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A Pack of Blood and Lies

The Boulder Wolves, Book One
Narrated by: Sara Hannan
Series: The Boulder Wolves, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Summary

Penned Con Winner of Best Audio Book 2019

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
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Poor audio quality

Poor audio quality with a lot of feedback at times. Needs some attention to clean up

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Amazing

I loved this book. Great series. I highly recommend this book.
Amazing characters and great storyline.
The narration is pretty good too.
❤️😹🤩🥰🥳

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

I loved this awesome audiobook narrated so well written awesome I do hope book 2 not to long

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Perfect for teen romance introductions to werewolves

I found it enjoyable listen and narrator voice was great.
I would recommend to teen readers.
For something light and fast pace sort of book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fighting for Her Place in the Pack

This was a great start to The Boulder Wolves series! Ness and her mother were shunned from their pack because she was a female. She’s forced to return, but no one recognizes her anymore. The alpha of the pack has died, so his son, Liam, is unopposed to become the new one until Ness decides to challenge him. She believes he’s just as evil and vile as his father, but there’s more evil in people you’d least suspect. The trials that she had to go through to compete for the pack leader position were extremely rough, but she kept pushing forward even when death threats started coming her way. I loved Ness’ fierce and determined personality to fight for what she believed in and Liam’s hot and cold personality that left you wondering where he truly stood and if you should root for him or not. The characters Olivia has created are all mysterious, intriguing, and well developed; the world/ politics of this book are descriptive and vivid. Along with the main plot, there were multiple subplots that kept you on your toes guessing what would happen next. This book was filled with death, mystery, suspense, romance, and a misogynistic society. There are trigger warnings for rape, suicide, abusive relationship, and foeticide.
Sara did a fantastic job with this narration! Her voice was easy to listen to and her male voices were done well. Her performance heightened the experience and brought every character and emotion to life!
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Intreguiging start.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book after hearing the narrator in the first few minutes. But I ended up really enjoying the story and the enemies to lovers aspect. I am definitely interested in finding out more about the world of the Boulder pack, and seeing resolution to the series arc.

Though there were random instances with odd word choice that would make me pause. Such as "I wrapped my phalanges around his." Or something to that effect. Why use "phalanges" when "fingers" would do?

The narrator was a bit flat would have liked to hear more emotion from her. There were also often parts with a loud air like static that should have been edited out. However she wasn't difficult to listen to, mostly unseasoned in her craft. Her accent for the only POC(who is also designated to being the help) is cringe worthy.

While my "negative" comments were longer, but I honestly enjoyed this book quite a bit and would recommend it. I would say the negative is really only about 3% of the book at most.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely love these characters and story!

Voice was easy and the performance suited the story very well.

The story was just great. Love the characters! I also love the fact that it isn’t for once a main character that still needs to get or discover her powers. No, she was born that way and hasn’t mysteriously been devoid of power for the first so many years of her life like many other stories where the main character is supposed to be born with powers but can’t ‘perform’ or access those powers or something.

This is your typical Werewolf story (not easy to die, great healing, and silver is poisonous) but with the best kind of characters with wit and sass and some arrogant packmembers that don’t want Ness there. Certainly not in there ‘all male Pack’ but Ness doesn’t take no for an answer now that she’s 6 years older than the last time she asked and wasn’t accepted. Even worse, back then, she was forced to leave with her mother. But at the start of the story, 6 years after said bannishment, her mother has passed away and her uncle has come for her, to forcefully take her back home, into the Boulder Wolves territory, to live with her only remaining family. So, being forced back, she will demand to be acknowledged!
Follow this fierce, witty werewolf on her quest sort of speak to have a say in her own future.
Absolutely loved this one and have bought the whole trilogy (ebook) because this is the type of story you can enjoy again and again.

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loved it

love everything about this story! did not want to stop listening, can't wait for book 2! Narrators did awesome.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it !

