I couldn't wait to pick up this book to get to know him a bit better. This book is set shortly after the last one left off. We find Jesse drinking in the local bar and chatting with friends. Only trouble enters the bar and all Jesse can smell from the stranger is death. It is clear to everyone in town that this stranger is up to no good. Nothing makes this clearer than finding his childhood friend nearly beaten to death in an alley. Though (very) reluctant to any form of responsibility or claim his birth right as the future alpha, Jesse makes it his mission to find the one responsible. For most of his life Jesse dreamed of finding his mate, the one person destined for him. Only past experience while at uni put him off relationships and mates. So when he runs into Sean again, and electricity sparks (literally) between them he's a little conflicted. I wouldn't call this book a romance per se. Sure Jesse find's his mate, but the time they spend together in this book is minimal. It's mostly focused on happenings in town, learning about the past, learning more about the world they live in and the consequences for choices made. So while we didn't get to have much Sean time or really getting to know him, the core group of people this series is growing. I'm sure we'll get to see all relationships - romantic and non-romantic ones - develops as the series moves along. I loved Chris Chambers's narration of the first book so I had high hopes for this one. And he delivered, he truly did. His narration is filled with emotion and he truly captures the essence of the town, the people and makes them come alive. It is always easy to follow along and knowing who's speaking, having distinct voices for all the characters. So far these books follow different couples and are told from different POV's. At the same time they aren't really standalones, they are each a part of a larger story, a bigger picture that's only ever hinted at, at this stage. They should definitely be read in order so you don't miss out on anything, because I have a feeling that each minuscule clue we get will be important later on. Wolf and the Holly was another great edition to this series. While one part of the story has been resolved, there is so much more brewing on the horizon and I can't wait to listen to the next book and find out what will happen next.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

A little slow to get going in the beginning, it's worth it when it gets up to steam. It does leave the reader with more questions than answers and the romance takes a backseat to the mystery element in this installment, but listeners are left with a HFN ending, and it's interesting world-building (how far do Devon's powers extend...I must find out!). I feel like Chris Chambers has grown between his performance in Blackbird in the Reeds and Wolf and the Holly. He's less stiff in his delivery, and though his pacing is still quite structured, he does infuse some emotion into the text particularly during conversation. He also does a good job of creating and using distinct character voices for each of the large cast. Single POV, paranormal with romantic elements, some action, good world- building, and continues to build the base for this trilogy of trilogies. Bottom Line: I enjoyed listening to the audio, the world building is interesting, and I'm looking forward to Fletcher's story next in Fox and Birch. Story = 3.5 Stars, Narration = 3.5 Stars; Total: 3.5 Stars Note: The Rowan Harbor Cycle is a series of 9 books - a trilogy of trilogies. The main characters (Devon and Wade, Jesse and Sean, Fletcher and Conner) will have their own book in each trilogy with a happy for now ending and later their (hopefully) happily ever afters.