Title: Hunter and the Hawk (Symbiotic Mates #1)
Author: Gale Stanley
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Characters: Hunter, Aidan
POV: 3rd person
Setting: Pacific Northwest
Sub-Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover Rating: 3.5
Vampires and Lycans have one thing in common hatred for each other. Only two things stand between them and all out war – an ancient peace treaty and dwindling populations that have put both species on the path to extinction. One vampire may have the secret to survival but he needs the cooperation of the Lycans to test his theory.
When Aidan walks into the Wolf Den and asks to see the Alpha, he doesn’t get a warm welcome. He’s barely through the door before he’s attacked. The Vampire’s arm is broken and he fears his totem animal, a Hawk, will never fly again.
Hunter, a Lycan Enforcer, comes to his aid and takes him aside for questioning. Aidan claims to have information about the murder of Hunter’s mate and he’ll trade for Lycan blood. At first, Hunter thinks it’s a trap, but Aidan convinces him that the answer to both species’ survival may lie in their blood. Hunter agrees to secretly help Aidan in exchange for the killer’s name. But he gets more than he bargained for when he finds himself falling for the seductive vampire. When the research goes awry, he’s sure he’s been used by the scheming bloodsuckers. But is Aidan the real enemy or is it someone closer to home?
Vampires and Werewolves have long been enemies in the archives of paranormal fiction, though it wasn’t always so, as Bram Stoker’s nocturnal bloodsucker could transform into a wolf, giving a somewhat different spin on the relationship between the two preternatural characters.
Hunter and the Hawk continues with the enemies archetype in the first of a series of books that explores the relationship, or rather the division, of the Lycan and the Kindred in the Pacific Northwest, where their otherworldly identities are known amongst humans, and the races’ animosity toward each other is held in check by nothing more than an ages old treaty.
Both the Lycan and the Kindred are dwindling in numbers, as neither of the species has found the key to successful reproduction to increase their numbers. The vampire Aiden and his sister Abbi, a hematologist, may have the answer to the problem. The heart of the issue for them, however, is being able to prove Abbi’s theory, which means finding a willing Lycan blood donor, and then bringing the wolf Alpha and vampire Sire together successfully and peaceably to enact a resolution.
At great risk to himself, Aidan, a hawk shifter, enters a wolf bar with the hope of gaining an audience with the Alpha, but finds little more than a whole lot of hurt when he steps into the midst of a group of angry Lycan males. Hunter, a Lycan Enforcer, steps in and delivers Aidan from what would surely have ended in Aidan’s death, then forms an uneasy truce of his own with the vampire, once Aidan is able to successfully convince Hunter he has no other motives than to save their lives and the lives of their people.
As a deep suspicion of his Alpha begins to set in, Hunter readily accepts an order to go to the Colony and spy on the Kindred, where he again comes face to face with the beautiful vampire, a meeting that sets in motion an irreversible transformation, and forms a bond between the two men that, if broken, would mean death for them both.
Typically portrayed as parasites, I enjoyed the twist in Gale Stanley’s version of the vampire mythos, and the symbiotic relationship formed between Aidan and Hunter. The concept of the two men being bound, not only by the blood they shared, but by the physiological imperative to continue to share their blood was a nice change from the predicable.
The connection between the two men was born of their irresistible attraction to each other, and was reinforced by the sharing of their blood, the key to their survival, which didn’t leave much room for the development of the relationship between them, nor was there quite enough information offered on the history of the two races and what perpetuated the treaty between them. This might have been intentional, though, as Hunter and the Hawk is primarily an introduction to the world and the creatures that inhabit it, so there’s likely more world building to come.
As a foundation builder, it definitely worked well enough to make me want to read book two.
**And as a side note, this book does contain one short but fairly graphic M/F sexual encounter, which is not alluded to in the blurb, so for those who read the M/M genre specifically to avoid such things, you might want to weigh your decision to read the book based on that fact.
Reviewed By: Lisa