My Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
In Parker Williams’ self-pubbed New Adult novel, something weird is happening to college student and star athlete Jake Davis. His usual focus is shattered by a weird smell that puts him on edge. He can’t get it out of his mind, and he feels he’s being watched, which only makes the edginess worse. Nightmares invade his peace of mind. Jake’s best friend Casey tries to reassure him, but it would help Jake more if Casey would just move out of the dorm and live with him in the house his adopted parents had bought him. Jake and Casey have been a team nearly since birth, but Casey can’t take anymore from Jake’s family, since they’re also paying his education.
Jake meets Zak, an oddly arrogant, spitfire of a man, and the source of the enticing aroma that has been tormenting him for days. Jake knows on a primal level that Zak is the man for him, and Jake for Zak. His body reacts to Zak in ways no one has been able to reach him before. His exhaustion and hunger increase, and the nightmares get worse, as if Zak was a trigger. He can barely focus on his beloved football.
Zak isn’t nearly in as bad shape as Jake after their first meeting, but he, too, is changed. It’s not as simple as lust at first sight. Late one night he receives a cryptic phone call warning him about dark times coming and someone who will keep him safe must be cherished in turn.
Beneath the surface of college life, Casey’s concern and support, and the tangle of their mutual attraction, both Jake and Zak struggle with the enigma of their lives; their nightmares increase, filled now with blood, terror, and mystery that goes back to their infancy.
I don’t want to give any more of this story away. Like Parker William’s YA books (under the name Will Parkinson) this story is about a journey that three friends must undertake and endure in order to find and accept their true selves. It’s also a story about sacrifice, magic, shifters, the True King, and evil rulers who must be overthrown.
What I liked about the book was the slow burn—beneath the surface of ordinary life, the destiny of the three young man simmers as they gradually come into their full powers. The pacing is very well done; by the time they need to accept the paranormal aspect, the urgency of their situation eases the transition. For the reader, the author takes no short cuts to the build up and acceptance of their paranormal destiny.
I would have liked to have read more about the people of the hidden enclave, but there’s also a sequel to look forward to. J