Resilience by Bailey Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Unlike the previous books in the Southwestern Shifters series, Resilience does not pick up where Rendered left off and continue the series’ storyline. Instead it goes back to before Gabe met Mika in the first book of the series, Rescued, and we meet the Todd that was physically and mentally abused by his parents despite being an adult and bullied by his boss – the town sheriff that Gabe was trying to keep from killing strays by rescuing them. As painful as it was to see what Todd endured, it helped put some of his behaviors in perspective. There’s enough history provided that you understand why Gabe was so important to Todd, why Mika’s sudden appearance in Gabe’s life unsettled Todd, and why he had such a hard time interacting with Adam when the new vet moved to town and set up shop. While the timeline of Resilience overlaps with all of the previous books, its focus is on Todd, Adam, and their relationship so it’s not a replay of the other books.
The history that Bradford crafted for Todd is heartbreaking. I hated seeing the little bits and pieces that played out in the book because it was awful knowing that the abuse he was subjected to growing up was even worse. I was surprised to learn that Todd hadn’t confided in Gabe as to his own homosexuality and it wasn’t until Adam moved to town that Gabe finally broached the subject. Although we aren’t provided as much of Adam’s background as we are Todd’s, it becomes obvious rather quickly that Adam has his own baggage. Although Adam moved to Shasta with the intention of becoming a bit of a spinster (for lack of a better term), he finds himself attracted to Todd almost immediately. There are times when each man’s apprehension and caution are amusing, but I was relieved when Adam became aware of Todd’s inexperience and exercised patience and understanding as he helped Todd find his way. The attraction between the two men is almost immediate but because of their respective pasts and the (seemingly) bigoted nature of Shasta, they are very slow to act upon it and attempt to go the friend route first. But when they do finally get together, they are scorching hot and their subsequent couplings are increasingly so as the book progresses.
There is a TON of stuff that occurs in this book that I simply can’t discuss because of spoiler issues, but I will say that the action is far more intense than I expected for Todd and Adam’s book. I was glad to see that Todd’s father and boss both got what they deserved and it’s a shame that Todd’s mother didn’t as well. I loved seeing the town rally behind Todd and Adam and it was as heartwarming to see as watching Todd and Adam fall in love. It’s not often that I comment on a book’s cover, but I must say that I was surprised by the cover for Resilience as both Todd and Adam are human. It’s not until almost 80% into the book before the wolf on the cover is explained and I must admit that it was AWESOME! I really didn’t see that coming, but I shouldn’t have doubted Bradford. Resilience was an excellent addition to the Southwestern Shifters series and I’m looking forward to reading Reverence next.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Check out the #ShiftWithMe: Resilience blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.
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