Unwanted Appeal (Hidden Wolves 2.5) - Kaje Harper Well, this story had a punch to it. Very tightly wound and nicely done.

I liked that Zach had a voice in this short story. I liked his character and his inner thoughts. Especially the moments where he struggled with his craving for alcohol but resisted the temptation. Or the moments when he was unsure of himself and wondered why Aaron would want him. I found it sweet that Aaron had to keep reminding him of the relationship they shared and comfort him with the knowledge that he was invaluable to both pack and Alpha.

I liked Aaron more in this short story as he came close to what I had envisioned him to be. Not as strong and pushy an Alpha as he could have been but better in his role.

There were moments in the story that were pretty predictable. Like Jason being a spy sent to infiltrate the pack (especially after all the hinting about their top computer guy) or that Jason was going to live. And yet I was caught up in the story and pack politics and tension of the group that I hardly noticed the events unfolding didn't surprise me.

What I didn't like was Paul butting in. I had not noticed this trait of his in the first volume and found it a bit annoying in this installment (perhaps because it was more pronounced than in volume 2). He really had no business storming up the pack meeting and practically demanding Aaron to stop the killing. I understand he was driven by his kind nature and desire to do no harm but it encroached on Aaron's position as Alpha. Things seemed to have escalated somewhat towards the end of the book and the author kind of downplayed everything whereas I wanted a more strict reprimand for Paul.

With that said, the addition of Cord to the pack, the spy debacle on top of internet security risk and disclosure threats made a packed reading. Quite enjoyed it! Not sure I would have closed off with Aaron declaring his love for Zach moments after he had promised himself to put a lid on his emotions. Yet, it left an impression. I hope the next volume focuses on Cord and the Chicago Alpha, Rick Brown. Either or both being gay would be interesting to read.