Review by S.C. Principale
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Savage by N.L. Hoffman is the third in the Sons of Lucifer series. I have to say that for me the first thing I appreciated was the little hints at wit. Desperate, Missouri? Cade Noble… AKA Savage? The Noble Savage? I like a book that tickles my brain.
In Savage, we met Rebel, a wolf shifter who comes back to her backwater town, clear in her intention to have nothing to do with Cade Noble, who rejected her in front of everyone. But this isn’t just a bad break up. Rebel and Cade are “fated mates” and Cade, the son of an alpha, rejected Rebel for reasons we don’t yet understand. One thing is clear, they want nothing to do with each other. A second thing rapidly becomes clear—their inner wolves don’t give a darn. They’d like to be together ASAP, and any surface will do.
Rebel has returned to Missouri to look for her missing brother, Trace. She knows that even with their checkered history, Cade is an alpha, through and through. He’ll do the right thing and help her locate him. And although Cade is reluctant, he does come through. But just as he and Rebel are about to start the hunt for Trace, a stranger shows up—Lucifer. Lucifer brings news that he is Cade’s real father, and Lilith, Lucifer’s evil sister, will be showing up soon. What’s more, Trace is under Lilith’s power. If Rebel and Cade want to save him, they’re going to have to stop being in denial about a lot of things, including how much they want each other.
I think this is by far the steamiest installment of the triad of Sons of Lucifer books. Rebel and Cade tempt and tease each other mercilessly, eventually giving into their desires as “enemies with benefits.” Even though they fight to break the bond, it forms. Lucifer informs them they’ll need this bond, or else Rebel will also join Lilith, as Rebel and Trace’s pack are destined to protect Lilith in the upcoming war. If Lilith wins, all the worlds that Aden (God) created will die, and everything he made, including all humans. Even though Lucifer and Aden seem to be on opposite sides, they are brothers, and are united against Lilith’s plan.
But, there’s another outlier in this game. Apollo—god of archery, and a bunch of other things. Just as Cade never knew his real father, neither did Rebel. She’s not a full shifter, she is the child of Apollo, who wants to turn her into a demigod!
There are a lot of layers to this novel, and they’ve all been building since book one. Where are the real sources of power? Can you trust Aden? Or Lucifer? That’s particularly true for Rebel as she learns Aden killed all of her pack (to stop them from serving and guarding Lilith). Can she forgive him now that she’s his in-law? It’s a very tangled web that ropes in mythology, every magical race available, fated mates, jealous shifters, and of course, an unplanned pregnancy and apocalypse!
Do you still want to read this? Heck, yeah! The climax of this novel is just… chef’s kiss. Perfection. The day is saved… for now. There are adorable wolf babies. Lucifer makes an awesome grandfather, and Rebel and Cade… they’re still going at it with a snark and a smile. It’s a complete five-star package.