Review – Wolf at the Door (Salvation Pack #1) by N.J. Walters

Wolf at the Door cover image

Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: 15 April
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher

When Gwendolyn Jones inherits a Tennessee cabin from a great aunt she never knew, she quits her job and follows her dream to write full time. Meeting a stranger in a local cemetery isn’t a risk she normally takes, but she needs the information on his flash drive for an article she’s writing on werewolves. Later that night, when two honest-to-God werewolves come knocking on her cabin door, they’re definitely “not” Photoshopped.

Jacque LaForge is on a mission to retrieve a flash drive before it endangers his pack. He never thought he’d find a mate, but the chemistry between him and Gwen is unmistakably off the charts. Now to convince her he’s only trying to protect her from his vengeful former pack-led by his own father.

Gwen’s first instinct to flee only gets her a smashed car and a concussion. She wakes up in a dangerous new world she never thought existed-and in the arms of the one man who stands between her and certain death.

Warning: Contains a sexy werewolf and his small pack of friends, a paranormal writer who really didn’t believe such things existed-until now-and a completely dysfunctional family who are out to kill them both.
This blurb came from Goodreads.

I have eyeballed a few blurbs by Walters in the past but it wasn’t until I read this one I decided I really needed to give into my curious mind and give her a try. While I came away from this story with some mixed feelings, overall I enjoyed reading it and I am curious to find out what happens to Gwen, Jacque, and his friends.

I mostly liked Gwen. I found her introduction to the story and the way she would mentally question her actions entertaining. I also enjoyed her willingness and ability to fight back against her situation and anyone who wanted to harm her. However, for some reason, I found myself irritated by the almost insta-lust that seemed to overrule her normal sense. Even with that particular irritant I did appreciate Gwen’s ability to look beyond the menacing appearance of Jacque’s friends to see they cared about her as an individual. I really liked most of her interactions with them.

I kinda felt sorry for Jacque. He and his friends fled his father’s brutal rule to set up an area designed to allow progression with the times instead of remaining stagnated. As Wolf at the Door opened the small band was trying to save two humans from his father’s deadly notice while keeping werewolf existence private. However, things didn’t exactly work out as Jacque planned. Instead he discovered things were much more complicated than he ever expected. He took care of the older male human but Gwen became much more problematic; she had the potential to be his mate, she wrote about paranormal creatures, and she refused to meekly go along with what he wanted. Poor Jacque wasn’t used to his plans being thwarted nor dealing with his mating instinct but regardless he did everything he could to protect Gwen and his group of friends.

I enjoyed the group interaction and the obvious bond between Jacque and his friends. I also liked how Gwen was able to pick out distinguishing characteristics and personalities from Jacque’s friends in both human and wolf form. However, I wasn’t sure for a significant portion of the story if their concern about Gwen’s wellbeing stemmed from caring about her as an individual, as a way of thwarting their former pack leader, or because of what she signified. I found it intriguing that Jacque and his friends possessed a myriad of sophesticated skills and assets but I never saw anything that hinted to the source of their skills or even how they kept up their standard of living.

Walters provided several things I liked in Wolf at the Door to include the overall story and enjoyable characters but unfortunately some aspects pulled me out of her world. Gwen demonstrated some contradictory behavior which was never quite resolved but overcome by events. A few other things required me to make a leap of faith or just take it for granted a reason existed but the required background for me to accept and move on wasn’t in place. I am intrigued by the overall series conflict and did care enough about the characters to wonder what will happen next. I plan on giving the next installment a try and hope that some of the missing world-building elements are filled in.

I give Wolf at the Door a B-/C+

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