Review: Forbidden Mate (Holland Brothers #4) by Toni Griffin

Finding his mate should have been Patrick Holland's greatest day, instead it turned into a nightmare with one phone call. His mate didn't want him. His heart broke, but at sixteen he was too young to do anything. The next ten years—ten long years— of Patrick's life are spent at odds with his mate. Split by forces he can't comprehend and a long line of misunderstandings, Patrick doubts he'll ever get the man he's both loved and hated.

Jake Richmond never expected to come home from Uni to find the youngest Holland brother was his mate. Knowing the news might uplift his still grieving father, Jake shares the news only to have his young mate threatened. Jake does the only thing he can think of, protect Patrick. The next ten years are nothing but torture for Jake as he watches his mate grow into a remarkable young man.
They say time heals all wounds, but how much time?

Please note: FM has been reedited, and expanded by about 50,000 words.

I have not read the previous Holland Brothers series but this story spans over 10 years, and starts when Rick is 16 and Jake is in his early 20’s on a trip home from university to visit Rick’s brother, and Jake’s best-friend Alex. He barely gets to the front door before Rick is crawling all over him proclaiming him as Mate.

This story is one of those star-crossed lovers stories, where everything works against this couple, and they never quite get to be together. Jake’s father is a homophobe, and has forbidden Jake from seeing Rick, even though they are Mates, even going so far as to threaten Rick’s life.

To keep Rick from pursuing him, Jake runs back to uni telling the lad that he doesn’t want him, and never will, thus breaking young Rick’s heart, and setting the stage for them to never be together.

This story didn’t really work for me. The angst was a bit too much. I’m not one for angst unless it is a hero recovering from emotional trauma. So I had a hard time with this. Those readers who enjoy a slow burn, angsty read may enjoy this more. The 10 year span just got on my nerves.

There were some pretty heavy plot holes, but most of them are spoilerish so I can’t really go in depth with them. The misunderstandings, and lack of action really grated me. Along with the tears, and depression, just no.

Since this is number four in the series, I imagine those who have invested time in reading the other three would get a kick out of this. I imagine it would be a resolution for the Beta of the pack. It ties up a lot of what I imagine would be loose ends in other series.

What I do love in this story…**spoiler alert**

MPREG!!! Yes, there is male pregnancy in this one. Super fun. Although it is not the MCs mpreg. It is secondary characters, but still! MPREG!!

So for those who enjoy this in their shifter stories, go ahead and pick this up.

I loved that this story was set in Australia. I always get a kick out of Aussie readers using Aussie landscapes to push a story. It makes my heart proud to know Aussies are writing about our amazing country.

The story could have used more showing than telling. I didn’t really connect with the characters, and wasn’t very invested in them getting together. The fated mate trope isn’t really my thing either. I prefer the connection be a choice. It’s sort of plot-cheating if they are destined to be together, and there is no other option or else they will forever be miserable. But I know other readers get a kick out of it, so I know this will be enjoyed by those people.

This story does end on a happy note, and there is enough plot fillers to make it a decent read. I didn’t go crazy for it, and it wasn’t all that memorable to me, but it certainly isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read.

Recommended for those who enjoy Fated Mate wolf-shifter stories, set in Australia. There is Mpreg, growling, biting, and some heartache to go with.

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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