Kian McHurne has unpaired himself from his mate. He had to do it for reasons he never wants to admit out loud. He put her in the care of the new King of the Bear Clan of Alaska, in hopes that she could have a better life, and survive the war that is coming for her. Their pairing was arranged, and they never quite took to each other. It’s better to cut losses and move on if they’re to be in two separate Clans now. Too bad Fate has other plans. When he’s cast into the new Clan to fight for his life, he sees the mate he left behind in a new light. She isn’t anchored down anymore, and the new-found freedom has done her good. Her inner grizzly is fierce, and she will make Kian pay every chance she gets, but for him? He will secretly cheer her on.
She should be fierce.
She should learn to fight.
She should learn to never back down because he knows a secret the new Clan doesn’t know—and it could be the end of them all.
Grizzly shifter, Eryn Laraway, has been shamed. When a pairing fails in the Bear Clan, it’s an unspeakable thing to happen, and her mate has chosen to do just that. Caught between the urge to curl up in a ball forever, or fight like a wild animal until she feels steady again, Eryn must figure out what to do with her life now. When Kian shows up with big warnings for her new Clan, she begins to appreciate the man he could’ve been…if he wasn’t a big, dominant, brute of a grizzly shifter. He’s just like the others of the Old Clan…right? Their pairing was always distant, but now he insists on teaching her things that are strictly forbidden by the Old Ways. The more she gets to know her growing self, the farther away her old life seems to be, and for the life of her, she can’t decide if Kian will ruin what she’s building, or protect it.
*This series connects to the Stark’s Mountains universe. The other series in this universe include — Oath of Bane — The Wolves of Promise Falls — Wolves of Piston — Bears of Slaughter Mountain.*
This is an adult 18+ story that contains language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
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Title: Defender of Slaughter Mountain
Series: Bears of Slaughter Mountain #2
Author: T.S. Joyce
Published: March 4, 2023
My Rating: 4.5
Defender of Slaughter Mountain is the second title in the Bears of Slaughter Mountain series, and how I loved this couple’s journey from heartache and pain to a forever kind of connection neither ever expected to find… especially in their former mates. Most of what you’d want to know before picking up this book can be found in the Cover Description, but that doesn’t give you the emotional pain that both Eryn and Kian are going through after he unmated them. Or the ability to imagine what is in store not only for this couple but for their newly formed bear clan as well.
I loved watching Eryn grow throughout this story. She’s come so far, but she’s devastated by Kian’s unmating with her. For her, having her mate reject her like that is such a shameful, painful thing. Yet, in the new clan that she’s part of she’s seeing that those old traditions and old ways have no place in her life now. So, she’s stepping out, getting herself a job, and learning how to live without the constant fear of doing something wrong that would bring punishment from a member of the old clan. She’s a powerful shifter who is only beginning to understand what she’s capable of facing, or fighting for what she wants. I liked Eryn in the previous story, but I came to love the woman she became with the help of her new clanmates, and the man who did what he felt was the best thing to do for the woman he cared about.
Kian’s action toward Eryn was devastating for them both. He told himself that the unmating ritual was for her protection, that she would be safer with Foster’s new clan… but he was lying to himself. As he watches over Eryn from a distance, he’s seeing a new, stronger woman, a woman who is beginning to stand up for herself. And he’s so proud of her. But she’s not prepared for what the old clan has planned; none of Foster’s clan are. He’s made a choice on which side he’s taking, and the decision to teach Eryn ways to defend herself… and maybe win back the mate he gave up for her own good.
There’s danger ahead for Foster’s new clan, and some unexpected perhaps familiar faces will join in the fight. I had such a good time back in this world. Kian and Eryn are a couple who have to make some changes before they can really see each other for who they are today, not yesterday. I loved watching their journey, and definitely want to know what happens next.
I own a Kindle edition of this title.
Available for the Kindle as this title is currently in KU