4.5 stars adult - 18+ Alternate World Audiobook Book Dreamspinner Dystopian Fated Mates Gay Gay High but not hopeless Hurt/comfort m/m Mary D Mid level steam/heat Military Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter Single Parent Teacher

Audiobook: Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z. Narrated by Jack Wesley


Dreamspinner Press

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

(Book reviewed here previously by Mary)

I’m always looking for a new twist on a shifter story and this did not disappoint.
With the way the world is is could see werewolves being treated in manner described in this story. Used when it suited the Government but kept isolated out of fear. The world building is superb. The treatment of the werewolves is so unjust they gained my sympathy immediately and I was so pulled in that I was sorry when I came to the end of the book. I felt connected with Wade and Henry. To have the Government take your child and never to see her again would be heartbreaking. He is strong in his determination to get her back. Henry is pulled in so many directions. He has his duty to his pack as Alpha and to his role as an elite black ops soldier. I liked the way both Wade’s and Henry’s situations were explained without taking too much time away from the crux of the story, the burgeoning relationship between Henry and Wade and Ava not being able to shift back. I hope Cari Z has plans for a sequel or a series.

The only problem I had was that it is written from both Henry and Wade’s points of view in alternating chapters. This did throw me a bit and I kept checking who’s POV I was reading. However I was so captivated by the story it didn’t affect my enjoyment. If you are a fan of shifter stories I wholeheartedly recommend Off the Beaten Path.

(Review by Morgan)

I agree with Mary, but I want to add that sometimes this was really hard. I’m sure there are some allegories between this story and “real life” camps that strike home.

I think, depending on your frame of mind, the hate and distrust and the making people feel isolated and different can really strike a nerve given our political times.


I thought Jack Wesley (new to me) did a great job. He was easy to listen to, did a nice job with the emotion, and helped differentiate the characters.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review


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