Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z.

When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Oh wow! I really love this story. I’ve needed a new UF series to get excited about for way too long and this one has just about everything I love in a shifter story. The world building (genetic experimentation and hints of government and military conspiracies) is complex enough to support a series and the characters are equally complex. I loved the Colorado setting and the politics and hierarchy in Henry’s pack.

When Ward’s daughter shifts for the first time as a young child, she is taken from him in California and given to a werewolf pack in Colorado. Ward risks his own life to follow his daughter, hoping the pack will allow him access. I loved Ward’s humanity in this story. He is determined – terrified but also somehow fearless. His relationship with Henry is sweet and I love the way he strengthens the alpha werewolf.

As pack alpha, Henry’s responsibilities weigh heavily and his compulsory military service is draining his strength and his humanity. Henry’s relationship with Ward both softens and empowers him. I love his leadership and his gentle way with the pack children.

Ward and Henry’s relationship is sweet and pretty low heat. This is as much about family and pack as it is about the two men themselves. The relationships and politics between family and pack are complicated and the threat from the outside world casts a shadow over the almost utopian community.

Cari Z. is a relatively new writer for me. I’ve enjoyed her Bad Behaviour books with L.A. Witt but this one is really something special and I’m definitely going to be reading through her other books and looking out for any new releases. There’s a hint at the end that this might just be the start to a promising new UF series and I’m already eagerly anticipating Tennyson and Davis’ book.

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She hopes that you enjoy reading what she's put out there as much as she enjoyed writing it in the first place.

Connect with Cari

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z. to read and review.


  1. Killing Time at the Lingerroot Inn by John C. Dupré. It was a great ghost story with other elements and I would love to see more of it but I don't think the author has plans for it.

  2. I would love a sequel (or more) to P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon.

  3. I read this book quite a while ago "Wes and Toren" by JM Colail and I've always wanting to find out what happened next.

    shirleyann2400 (at) gmail (dot) com

  4. Well, I am going to go with this book!! Because I am dying to read about Davis and Tennyson!

  5. That's tough. I would say Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C


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