Jaycee was a young woman who had been tortured and abused for much of her growing-up years. She was a shape-shifter with unusual powers, many of which were unrealized and/or undeveloped. She had been molested as a youngster, she had hidden what she was for many years because she was considered to be a shame to her mother, but in spite of all that Jaycee had run from that world and finally found her way into a pack. She was looking for connections that were supportive, love and caring, and hopefully a mate and children in the future. She found the mate(s)--four men who claimed that she was their destined mate. Remi and Dane were alphas of their respective packs and by mating with Jaycee were combining their packs. Pierre was Remi's brother and Mark was a beta wolf. Yet she loved them all. Her great grief, the grieving present when this Part II opens is Pierre's death. Yet he continues to be present in Jaycee's consciousness as her spirit guide.
Now Jaycee is hoping and trusting that Remi, Dane, and Mark will finally bring her life into a new phase, one where she is cherished and given her rightful place as pack Alpha-fem. It would appear that in spite of the love these men have for her, they are really clueless about how to care for and protect her. Time and time again their priorities seem skewed; time and time again their promises are broken, are unfulfilled. No matter what Jaycee shares with them of herself, no matter how fully she is willing to commit to their relationship, they seem unable or unwilling to make that same level of commitment to her.
Jaycee may come across as an immature individual, whining and demanding. Yet when one considers the abuse and distrust with which she was raised, the fact that was kidnapped and almost raped several times but her pack's enemies and by those wanting to rob her of her "gifts," I saw her as a woman so hungry for the esteem and commitment of the men who claimed she was necessary and irreplaceable in their lives, and when they consistently put others before her, when their disregard for her feelings and needs involved them in some acts that were mind-boggling in their capacity to hurt, I didn't find her responses out of proportion at all. Some of the things they said and did made my jay drop! I'm not sure I would have been nearly so controlled in my responses in a similar situation. At what point to promises cease to be believable? At what point do assurances of love no longer ring true? That is the low point in this story.
This is a paranormal romance that has the capacity of great joy but which is squelched by selfishness and disregard. There is no doubt that Remi, Dane, and Mark love her. But they are unworthy of her, of her willingness to commit to them in spite of their disrespect and disregard. There are surprises here and an ending that I don't think most readers will see coming. Jaycee's story, even though it embraces shifters and the like, is metaphorical of how so many relationships go to "hell in a hand basket" because of the immaturity and lack of commitment by one of the parties. That so many relationships survive in spite of is in and of itself a wonder.
So I encourage those who read the first novel in this duo to be sure to read this one as well. And if you have not read Running in Fear--Escaped, I recommend that to you as well. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.