Reverence by Bailey Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reverence returns fans to the ongoing series storyline that was last visited at the end of Rendered. Up to bat is Harley, the human that Joshua Dobson kidnapped and terrorized back when he was trying to get Alex off of his trail. Not surprisingly Harley trusts no shifters and cannot leave Marcus’s territory fast enough when finally given the okay to return home, no matter how strong of a pull he was feeling from the unconscious and injured shifter he discovered in the infirmary. Because he doesn’t trust shifters, he refuses to tell Nathan and Marcus what Joshua did to him except to confirm that he was not raped. But as Harley sorts through his memories we learn that although he might not have been penetrated by Joshua or any of his men, he was violated. In an effort to “escape” his memories and nightmares, Harley begins clubbing, drinking, getting high, and hooking up with random strangers. It is during one of his clubbing nights that he encounters Val.
Unbeknownst to Harley, Val is a shifter. He’s another of Joshua’s victims and he’s been sent by Marcus and Nathan to insure Harley’s safety – with strict instructions NOT to mess with him. Due to the injuries he sustained when Joshua hit him with the Hummer, Val doesn’t ping Harley’s shifter-radar but he does set off Harley’s gaydar and Val is firmly in his sights for the night. While I didn’t like that Val was injured, I had to agree with both men that having Val’s wolf-side suppressed was probably the best thing that could have happened once they realized they were mates. After what Harley endured at Joshua’s hands, there was no way he would have accepted an aggressive shifter for a partner let alone as a mate. And while they didn’t wait long before getting sexual – and good grief was the alley scene HOT (only in books is making out in an alley sexy) – they did take it slow (by shifter standards) and got to know and trust one another better before they fully consummated their relationship. I enjoyed watching them connect emotionally and building the level of trust needed for a non-shifter relationship. It also made for some hot foreplay and sex scenes.
In addition to having Reverence pick the series thread back up, I liked how Bradford dropped in references from Resilience so that fans can identify where the books’ timelines overlapped. I really liked the introduction of Harley’s brother and am excited to find out where that storyline will take series as well because something is seriously brewing there. Reverence is another great addition to the Southwestern Shifters series and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Harley and Val heal mentally and physically so that they could start their lives post-Joshua Dobson anew … with each other. I am looking forward to reading Revolution so that I can find out what happened to Adam’s friend Jameson as well as catching up with Adam and Todd.
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: Reverence blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.
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