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The blog of m/m author Jaime Samms. 

Book Talk: Karenna Colcroft's Salad on the Side

Jaime Samms

I'm going to admit, this book is not what I expected. And now that I'm into it, I honestly can't really tell you what I did expect. I guess, mostly, it's Tobias who is nothing like the typical Alpha I expected. Understand, I don't read a lot of werewolf or other shifter books, so I'm going mostly by what I hear people say about them, or the few I have read. Even still. Tobias is not very typical, I don't think. Not that there's anything wrong with his character as a character. So far, I quite like him, actually. He's sensitive, kindhearted, and compassionate, logical and thoughtful. As an Alpha Werewolf, I'm not quite seeing him being strong enough, though. From what I've read so far, the main POV character, newly turned Kyle has a lot more forceful a personality that Tobias, and yet, Tobias is supposed to be an unusually strong Alpha, given he's so young and a local pack leader, much older and wiser than he has accepted a truce with him. I actually quite like the idea he's as strong as he is because of these unexpected qualities in him, and there's lots of room yet for his character to develop and the author to sell me on why all these unexpectedly softer qualities in what, in any other hero might be considered beta attributes, will make him a true leader. I bet she can do it.

Another strange and inexplicable plot point is Tobia's inability to control his newest wolf as he does the rest of his pack That control  is partly due to any Alpha's ability to compel his pack members with his geas. Well, it doesn't work on Kyle. Why? Curious, but given newly-turned wolves are supposed to be unpredictable and possibly dangerous, I thought this lack of ability to control Kyle should be causing more worry than it does. Tobias doesn't seem particularly bothered by it, so long as Kyle agrees to pretend he's under Tobias' control. And since Kyle seems to care for Tobias, I'm willing to buy that he agrees and fully means it. (despite the fact he's made it perfectly clear he doesn't take well to authority of any kind) And also, since I'm less than half way through, I'm guessing that the lack of compulsion is due to the fact that Kyle and Tobias are mates (just a guess, mind you), and in my very personal opinion, it would be all kinds of wrong if one mate had the ability to compel the other to do anything against their will, so I like that the compulsion doesn't work on Kyle. I just wish Tobias had a better understanding of why, or more concern over it.. One or the other.

In any case, this is shaping up to be a really interesting read, and the fact I have questions isn't a point of detraction at all. It's making me really want to get back to the story and find the answers. So far, very much enjoying this story.