His, Forever

“My mate! The one person in the world who is supposed to love me, protect me, cherish me, and instead he raped me! That wasn’t even the worst part.  He forcefully marked me! Marking someone is meant to be a symbol of your love for a person as you claim them as yours forever.  If my mate doesn’t even want me, why would anyone else?” (His, Forever, Chapter Three)

“‘No.’ He replied simply, shrugging his shoulders.

‘No.’ I repeated, in shock of his casual tone.  I looked at him dead in the eyes to see if he was serious or not.

‘No, I Alexander Mason reject yours, Olivia Carson’s rejection.’ He announced, before walking away from me…” (His, Forever, Chapter Five)

Though Olivia turned eighteen eight months ago, she has not yet found her mate.  Attacked by a creepy man while at a club with a friend, the young woman is saved by a handsome man. Her inner wolf, Aria, tells her that this man is her mate, though he does not seem to share Olivia’s joy. Without saying a word, the man grabs Olivia and takes her to his mansion.  Despite the fact that they are mates, the man rapes Olivia; mates are supposed to love, cherish, and protect each other.  He tells her that he needs her, but does not desire her, painfully marking her as his mate forever.

Olivia discovers that her kidnapper, Lex, is the alpha of the fearsome Red Moon pack.  He is disgusted by the idea of mates, preferring to make his own choices and believing that mates are a weakness that should be avoided.  However, he needs Olivia to act as the Luna of his pack, lest his power diminish.  Though she attempts to reject him, Lex confines Olivia in his home and beats her when she disobeys him.

Lex becomes less violent when Olivia reveals that she is pregnant.  During her pregnancy, Lex does not force himself on her.  He also avoids other women, though Olivia’s presence has never stopped him from being with other women in front of her.  As she becomes used to her new home, Lex’s brother Aidan will befriend the lonely girl.  As time passes, Olivia, Lex, and their children will be exposed to danger on all sides.  These dangers may allow love to blossom between the two mates or drive a fatal wedge in their relationship.

This novel is better written than the average werewolf romance.  While other novels qualify every word with werewolf vocabulary, His, Forever does not try to shove the paranormal down your throat.  Though Olivia has an inner wolf, she also resembles your average romance protagonist. The werewolf story line compliments the plot instead of overwhelming it.  This novel strikes the perfect balance between paranormal and romance elements.

It was interesting that Olivia’s inner wolf possesses such a distinct personality.  Though an “inner wolf” is a common trope in werewolf literature, it is not often that it is described as a separate being.  Olivia’s inner wolf has a name, distinct personality, and separate desires from human body she inhabits.  Even when Olivia is physically alone, she can always feel the presence of Aria lending her support and comfort.  It would have been interesting to learn more about Aria and the relationship between the inner wolf and the human spirit.

Some of the writing within this work is awkward and at times cringeworthy. When Olivia is attacked in the club she “…closed my eyes waiting for him to violate my innocent body”, an awkward and unrealistic phrase to be thinking during an attack. While overall the writing is pretty good, the author occasionally makes choices that don’t fit the story.  These issues are not overly distracting, but something that might make a reader pause before reengaging with the story.

This is a very fast story.  With only about thirty chapters, the story moves incredibly quickly and speeds through character and plot development to the detriment of the overall work. Olivia’s time in Lex’s mansion rapidly passes and she is only pregnant for a few chapters. This story would greatly benefit from a slower pace and greater detail.  His, Forever could be expanded over hundreds of chapters, allowing the reader to enjoy it for longer. As it stands, this novel would be drastically improved by more chapters elaborating on the plot, characters, and world in which the story takes place.

It is hard to root for a love story that begins with rape and physical violence.  Lex tries to avoid his werewolf destiny, believing that a mate would weaken him.  He has clear reasons for avoiding Olivia, but this does not justify or excuse his violent behavior.  He kidnaps Olivia, rapes her, painfully marks her, and throws his affairs in her face.  Though he claims to be above the need for mates, he keeps Olivia around because he cannot resist her.  If he was truly willing to live a mate, he would not keep Olivia against her will and continuously hurt her.  Watching Olivia fall in love with Lex can be disappointing, as she seems to forget the violence he showed her.

Overall, His, Forever is a respectable paranormal romance with a werewolf storyline. Though the story could be extended over hundreds of chapters, the novel is very short and is occasionally filled with odd writing.  Readers may not want to see Olivia fall in love with Lex after he raped and abused her, though this may not be a problem for some.  Though it does not stand out as exceptional, His, Forever is a worthwhile read that requires little investment.