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A Pack of Blood and Lies

The Boulder Wolves, Book One
Narrated by: Sara Hannan
Length: 9 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

The primal rule of winning: don't fall in love with the contender.

Three months shy of her 18th birthday, Ness is forced to return to Colorado. Even though it's been six years, and the wolves of her all-male pack don't recognize her, she recognizes them. People who shun others because of their gender are hard to forget.

Especially Liam Kolane - son of Heath, the crudest and cruelest Alpha to have ruled the Boulder Pack. Liam is as handsome as he is infuriating, as kind as he is punishing, and he makes Ness's traitorous heart race, which isn't good. After all, he's a Kolane. Like father like son, right?

When Heath dies, Liam vies to become the new Alpha and no one dares challenge him.

Except Ness.

Thus begins a treacherous game.

The rules: winner takes all...including loser's life.

Fans of Kresley Cole and Cassandra Clare will devour A Pack of Blood and Lies.

  • Contains Alpha males.
  • Not suitable for children under 14.
©2019 Olivia Wildenstein (P)2019 Olivia Wildenstein

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended shifter story

This was such an exceptional story. It had me completely hooked right from the first page and I didn't want to put it down.

There was plenty of depth to the story with a number of twists and enemies to lovers theme. It was extremely well-written and the author structured the story in a way to keep readers guessing. There were two deaths with the murderers to be uncovered and also a sadness to the story at times. There was also a challenge for pack leadership which was fascinating and I appreciated the strength behind Ness to enter it and to challenge the boys.

The characters were particularly rewarding and I enjoyed the slow and deliberate feel to the romance that built between Ness and Liam and I can't wait to read more.

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Amazing!

The story catches you're attention right away and makes you not want to pull away. It's well written and full of detail making you feel like you're right there with the characters. Sara Hannan does such an amazing job narrating. You never get confused buy which characters is speaking at given time, makes it easy and clear to follow the story and her voice is very enjoyable. Overall it is truly amazing and whether you're listening to the audio or reading the book itself you will definitely enjoy it.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amy
  • 24-06-19

A Pack of Blood and Lies

After the death of her father six years ago, Ness Clark and her mother were forced to leave Boulder, Colorado and the wolf pack of which Ness was the only female born to in nearly a century. Now, just three months shy of her eighteenth birthday, Ness is forced back to the pack by her aunt and uncle. Once there she is confronted with a pack in upheaval over the death of their previous alpha, Heath Kolane, an all-around awful and cruel person. In the top spot to replace Heath is his son and heir Liam Kolane. Ness can't let his bid for alpha go unchallenged, but what she finds is that Liam Kolane sparks an interest in her that she's never felt before. Could he be different from his father or is it all an act in order to make Ness give up her challenge? Regardless, Ness is here to fight, for her pack, for herself, and possibly for her heart.

When I initially read the blurb for A Pack of Blood and Lies, It read like what I've been missing from my YA recently. When I actually started the book, I found a few cases of incongruity that did not mesh with my perceived ideas.

First off, the story gets off to a jumbled start when, after Ness is pulled from her current home in LA, we're suddenly back in Boulder...a month later. Sooo much has happened in this month. Olivia Wildenstein fills in the gaps in what happened within the month piece by piece but instead of each instance being a revelation that only expands upon the plot, it felt a little jumbled and messy at times.

Also, Ness was not the easiest heroine to like. She's rash and impulsive. Yes, she has a lot going against her first and foremost the fact that the pack is built upon a heaping pile of misogyny that was almost over the top with it's "boy's club" mentality. I can somewhat forgive Ness because she's got a lot of pushback, but I didn't feel the growth I had expected I would feel from her after everything that happens.

What irked me the most was the idea that nobody was put off by the fact that Ness is the only female born to the Boulder pack. She's considered an anomaly. But when we see an example of another pack (complete with more than one female pack member) no one bats an eyelash. The entire system within the Boulder pack is foul and clearly broken. This is abundantly clear when we learn about the former Alpha's many instances of cruelty and violence, mainly perpetrated toward women. But instead of questioning the mores of the Pack, everyone seems ok with the status quo, even Ness. Remember, she's not competing for alpha out of a sense of proving herself capable, she's doing it in order to thwart Liam Kolane's chances.

Let's talk about Mr. Kolane while we're here. He is the typical brooding, protective alpha male. Unfortunately, I wasn't swooning for it. If you take away that aspect of his character (whenever he's around Ness) he is seemingly a good guy, and truly seems to want to do right by the pack. He's intelligent, he knows the customs. He doesn't seem bothered by Ness being the lone female - although he doesn't seem to want to break the status quo and he tends to get a little hurt when she does something better than him which enables him to flip flop on his feelings for Ness quite easily.

I did enjoy the mythology presented here. Olivia Wildenstein does a great job of sticking with the basics (no silver!) but also putting her own spin on the traditional werewolf story. I'm especially interested in the pack dynamics. I don't think that this first outing shows the Boulder pack very well (see broken comment above), but by the end I'm interested to find out if we'll see any changes.

I know it feel like I've only been griping about the book, but I feel like where the characters are at the beginning it's only natural. It's clear that changes need to be made within the pack as well as with Ness herself. Ness goes through a lot over the course of the book. She learns a lot and her eyes are opened to things she never thought of before. I would definitely be interested to see where Ness goes from here.

I felt like the narrator had a nice clear voice that did well with Ness's character. I wasn't too keen on the other characters's accents, tones and/or inflections though. I had a couple of issues with the audio sounding tinny and moments of static.

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  • Carolyn Boyer
  • 12-06-19

Great book

Loved everything about the book!!!! Great story!!! Looking forward to the next one. Thank you.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bia
  • 19-05-19

Need the next one like yesterday

I really liked this book! It's nice to read a book that's not predictable and that has you glued to it since the beginning. Looking forward for book two and I'll be reading more books from Olivia for sure!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 18-05-19

A coming of age age story with a slow burn...

Pack of Blood and Lies is a coming of age story with a slow burning fuse.
Ness, just a few short months away from her 18th B-day, loses her mother to cancer, and she's forced to move into her uncle's household (as he's now her legal guardian)... and directly into Boulder Pack territory, a pack that had previously rejected her simply because she's female! I've got to say that initially, this premise had me a bit off kilter. Why wouldn't a Pack treasure the gift of a female shifter? But I put that aside and went with the flow, and just simply enjoyed the story. I'm glad I did, as I realized that Ness wasn't going to sit meekly by, and let "that's just the way it is" get in her way... Not Ness!  She's ready to torch that hornet's nest, and stomp on it when it hits the ground... And the reveal towards the end of the book may have assuaged my unease about the pack's weird anti-female policy... Maybe.
Oh, and yeah I didn't necessarily like Sara Hannan performance... not really sure why... I actually thought that her voice was perfect fit for 18 yr old Ness... My issue, I guess was more of a pacing thing...

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  • Lisa Alves
  • 12-05-19

Need. Second. Book. Now.

I’ve been struggling to find a YA fantasy that I love for a while. From the first chapter, I was hooked. There is mystery, murder, action, a love story and great narration. Can’t wait until the rest of the series comes out! Already starting another Olivia Wildenstein series!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William Charles Desmarais
  • 04-05-19

Hannan a Hidden Gem!

I feel like I’ve known the narrator her whole life. She imparts the story with pathos, porthos and even some aramis.

I greatly look forward to her next project. I’m a new but die-hard fan of Ms. Hannan.