L’Ange: Book Two
Only a privileged few know L’Ange’s head of security Arman de Soto is a shifter, and even fewer know he’s been systematically killing off a pack of werewolves. The reason for this vengeance is a secret Arman trusts with no one, quite the opposite of his obvious longtime pursuit of the château’s overseer, Linus Hobbes. Despite Arman’s reputation as a loner, the only thing he needs to complete his life is Linus. Predator and prey just don’t mix—but Arman won’t give him up.
Linus has lived alone for more than seven years, sheltered at L’Ange under an assumed name and hiding secrets of his own, including his terrifying attraction to the most dangerous man he’s ever met. Arman knows Linus should be afraid of the predator stalking him, but Linus is still drawn to him like a moth to a flame, no matter how much he tries to deny his instincts. It’s not until Linus’s past and Arman’s crusade exposes their secrets and opens L’Ange to attack that Arman realizes waiting any longer is a risk he just can’t take. So he’ll have to take his quest to the source of the threat in a gamble to protect L’Ange, Linus, and any future they might have together.
(Reviewed here previously http://kimichanexperience.com/fighting-instinct-audiobook-lange-book-2-mary-calmes-narrated-tristan-james/)
I’ve been re-listening to this series because a) I love it and listen to it for comfort and b) because I’m excited about the new audio for book 3!
By now, I’m assuming you’ve read book one – at least – if not all three books in the series. They can be stand alones, but they’re so much better read in order, as a series.
Arman is a mystery – we assume he’s a shifter, but we don’t know what kind. We only know that he’s dangerous and scared Quade. It takes almost half the book before we find out what he is and … well you’ll just have to find out yourself!
In book one, we are kind of led astray – Mary made us think Arman was going after Tucker, the Jackal shifter in Quade’s pack. She explains how that was only a ploy to make Linus jealous, because Arman’s heart belongs to Linus and has for years.
Linus’ story is hard to hear – he was terribly abused – and as a result he doesn’t trust easily. But now, after so many years, Arman is tired of waiting and he pushes Linus to essentially put up or let him go.
In addition to hiding who he is, Arman also hides what he does. We find out that he has an agenda- a vendetta really – of epic proportions. This vendetta makes him almost an anti-hero. He’s definitely not the typical perfect Alpha we have seen in other Mary Calmes’ stories. He’s got a dark side that he’s embraced fully. What’s fascinating is the effect this has on Linus and the other people in Arman’s circle of friends.
(Especially if you’ve read book three… everything gets really murky and complex…)
One of the things I really liked about this story was that Linus and Arman get together pretty early on. They work as a team for most of the story and it was imminently satisfying to watch their relationship grow and deepen while they worked together.
Though it might seem a bit blood-thirsty, the vendetta is explained really well and at no time did I feel that there was any other possible course of action than that which Arman took.
I don’t always understand the “shifter rules” in this universe – sometimes they can identify shifters by scent, sometimes they can’t, some shifters are easier to discern than others… but no matter what, Mary has given each shifter an animal side that manifests into the human side in a way that’s unique to their own characteristics. This I love! Bits of the animal peek out in the human in a way that demonstrates that these are more than just people who are sometimes fuzzy, but instead unique beings with a different set of skills, personalities, quirks and even morals.
Mary Calmes is amazing at world building she isn’t afraid to stray from typical “shifter” lore and she draws us in with her own clever style.
The chemistry between Arman and Linus is scorching hot. Mary writes excellent sex scenes and the sexual tension and it’s subsequent release is phenomenal in Fighting Instinct.
As I re-listen to these, I find that I’m also really interested in the humor we have in these stories. At one point, we find out John Slade is to be part of Arman’s “pack” and his response is hilarious! Especially in the audio edition. But he and Linus play with one another, spar with words, and it’s fun and funny.
Though it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time I say it – I love Mary Calmes’ books and I highly recommend them all.
Tristan James narrates this book as well as book one and as you know he is one of my favorite narrators. His voice is delicious! That’s the single best word I can find to describe his characterizations. Delectable, yummy, scrumptious… you get the idea.
He gives Linus a slightly lighter and Arman a slightly darker voice and of course we get the rich tones of Quade and the more bubbly Roman. But there are a whole host of other characters – the smarmy John Slade, the dedicated members of Arman’s team, and then Kelvin – mmm – Kelvin! (We get more of him in book 3 and I can’t wait!)
I LOVED the banter and devotion between Arman and Linus. Tristan does a beautiful job of playing the growly Arman off with the cool and calm Linus
I give this 6 of 5 stars – Amazing, each and every time I listen.
Copy Purchased For Review