Title: A Warlock Called Jacob
Series: Mated to the Human (Book 2)
Author: Michelle Frost
HEA or HFN: HEA
Jacob’s always been a dutiful son. His new mate is anything but.
Co-leading the Saint Coven with his twin sister is the legacy Jake was born into. He takes all his responsibilities seriously, especially his new Council appointed mate.
Cane is the mayor’s son. In a last ditch effort to put him on the straight and narrow, the mayor asked he be mated to the most mature and upstanding paranormal possible.
Jake is a strong leader, but Cane’s rebellious streak and the explosive chemistry between them might tempt him to the wild side.
A Warlock Called Jacob is the second in this fast-paced novella series where the paranormals are all deliciously protective of their humans…no matter what type of trouble they get into.
“Us being together has nothing to do with who deserves what. You’re my mate, and I know we’re at the beginning of the road, but I can already tell you I don’t want to walk it with anyone else.”
What I loved:
This is the second entry in the Mated to the Human series. While I liked this one quite a bit, I will admit that it was a slower start for me than A Hellhound Named Derek. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the relationship between Jacob and Cane, but it took me longer to bond with the characters than it did with Hollis and Derek in book 1.
That said, I found Cane’s character arc to be really compelling. He’s the mayor’s son and all he really wants is to be a professional fighter. However, his entire life, he’s been expected to maintain appearances at all costs. So much so that he’s agreed to mate to Jacob in part because his mother has bullied him into signing up for it. Cane’s mother’s behavior is demonstrated to be very controlling and maybe even a little bit disturbing (for instance, she had him followed extensively when he was in high school and college, so much so that he can easily recognize it happening to him again midway through the story—who does that, much less to their kid?). She even had him blacklisted from all of the legitimate fighting gyms in the city, because him following his dream of being a fighter would reflect poorly on her. So, in order to reassert some measure of control over his own life and follow his dreams as best he can, Cane now participates in sketchy and extremely dangerous underground fighting rings.
All of this makes Cane a compelling and sympathetic character despite the fact that he’s engaging in some epic-level dumb and reckless behavior at first. His character arc is also far more pronounced than Jacob’s. Quite frankly, he goes through far more growth than Jacob. So much so, that I often felt like this was more Cane’s story than Jacob’s, despite the title.
What I was really hoping for, but which didn’t really happen, was some sort of confrontation with Cane’s mother, where we see Cane fully asserting his own autonomy. There were tones of this in a scene toward the end, but I think I personally wanted a bit more from this subplot. Like A Hellhound Called Derek, the book was very short (84 pages), so I get that there wasn’t room for the level of catharsis that I wanted to see with this. That said, I do trust that, with Jacob’s influence on Cane’s life, eventually this conversation will have to happen eventually. Jacob definitely won’t permit anyone to mistreat his mate.
However, what really stood out for me was how supportive these guys were of each other—I was 100% here for it. For instance, while Jacob was rightfully alarmed at first about Cane’s dangerous behavior, he ultimately recognized how important following his dream of becoming a professional fighter was to Cane. So, Jacob found a way to help him do it through less dangerous channels. Even though he was still uneasy about his mate placing himself in a bit of physical danger on a regular basis, he still supported Cane and helped him to fulfill his dream. This was extremely sweet, and it ultimately came across as very, very healthy—it demonstrated to me that both of these guys had learned how to support and love each other exactly as they are, without requiring any big changes.
Like A Hellhound Called Derek, the romance plot of this story was low angst. These guys win each other’s hearts pretty easily (I can’t say I blame either of them for that, though). While there are certainly NSFW scenes between these guys, including one very well-done scene at the end, this is still far more sweet than spicy.
Overall, this was a quick and surprisingly sweet read. I highly recommend this, but if you haven’t read A Hellhound Called Derek, definitely read it first as the plotline will make more sense that way.