Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Pages/Word Count: 101 Pages
At a Glance: I was looking so forward to this story, and, from a purely romantic perspective, I was not at all disappointed.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: A remote farmhouse in Cornwall seems the perfect place for Ash to settle into his recently altered status. Starting a new life there with Sam—the shifter he can’t stay away from—should be easy this far from London where they faced so much danger. So why does adjusting seem impossible?
Sam has issues of his own. He has to get used to his human form again after living the last eight years as a wolf. It’s hard when human worries weigh so heavily on his shoulders. Life is much more straightforward from a wolf’s perspective, until Ash needs his human support.
Ash’s problem is simple: he’s fearful of shifting fully. How can he believe he won’t hurt Sam when his genes were altered to create a killer? Despite repeated reassurance, his anger and resentment increase. Only one thing is certain: if Ash can’t learn to trust himself soon, he’s in danger of proving himself right.
Review: The Altered 2, the second book in Annabelle Jacobs’ alt u/fantasy series, is Sam and Ash’s story. Introduced in the first book when Ash was still entirely human and Sam was still living full time as a wolf, these two men bonded in something like friendship on steroids, but all the signs were there, even if they were unprepared to understand them—they were connected by something much deeper than feelings, something supernatural they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, or weren’t prepared to name. When Ash’s life as he’d know it was stolen from him by the mad scientist who was bent upon making an army of shifters to serve his own nefarious purposes, we saw what Sam was willing and prepared to do for the sake of keeping Ash safe.
Free of the necessary world building of book one, The Altered 2 is one hundred percent relationship and romance-centric, focusing on the obstacles these two men face in their as yet undefined bond—the first hurdle being that Ash, now an altered himself, has no idea of the full effects of the serum he was infected with and how it’s reshaped his physiology or psychology, other than the fact he can’t seem to control his anger or physical reactions in the face of the coming full moon. The second challenge they face is with Sam himself and the fact he chooses to remain in his wolf form nearly full time because it’s easier for him to cope with everything that’s happened to him since he became an altered himself. And, because neither man has been able to talk to each other about all the changes that have occurred, Sam decides Ash must prefer him in his wolf form, and Ash does nothing to make Sam believe otherwise. Communication is a definite obstacle for these men in the beginning.
The Altered 2 is uncluttered and free of anything that doesn’t play directly into the building relationship between Ash and Sam, or the dynamics of the small family pack they’ve built with Daniel, Jordan, Keira, Charlie, and Matt. Guilt is a heavy burden to bear alone, and it’s not until Sam and Ash realize they are each other’s completeness that their issues are resolved at the perfect pace, not quite the instant gratification of the short stories I love, and sometimes just want, but not so long that the drama was drawn out unnecessarily for the sake of manufactured angst.
I was looking so forward to this story, and, from a purely romantic perspective, I was not at all disappointed. If you read The Altered 1 and were anxious to see Ash and Sam get their happy ending, Annabelle Jacobs delivers it in a satisfying way.
You can buy The Altered 2 here: