Review: The Wolf's Man Friday (Nose to Tail Inc. #2) by Julia Talbot

The last thing Sebastian Zeller wants is to be pack Alpha. But when the pack leader, his uncle Ron, is attacked, he has no choice but to leave his beloved Colorado mountains and fulfill his duty as Ron’s heir—at least until his uncle recovers. In the meantime, he intends to lure the attacker out… and make them pay.

When Ron gets wind of Sebastian’s plan to catch the attacker, he doesn’t like the idea of risking his heir. That’s where Jaxon Reedis comes in—he’ll balance protecting the dark and sexy werewolf with pretending to be his personal assistant. He’s walking a fine line that requires all his foxy wit and craftiness… and that’s on top of the inescapable feeling that he and Sebastian are meant for each other. When the attacker returns, will they be able to maintain their deepening bond when danger threatens to tear down everything they’re building?

Julia Talbot can always be counted on to deliver an entertaining shifter tale. There’s always lots of fluffy love with just enough edge to keep it interesting and keep the reader engaged. While this is the second in the Nose to Tail series it can be read as a stand alone as there is plenty of backstory and character development to get the reader acquainted with the Nose to Tail dynamics.

I always appreciate a shifter tale with a unique take and The Wolf’s Man Friday definitely has the uniqueness down. The shifter world wasn’t confined to the ever popular wolf shifter population; one MC, Sebastian is a wolf, but the other, Jax is a fox and the two of them made a perfect pairing. Sebastian is being groomed by his uncle to become the pack’s next alpha, but while Sebastian is all about loyalty, he has no interest in becoming alpha. The current alpha is Sebastian’s Uncle Ron and he was attacked by unknown shifter assailants, he is in hiding while recovering, but he also has some secrets.

Uncle Ron hires Jax to be Sebastian’s assistant on the surface, but he’s also there on the sly to be his protector. I loved the idea of a smaller fox shifter being a total badass and protecting the big potential alpha wolf. Jax is a scrappy, snarky ginger who organizes Sebastian to no end. So, Jax is not just a protector, he actually is an amazing assistant.

Sebastian isn’t a fighter, I mean, he can definitely hold his own in a battle but he’s an artist at heart. He wants to hole up in his mountain cabin and create, he has no interest in pack politics, but he is torn between loyalty and the desire for a life of his own with the man he has come to love. Sebastian and Jax moved past a professional relationship to boning buddies to lifelong loves relatively early on. It wasn’t necessarily too quick to be believable, these two guys were both on the same page early on and they came together in a pretty angst free way. I liked that aspect a lot, I like when I get page time with the MC’s after they become a couple and I totally bought into an HEA for them.

There is the obligatory pack drama, Uncle Ron’s past mysteries come to the forefront and there are all manners of mysteries and battles for family and pack. The endgame was equal parts sad and relieving. The mystery gets solved but there are just enough new characters introduced and open ended pack questions to leave the door open for another books in the series.

If you’ve read any of this author’s shifter stories previously you’ll be pretty familiar with the writing style and speech patterns of the MC’s. The dialog can be over the top with the romantic cheesiness, but just lean into it and let it wash over you and roll around in the sugary goodness just like the MC’s do. It really wouldn’t work for anyone else in any other setting but we are talking about a world of shifters whose characters are all about the orgasms and the HEA’s. Every one of these characters wants a mate and it’s fun to get lost in that world, even if it is just for the time it takes to read their story. We should all be so pleasantly focused.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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