Review: No Matter What by Sydney Presley

They must protect each other. No matter what.

Quinn has resigned himself to living a life alone. His cabin, on the outskirts of a village, is the perfect place for him to paint. No distractions, lots of peace and quiet—until he goes out for a run as a wolf and sees another wolf scarpering for its life.

Goddard is that wolf. He’s been running for God knows how long, and he’s tired of looking over his shoulder, waiting to be found by the one man Goddard doesn’t want finding him. Injured, he discovers a cabin and goes inside.

Quinn’s and Goddard’s lives are changed forever when they realize they are bonded mates. The thing is, there’s still the problem of the man from Goddard’s past to get over, and when an incident in the village means Goddard’s whereabouts is public knowledge, things might take a nasty turn.

Gone are the days when the two men had to stick by human law. Being mated means wolf law comes first—and if it means killing to keep each other safe, then that’s what they’re prepared to do. They must protect each other. No matter what.

*** I am going to start this off with the warning that this book has on page killing of a woman and children and is done so not as wolves. It’s told in flashback but I felt it was important for anyone who could be affected by reading the scene. ***

Quinn left the busy city life that he knew to live out in the remote country. The stress of hiding the secret of his wolf was becoming too much and the quiet country life with just him and his art was appealing. When he has a restless night and decides to let his wolf run to exhaust him to sleep, he comes across wolf being hunted by his farmer neighbor and tries to help. The wolf evades Quinn but ends up naked and shifted back into human form on Quinn’s kitchen floor and this is how we meet Goddard.

Told from the dual POV of the wolves, we get a very British story that is a different take on shifters than I have read so far. Traditionally when you have mates, there is sense of insta-knowing that the wolf across from you IS your mate and both wolves have the urgency to get it on - RIGHT. THE. FUCK. NOW - but with Quinn and Goddard it’s more of a questioning the feelings game. There is no pack politics in this book and actually not a lot of pack knowledge at all. Goddard knows a bit more than Quinn but really, all they know is a small handful of stories about the need to roam being the call of one’s mate but neither man holds it to gospel.

“Do you like it, roaming? I ask because my grandfather did it once. Took about five years out, he said, to be just wolf. Then he ended up in a small town and saw my grandmother.”

“Sounds like he roamed until he found his mate. That’s what we’re meant to do, isn’t it? But I always thought it was bullshit. A myth.”

We find out that Goddard is on the run, though we don’t get reason immediately. There is a brief discussion of both men being shifters and of Brent, the farmer, who shot Goddard. When Brent, shows up at Quinn’s door asking about the “dog” that was sleeping in his barn, Quinn doesn’t exactly lie saying he hasn’t seen it as Goddard is a wolf and the farmer leaves. What he leaves is a shaken Goddard who is finds himself quickly liking hanging out with Quinn and has no idea Quinn is feeling the exact same way.

Quinn decides to let Goddard rest at his place after being hunted and shot by the farmer and Goddard in appreciation, offers to help Quinn out with a few jobs around the house.

The story moves fairly quick, as it’s a short, with the relationship though we don’t get much character development of Quinn nor Goddard. We do get flashbacks of Goddard's life allowing us to know why is running and from whom and that flashback is the trigger I mentioned earlier. I find the reason a bit of a suspension of reality because it didn’t seem like enough to have him running as a wolf for so long but it also wasn’t enough to bug me.

I liked the romance and the new to me mate deal. It’s slower and less shall we say, slutty than the usual fated mate stories that I read but I liked it. The pace was enough to briefly get to know bits of each man; have their pasts meet their present and move forward into their future and the epilogue was enough to give me satisfaction and closure.

This wasn’t a mind blowing sexy AF fated mate story I am used to, but it was a decent romance read quickly at my desk during a short work day that let me get lost.

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