I really loved Ness and Evelyn's story of moving in with the Boulder pack. The pack's outlook on female shifters was outrageous, but Ness manages herself fantastically. Then there's Liam...
The narrator's voice is really easy listening. Handling the dynamics of gender, age and accent credibly.

I will folow the rest of the series !

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

Encouraging start to a promising series

“I’d give the jerk a run for his money. Did I want to win? Sure. Who wanted to lose? Did I want to lead a bunch of jerks? No. But if I did win, I could nominate someone else to run the pack. I wondered what my father would’ve thought of my decision. Would he question my sanity or would he be proud?” - Ness

Following the murder of her father at the hands of a hunter six years ago, Ness Clark and her mother, Maggie, were ousted by their misogynistic pack and have been living in LA ever since. Having learnt of Maggie’s death six months earlier, Ness’s paternal Uncle Jeb and his wife, arrive to take her back to Boulder, Colorado. Ness reluctantly agrees if they’ll offer her adoptive mother, Evelyn, a job.

Ness feels bitterness towards the pack that shunned her when her father died as well as the Alpha who raped her mother. Now that the Alpha is dead, his son Liam Kolane, is next in line. Assuming the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, Ness decides to go up against Liam for the position of Alpha. And so begins a treacherous game - one where the winner will take all - including the losers life.

When truths come to light regarding her father’s killer and the lack of retaliation by the Pack, Ness is outraged and determined to get justice for her father. While she competes in the trials to ascertain the next Alpha, however, Ness captures the interest of the Alpha of their rival Pack, Julian Matz. Claiming to want peace between their packs, Matz offers her his support in her battle for leadership. But can he be trusted?

Ness’s initial antagonism towards Liam soon begins to turn into something else as she realises he’s the opposite of his father. But Ness has a secret of her own regarding the circumstances surrounded the Alpha’s death which could very well threaten her future with Liam and the Pack.

Pack of Blood and Lies is the first instalment of the Boulder Wolves series and was my first introduction to the author. From the offset I found myself completely immersed in the premise of the story. A female shunned by her pack solely because of her gender. Ness is an appealing, relatable protagonist who readers will instantly identify with. She’s sassy, resilient and strong willed. I liked how she stood up to members of the pack and gave as good as she got. As the book progressed, lots of revelations came to light regarding her father’s murder and the real reason she’s the only female in their pack. Those she considered allies turn out to be anything but while others surprise her. I particularly liked her banter with Sarah from the rival Pine Pack.

Liam is a noble and all round decent guy and it’s apparent quite early on that he’s the opposite of his antagonistic father. I liked the bromance between him and his pack members. While Ness has yet to win Lucas over, she earns the respect of others such as Matt. August was another appealing character and I sense he has feelings for Ness. Unfortunately for him she sees him as an older brother. I feel that Everest is a complex character and while I sympathized with his motives, I feel we’ve only scratched the surface of his character. It will be interesting to see what the author has in store for him in the sequel.

All in all this was a well executed, fast paced and intriguing start to what looks to be promising series. I recommend it to fans of paranormal romance, kick ass heroines, werewolves, mysteries and suspense.

I received an advanced free audible copy of Pack of Blood and Lies and I am voluntarily reviewing it. Sara Hanan has delivered a dynamic well paced performance. Her style of narration throughout was exceptional, making it easy for listeners to distinguish between each character, particularly the male voices.

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Profile Image for Amy
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for brenda l. moreno
  • brenda l. moreno
  • 21-08-19

Loved it

Great story put together and the narrator did a fabulous job. Great pace and worth it. I definitely recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Madeleine East
  • Madeleine East
  • 07-08-19

Amazing

This is my first book by this author and it was amazing. I love all pnr books so this was right up alley. Ness is forced to go back home after her Mom's passing. Will she challenge Liam, the son of her enemy to be alpha? Entertaining, intrigue and so good. I look forward to more books by this author.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Candace Calloway Bellamy
  • Candace Calloway Bellamy
  • 02-08-19

This was ok.

