The Coyote's Chance Cover
Synopsis from the Creator:

It’s a literal fight for love in this fast-moving shifter tale in the popular Masters of Maria series.

For coyote shifter Blue Shapely, becoming the new alpha of Maria’s pack is his long-awaited chance to be his own man and eliminate chaos from the town. Unfortunately, the pack’s patron is thwarting him at every turn.

After being magically attached to the Coyote group for more than a century, demigoddess Willa Matheson has a soft spot for them—even the dangerous ones threatening to expose them to humans. She may have hired Blue to rein in the pack, but the two constantly disagree on strategy. She doesn’t want to upset anyone, whereas he’ll do whatever it takes to get his Coyotes in line. And to make things worse: all signs point to the anxious demigoddess being his mate.

But developing a tenderness for Willa will be an obstacle to Blue’s determination to be as ruthless as he needs to be. If the duo can’t find a way to retract their claws, and soon, it may be too late to protect the pack’s secret—and their own hearts.

The Coyote's Chance, by Holley Trent

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 16, 2017 4:15:07 PM / by Suzanne

Sometimes a book is just not for me, and this was sadly the case here. I made it to about 30% into the book before I gave up due to my own triggers being pressed. There's a lot to love in THE COYOTE'S CHANCE, though, so please keep reading. It may very well be the book for you!

The set-up is this: Willa is the daughter of the god Apollo and a human. Apollo assigns all of his offspring to group of supernatural beings, in Willa's case it's a coyote pack. Because Willa is a) not a shifter, b) not exactly magical anymore and c) suffering from PTSD and related anxiety, she's not able to manage the pack on her own. This is where Blue comes in. He's taking charge of the pack (as alpha, natch) for Willa and, at the same time, temporarily avoiding an arranged marriage. 

Willa is a middle school band teacher and her patient, sweet temperament is pretty perfect for the role. As the daughter of Apollo, she's been playing musical instruments for literally hundreds of years, and she's able to watch over some of the pack's children by being in the school. Blue is a bit rougher, but not like the rest of the pack. He's more of a law and order type, with an almost military-style attachment to proper dress and behavior. The rest of the pack he's set to manage is rowdy - the book opens with Willa about to leave a bar because her pack is getting drunk and about to brawl.

The two of them have an enemies-to-lovers opposites-attract dynamic going on that is usually my catnip. Between the rival cougar pack in town and Blue's family obligations, there are also external forces keeping them apart. The biggest obstacle, however, is Willa's father. (TW: emotional abuse, stalking, torture.)

Now we come to the reason I had to stop reading. In this book, Apollo is an abusive asshole. Willa is a demigoddess, but her father stripped away her magical abilities. He didn't save her from the Spanish Inquisition, leaving her to be tortured and burned at the stake. SERIOUSLY.  In Willa's POV, we learn that he has systematically removed anyone and anything that she loves from her life. For over 500 years. The part that made my skin crawl (and this is a mark of Trent's skill as a writer), is a scene fairly early on when Willa arrives home to discover that her father has been in her house. She isn't sure if he's still there, and breaks down in a panic attack on the floor of her room. (Blue happens to be there and does everything he ought to do.) It's the creeping sense of that impending confrontation with Apollo that caused me to put the book down.

I am 100% confident that this won't trigger most readers, so I'm going to go on with another paragraph about Trent's writing style and let you decide if you'd like to try it out. This was my first of her books and it's full of amusing descriptions, honest characterization, and a nice slow build of tension between the two main characters. Trent's done an excellent job showing me who these characters are and what drives them in that first third of the book, I just can't stick around for the rest to see how they figure their stuff out.

Topics: review