I enjoy both these authors and the recent miniseries about Chernobyl on HBO, so this book pinged my interest when I stumbled across it. While I lean toward vampires rather than werewolves in my paranormal romance tastes, the premise intrigued me immediately. The human character, Quinn, annoyed me at the beginning. He starts a bit of an idiot, but he grew on me throughout the narrative based on his care of the two men he’s fallen in with, Dima and Nazar. On the other hand, the authors do an excellent job of portraying the almost alien society of the Chernobyl “bodarks,” from how they interact with each other to how they connect with the outside world.
This is a book where potential readers should read the trigger warnings. However, as established in my previous reviews, I have no soul. While I side-eyed some elements of the developing relationship between Quinn, Dima, and Nazar, it makes complete sense based on the context developed by the authors for their version of werewolves. It also appears to have some interesting differences from the werewolf paranormal romances I’ve read previously. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the changes in the previous relationship shared by Dima and Nazar, from the stumbles in communication to the two men’s ensuing happiness. I did not enjoy, as much, the characters’ interactions with the rest of the bodarks, who were pretty much all cookie-cutter caricatures of “alpha-holes” with a side of rapey-ness.
The climax (no pun intended) of this book centers on the relationship dynamics rather than following through on the set-up of Dima and Nazar truly taking their futures into their own hands (paws?). The sudden happily-ever-after epilogue was a bit jarring but enjoyable nonetheless. I would enjoy a follow-up story or novella that explores more of Dima and Nazar growing into their independent identities outside of the bodark pack structure.