While the idea behind the story was interesting, the reality was not. The narrator was awkward and failed to make the story come alive for me.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Erin B. Morrigan
  • Erin B. Morrigan
  • 03-07-19

Mixed Feelings

Truth: I have mixed feelings about this audiobook. The voice actor is amazing. I found her very easy to listen to, which is saying something, as I’m kind of an audio snob and have shut off many a podcast or declined to purchase many an audiobook after listening to the sample because I couldn’t get past the voice. Too nasal, too affected, slight lisp, blah blah. I admit I’m hard to please. I honestly didn’t expect to love Sara Hannan’s voice, but I truly do. Her performance showcased her talent and range as she gave voices to an impressive number of both male and female characters, all distinctly, somehow without overreaching or getting goofy. Her voice is almost musical - and it’s a solid, universally likable music. I don’t know how else to describe it except to tell you I could listen to her talk all day.

The story on the other hand . . . I wanted to love it, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. Based on the reviews (I’m guessing maybe by friends of the author?), I expected way more intensity, but it just wasn’t there. The author’s writing style is solid and I enjoyed her descriptive language very much, but the story itself felt flat. I didn’t find any of the characters especially likable - or dislikable, for that matter. The bad guys weren’t that bad and the good guys weren’t that good. The highs weren’t that high and the lows weren’t that low. It just felt . . . unremarkable. Yes, I realize it’s YA and maybe my expectations were unreasonable from the get go, but I still had high hopes after reading the reviews. And anyway, YA has the potential to be engaging and keep you on the edge of your seat (Hunger Games, anyone?) but that was not the case here. At least not for me. Bottom line: the technical writing skills are there, but the storytelling isn’t.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-08-19

not my thing

didn't like it. was written poorly and was to slow to get to the point and I spaced out alot during this.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for L.j.
  • L.j.
  • 31-05-20

Absolutely love these characters and story!

Voice was easy and the performance suited the story very well.

The story was just great. Love the characters! I also love the fact that it isn’t for once a main character that still needs to get or discover her powers. No, she was born that way and hasn’t mysteriously been devoid of power for the first so many years of her life like many other stories where the main character is supposed to be born with powers but can’t ‘perform’ or access those powers or something.

This is your typical Werewolf story (not easy to die, great healing, and silver is poisonous) but with the best kind of characters with wit and sass and some arrogant packmembers that don’t want Ness there. Certainly not in there ‘all male Pack’ but Ness doesn’t take no for an answer now that she’s 6 years older than the last time she asked and wasn’t accepted. Even worse, back then, she was forced to leave with her mother. But at the start of the story, 6 years after said bannishment, her mother has passed away and her uncle has come for her, to forcefully take her back home, into the Boulder Wolves territory, to live with her only remaining family. So, being forced back, she will demand to be acknowledged!
Follow this fierce, witty werewolf on her quest sort of speak to have a say in her own future.
Absolutely loved this one and have bought the whole trilogy (ebook) because this is the type of story you can enjoy again and again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MichieLynn
  • MichieLynn
  • 15-04-20

I’m looking forward to book two

This book was very enjoyable just wish the lead female was a lil more powerful/unique and I wish she was more of a smartass. I can’t wait to see what’s to unfold in the next book. This book kept me wanting more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Serena Acierto
  • Serena Acierto
  • 15-04-20

Tragedy, resiliency, treachery, and redemption.

I loved this story. The story flows beautifully, and you can tell some foreshadowing happening. The main character is likable even with her imperfections which helps her to be more realistic. The supporting characters grow on you, jerks and all. Some characters and my feelings towards them changed throughout the book. The ending leaves some things open for question about what’s going on so plan on listening to each book one after another because you’ll be hooked! The narrator takes a bit to grow on you but she keeps her character voices straight and adds to the story - give her a chance!

I was given a free copy of this audiobook for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle Titherington VanDaley
  • Michelle Titherington VanDaley
  • 30-03-20

Good Shifter Story

This is a wonderful beginning to a good shifter story with interesting characters. The storyline has an easy flow and kept my attention. The narrator did a great jon bringing the story to life. I look forward to more from this Author