Review: Third Mate (River Wolf Pack, #3) by Rebecca James

Sequel to Second Alpha

The winds of change are blowing through the River Wolf Pack compound. River, the pack alpha, has allowed rogue wolves, a coyote shifter, and humans to join the pack. Then there’s the twin girls that Josiah, River’s mate, has given birth to. A movement to return to more traditional werewolf ways is gaining momentum.

In exchange for Leo’s help, Stone offers him the position of second alpha should Stone succeed in usurping River as pack alpha. Leo has his own problems -- his desire to rise within the pack wars with his dislike of Stone. With the addition of Sam and Foster into the mix, Leo’s personal life is no less complex.

Jax knows he must make a difficult decision before he’s turned out of the compound. Should he remain human or accept David’s bite? He loves the alpha wolf, but he also has ties to the human world, ones he doesn’t want to sever. When David discovers Brooks is considering mating Stone, David determines to prevent it. Can Jax provide a solution to Brooks’s problem even if it means sacrificing his own happiness?

Can River remain in charge of an increasingly fractured pack? Does he even want to?

This book contains three different, but overlapping stories told from four different POV’s, and I devoured this in just a couple of hours!! I was so enthralled in all these characters lives and stories I just couldn’t put it down! So why the lower rating? There was just too much story to it fit into a normal length novel.This means we end up getting a shortened version of each story, which, while still enjoyable, isn’t what I would’ve preferred.

It'll probably be easier to highlight each story, as they all focused on different characters but everything was told along the same timeline. This means we would end a chapter on one story but not get back to those characters for a few chapters, and because the progress of the story was constantly moving forward, we miss important relationship developments. This was probably a bit of a rate remover for me.

Josiah and River’s story was probably my least favourite of this book. River is dealing with an impending uprising due to his decisions to harbour outcasts and willingness to talk with humans. Also the birth of his and Josiah twin girls (there are no females among werewolves) have left him out of favour with many of his pack. This tension was an underlying theme throughout all the stories. It was nice seeing some of Josiah’s POV again, and he and River were as hot as ever, but with the other two stories holding my interest, I was happy we saw these two less.

The next story was David and Jax. This ended up being my favourite, probably because it evoked a lot of different emotions in me. Frustration, anger, understanding, sympathy, joy….. so many. David and Jax pretty much pick up where they left off in Second Alpha. They are both secure in their love for each other, but they literally can’t live in each other's world. What makes things worse in this book is Jax has decided he doesn’t want to be a werewolf, so he’ll never be accepted by the pack, and David will never be able to have children.

This story above all others should have been it's own novel, but instead it gets the least page time. Like I said, so many emotions, and all of them conveyed really well, but a lot of really important events were told as a series of highlights which just got me frustrated.

Sam, Leo and Foster: this story started out being my favourite, but while I loved them to begin with, once the ‘consummating’ occurred, it sort of fizzled. Sam and Foster (who we met in Second Alpha) are both outsiders and have been welcomed into the pack by River. They’re like brothers to each other…. brothers who occasionally suck each other off. Then there's Leo, the alpha. He finds both Sam and Foster attractive, but hasn't ever pictured himself having anything other than a beta mate. I can’t give too much away, but I enjoyed reading about how all these individual relationships progressed, and I did not pick how it was going to end.

As before, all of the sex is insanely hot! I also really really liked how none of the story lines ended how I thought they would, but everything still ended well. I think there is room for more in the series, which I’ll definitely be interested in reading.

Each of the three stories were entertaining, and each had elements of a great story, however it would’ve been much better if they were individually written so things didn’t feel as rushed.

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