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Rilù
Writer, book blogger, tea drinker, late night snacker.
Professional cryer who spends way too much time online, eating books for breakfast.

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Sicily, Italy

The Pull - River Pack Saga by Mary Morten

 

One Blue Moon. Two wild hearts. And a love that won't be stopped.

Whenever Summer comes around, I turn into the most basic reader and all I want is a fun romance. I was looking at my stats from these previous months - years even! - and I realised that I rarely read romance, which is weird because I love a good one that keeps me on my toes, has a basic trope and a very easy storyline and possibly some smut. Thankfully, the book that fits most of these requirements knocked on my door - more like, the author sent me a very convincing email, which followed up with pictures of newborn puppies - and I was sold.

If you’re into paranormal romance and urban fantasy featuring wolves and forbidden love then, you’re in the right place cause we’re about to unpack (get it?) some wolf drama!

At the start of the book we find our main character, twenty-year-old Soley Omega who, pushed by her loving family and the desire to finally understand what it means to find what her parents have, a partner, a mate, she leaves her house and her land to attend the River Pack’s largest annual Mating Pull, a sort of festival full of activities that help find that all consuming connection to another wolf. Think Midsommar but with no creepy stuff going on, only fun stuff and competitions.

Soley is not like other wolves: she’s lighter and looks different than your stereotipical wolf so finding a true mate or even someone to get along with, has never been easy for her. Also, she comes from a family of Omegas, basically the bottom of the wolf chain, so that doesn’t help either.

As you can tell, various themes that go beyond what you can expect from a paranormal romance are prominent and ever so present, racism and class division being the main ones. Wolves are divided into classes, and those from the bottom ones can’t really expect to find their mate in the higher classes like the Socialites. This division is very present throughout the book, especially as we see friendships forming within different members of each class who go against the rules.

Here we find Kanoa, the Alpha’s son. He’s also looking for a mate and considering that those with the Alpha gene can’t feel The Pull, it gets very hard for him to just pick a girl who can spend the rest of his life with. His father, the Alpha, won’t compromise this year: he has to find a mate and mark her or they will bring dishonor to the family.

All these weird and strict circumstances make sure that, during the very first day of activities, Soley and Kanoa cross ways to form an unbreakable bond. A forbidden one.

If at first he thinks she’s a witch - because she looks so different and because he’s attracted to her which has never happened before - he wants to make sure to know her better, to spend more time with her and so they start hanging out as friends, participating in the activities together and every day, as they grow closer, Soley does everything to repress the feelings that are starting to grow towards him and Kanoa, who can’t even go a day without her, starts to realise how strong she is and how brave and smart and funny, so much so that he suddenly realises that his feelings towards her are growing wilder, even stronger than the Alpha gene.

There’s only a catch: they are strictly forbidden.

I had so much fun reading this book and I’m glad Mary sent me that email because it turned out to be what I really needed without even realising it: an escape from reality. It’s been a while since I’ve read a paranormal romance or even an urban fantasy and this book made me really eager to not only continue with this saga, but also to find new ones.

I particularly loved the undertones of the book, which are often forgotten about in this genre and I think you can write something fun and still make it relevant without conquering the feared eye roll. I found myself particularly attached to Soley and basically every single she-wolf who is at the Mating Pull event, looking for a match ebcause that’s what society expects from you, especially from women and that goes beyond this particular world which happens strictly inside these pages, but effects everyone who is pushed by society to seek “the norm” and settle down.

Books that can go beyond what’s written in the pages and beyond their characters’ bubble, always have a special spot on my bookshelf because they have the power, the ability to talk to people, to make them aware of certain situations or maybe to give them some reassurance. Take Soley, for example: not only she’s looked upon because she looks different from what your “normal wolf” looks like, she’s also half-breed, from a lower social class and single. Name a more relatable character! And she wears what society sees as “flows” like bloody medals, because guess what? She’s proud of where she comes from, she’s proud of her family, for being so loving and fun and so full of love and she’s proud to look different because that’s her heritage, that’s her family, all written all over her features, and she walks head held high, trophy in hand.

Kanoa is also such a fantastic character who is, just like Soley, expected to follow through with his father’s wills and rules. He has to bring honour to the family and to do so, he basically has to suppress what are his feelings for the greater goods. I’m so glad the author made him a soft character, you know? I love a bad boy but sometimes I jsut need someone that makes me laugh and is good with comebacks and is just nice. Nice is good. Nice is underrated. Nice doesn’t mean boring and believe me, Kanoa is anything but boring, you should see it for yourself.

My personal favourite part is every single time they are together - basically the whole book! - and all the funny comebacks and banters and her sudden skill of casually adding a sexual meaning in every sentence addressed to Kanoa, without even realising it. I live for this, honestly, it was so good!

I was ab it scared at first because it took me a little bit to start to actually enjoy the book - I’m a dialogue fan and everytime there’s description when it could have been a dialogue, I go rogue! - but then it was all fun and playful and FULL of dialogues which, are great, let me tell you!!! The chemistry between the characters is perfect, fun, it made my heart go all fuzzy and at times wished I could attend this Mating Party just to have a little bit of all that.

Another important aspect of the book that is also vital for the story to unfold is the different dynamic between the two families: if on one side we have a very demanding Alpha who is more of a tyrann that wants everyone to fear him but also a very loving mother who also has to obey her husband - which often bringsher to do things she wouldn’t necessarly do, especially if it means betraying her son - on the other side we have the most loving family who supports Soley, no matter what. The two families are very different from each other, on opposite sides not only in the social chain but also in the way they treat their kids and behave as parents, which was very interesting to see, especially because in one way or the other, that behaviour will affect both Soley and Kanoa in very different and unespected way, exactly like they would do in real life and I think that was the key that made mereally like this book - glorious romance aside: the fact that it wasn’t just a romance with its ups and downs along the way, it has layers in which we can all see ourselves, no metter where we are in life and where we come from. It’s very real in the way that real probelms affect the main characters that go beyond the fantastical nature of the story and that can be translated into modern day issues.

Overall a very fun, entertaining read, great cahracters and important social issues, and the most infuriating cliffhanger which gives the tone for the next book which I’m now anticipating, almost like Winter in these hot Summer days.





The Pull by Mary Morten

Twenty-year-old wolf, Soley Omega, has never felt The Pull - that fated, all-consuming connection to another wolf - and given her mixed-pack heritage, she wonders if she ever will. Hoping to finally be marked by her one true mate, Soley travels from her humble hometown of Dutch to attend the River Pack's largest annual Mating Pull event, but with her uniquely pale complexion, she's never been more of an outcast. Until she meets Kanoa. And suddenly, everything changes. harming, handsome, and easy to talk to, Kanoa is the ally Soley needs to survive the week. The only problem is, he's also the Alpha's son.

With his ruthless father insisting he fulfill his destiny as Beta, Kanoa is running out of time to mark a mate. But none of the pre-selected Socialites hold his interest - not like Soley can. As the future leader of the River Pack, Kanoa's choice of partner has never really been his own, but as his bond with lower-ranked Soley deepens, it's getting harder to imagine life without her. Following their hearts would mean turning their backs on tradition and defying the Alpha's rule, but walking away from one another feels impossible. Now, they'll have to decide where their loyalties truly lie, a devastating choice that could change the face of the pack forever.




*This is a sponsored review, meaning the author partnered up with me to bring you a genuine, honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own.


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