Length: 80,000 words
Regent's Park Pack Series
When the last thing you want, is everything you need….
Seb Calloway isn’t interested in shifters. After his best friend bonded with one, he avoids getting involved with them—no matter how hot they are—to prevent the same thing from happening to him. Why take the risk for a few hours of fun?
Tim Walters is the pack doctor. Considered to be mild-mannered and non-threatening by pack standards, he prides himself on being able to stay calm and maintain his control at all times. Desperate for a bond of his own, he knows his interest in Seb is an exercise in futility, but he can’t seem to help himself.
When news emerges that threatens Seb’s safety, he and Tim need to fake a relationship to keep Seb safe. Despite Seb’s refusal to be anything other than friends with benefits, what starts out as pretend, quickly becomes more—for Tim at least. If Tim doesn't want to end up heartbroken, he needs to prove to Seb that loving a shifter doesn’t mean losing himself.
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“Even mild-mannered shifters could pull off the smug-arsehole look.”
Not too long ago I read Bitten by Mistake, the first book in the Regent Park Pack series, and, as I say in that review, after I finished the story I was hooked; if not to shifter stories in general than at the very least to the world created by Annabelle Jacobs. So when I saw that Bitten by Design was available I jumped on the book immediately.
I’m so delighted to be able to say this book was everything I hoped it would be. Tim and Seb are wonderful characters, even if they did break my heart once or twice over the course of their story. Just like its prequel, Bitten by Design is a charming, at times funny, touching, extremely hot, and exhilarating story. There’s never any doubt that these two men like each other and find each other very attractive. The problem is that while Seb doesn’t believe in bonding as the basis for a relationship and Tim knows that his feelings for Seb are far too deep for a casual affair.
It broke my heart to see Tim do what he needed to do to keep Seb safe, in the full knowledge that he might end up breaking his own heart in the process. As for Seb, I’m not usually fond of storylines in which there’s an obvious and undeniable attraction between two characters but one of them throws up roadblocks for some, often arbitrary to my eyes, reason. Seb fights the attraction between him and Tim tooth and nail, but his reason for doing so made sense. I completely understand why he resisted the possibility that any connection between him and Tim might be ‘only’ the result of Tim biting him and an, in Seb’s eyes, artificial bond forming.
“I don’t want to have some magical shifter bollocks decide who I fall in love with. (…) I like you Tim, I really do. But the thought of having my free will stripped away like that terrifies me. I’m sorry.”
It was wonderful to once again connect with the members of the ‘arrogant, arsehole shifter brigade’, as Seb and his friend Jared refer to them. I loved the perfectly struck balance between action, hot sex, humorous moments, and tenderness. Sure, I had one or two moments where I wanted to slap Seb around the head, but even that worked wonderfully well. The only warning I have when it comes to reading this book is that you want to set an afternoon aside for it; if you’re anything like me you’ll read it from start to finish in one sitting.
While it is probably possible to read and enjoy this story without Bitten by Mistake first, I would advise against that course of action. Not only does this story build on what has happened before, you would also be depriving yourself of a truly wonderful story.
And I do wonder if I once again spied, with my little eye, the set up for the next Regent Park Pack story. Alex and Mark’s should make for a very interesting tale. Js.
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
Email – email@example.com
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