Book Reviews

Protecting the Land (Wild Lands 2) by A.J. Marcus and Caitlin Ricci at Mystichawker Press

Genre Gay / Historical / Paranormal / 19th Century / Cowboys/Cowgirls / Shifters / Interspecies / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 20-September-2022

Book Blurb

When miners trespass on Wild Lands Ranch, the humans and wolves will have to work together to keep each other safe.

With the discovery of gold in the Rocky Mountains, prospectors have been coming closer than ever to Wild Lands Ranch. Henry Abbey is determined to protect his family’s land, and the wolves are too. Henry doesn’t know they exist, but they’ve been watching him for a long time, and one is closer than he even realizes.

Justus, a young wolf, has been working on the ranch to keep an eye on the humans and make sure they keep their part of the bargain, that the plains belong to them, but the forest is the territory of the wolves. He likes Henry and wishes he could tell Henry everything he knows about the wolves and the pact, but it’s forbidden. He's only there to observe, not to make friends.

The rules begin to change on both sides when miners come into the forest looking for gold. The wolves need help, and the humans need the men off their land. When Justus reveals himself while protecting Henry, they become bound together forever.



First edition published by eXtasy Books, July 2016.


Book Review

It’s been twenty years since the events in book one where Elijah and Armand became partners, and Elijah’s siblings’ children have grown up and are beginning to run the human ranch. Nothing much has changed in the werewolves’ village, where Armand is one of the elders now. Henry and his brothers and sister have no idea the wolves exist, but young wolves have been coming to the ranch as hands for years, just so they can get a better understanding of the humans they have a pact with. One of these youngsters is Justus, and as much as he hates wearing clothes and having to deal with horses, he is very interested in Henry. But the wolves and humans are supposed to stay away from each other.

Henry has no idea what secrets his parents and uncles are keeping. He is aware that he is supposed to stay out of the forest, but he assumes it is because the land is not part of the ranch. When prospectors looking for gold intrude and Henry tries to chase them away, Justus helps him in wolf form – only to get shot and suddenly need Henry’s help. Henry is shocked about Justus being a wolf at first, but it explains a lot and he likes him, so the adjustment is relatively easy.

Justus hates his “assignment” to learn about the humans. None of the horses like him, wearing clothes and boots almost kills him, and he can’t even shift into his wolf form to relax now and then. He is very interested in Henry, but that does not seem to be mutual. Keeping the wolves’ secret is not easy, and even when Henry finds out and they work together to fight the miners, the question of how a relationship is going to work remains. Justus is not like Armand; living with the humans for the rest of his life, as much as he loves Henry, will not work for him.

I liked that Henry and Justus have to figure out their own way of dealing with a cross-cultural relationship. The solution they find is different from the one Elijah and Armand chose, and it points to a different potential future - one where more sharing becomes possible than either group expected when they first met and clashed. The adjustments will take time, but I look forward to getting to watch them over the course of the next few books in this series.
If you like Westerns with a paranormal touch where cowboys and werewolves learn to cooperate, if you want to see how men and wolves dealt with life in the Colorado of the mid 1800s, and if you’re looking for a read about men from different cultures that is entertaining, holds a few surprises, and has a hope-filled ending, then you might like this novella.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. The first edition of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 87 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-June-2022
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link