PACK OF LIES was a mixed read of pros and cons yet delivered an interesting premise between a born werewolf and a made werewolf. Vanessa Vaughn begins this story with sex, action and a violent encounter which instantly grabbed my attention. From there the struggles of a pack leader, a human turning werewolf and pack rivalry keep a pace in this story that easily let me turn the pages. The werewolves, as portrayed by the author, lend a darker tone to the story with their constant vie for dominance. They have an innate aggression, carnality and strength giving the characters a ferocious side.
Marcus, whom I got to meet first, is the Alpha Male of a group of werewolves living nearby a city. He is constantly challenged by Julian and there is a back story for their animosity that is gradually revealed. I liked Marcus, he bears the markers of an Alpha but somehow I missed the drive/aggression/dominance in him to really make him feel the part. His attraction to men is viewed as forbidden behavior and is a liability for his position as Alpha of the pack.
Jack is a successful man and does all the right things, goes to all the right parties and wears all the right kind of clothes. He and his friend Ivy come from a party when they hit something and get attacked. Jack is the epitome of a charming, good looking man and is suddenly confronted with the more baser instincts and the dueling of these two sides was intriguing characterization development to witness.
While Jack is recuperating he meets Marcus on the plane of dreams and while Jack never considered himself gay his attraction to Marcus is undeniable. They have a magnetic connection that breaths more of power play and sexual desires then of romantic emotions yet it fits the werewolf side very well. The feelings of romance are there at the end but it still felt very tender and new to them both, giving the story an introduction vibe to more coming.
The erotic side of this story is sensual, instinctual and encompassed with the feral nature of the werewolf. The m/m aspect was a part of the story of course but due to Jack’s initial sexual preference there was also m/f action which underscored his confusion in what was happening to him. Now the thing that confused me to some degree is the werewolf sexing. In the night of the full moon they change to wolf and carnal desires run high. They begin their sex play as humans but what doesn’t become clear to me is whether they end up having sex as wolves? Perhaps I misinterpreted but the change to wolf form in these erotic scenes seem to trail off to other story threads leaving it out in the open how the change ends.
The alternating chapters in Marcus and Jack’s point of view really worked in giving a good understanding of the complete story being told. Vanessa Vaughn’s writing is flowing and she knows how to give their characters great internal conflicts which added depth to their character growth. Through the whole story I was engaged as a reader, wanting to see where this connection between two seemingly different men would lead, where Ivy would fit in and when the rivalry between Julian and Marcus would find its confrontation. The mix between the eroticism, character development and plot works like a charm but I missed something that would wow me. I hope this is due to the fact this is just part one of Marcus and Jack’s story, that more is coming because for a beginning some of my strings were pulled; curiosity to explore where this m/m relationship and overall plot is going, being one of them.
Fueled by a wonderful writing voice PACK OF LIES is a promising story to a world, pack, plot and m/m paring!