Cowboy Wolf Outlaw
reviewed by Pam Guynn
In Cowboy Wolf Outlaw, Kait Ballenger brings romance, action, and some suspense to the sixth (and final) book in the Seven Range Shifters paranormal romantic suspense series. Set in contemporary times in rural Montana near Billings, this novel features Grey Wolf assassin Malcolm Grey and Beauregard, a witch who can tell when someone is lying.
Malcolm is broody, withdrawn, and suffering from grief from the loss of his mate Bo followed by the death of his friend Austin. The pack is facing another battle with the vampires and the Volk featured in the last book. Trixie knows Malcolm is a wolf shifter and that the pack is in trouble. She also knows they’re attracted to each other, and trouble seems to follow her. Both are miserable, but can they find happiness?
Malcolm and Trixie are both somewhat broken characters. They have known each other for a year or so, but never dated. However, Trixie has flirted with him. They show a little growth over the course of the novel, but it seemed to happen too suddenly. These protagonists are definitely not boring, but will their secrets and flaws eventually doom the romance? There are some familiar secondary characters from previous novels that add conflict and support.
The plot was not as suspenseful as previous novels in the series, despite having several action scenes. This allowed the reader time to get to know the main characters and how they interacted as well as slowly building the suspense level. Will they take a chance on a happily ever after or will circumstances prevent it?
I cheered on the protagonists as the story progressed and became ever more dangerous and unusual. It held my attention and contained the elements that I love in this genre of books except for the weaker suspense. This book delivers on escapism through attraction, friendship, family, relationships, and romance while also tackling other serious issues including secrets, stressful situations, lies, domestic violence, revenge, and selfless sacrifice for others.
Overall, it was engaging, entertaining, and had me rooting for Malcolm and Trixie. A couple of the earlier action scenes are intense. It kept my interest and covered some deeper themes if a reader looks for them. The subplots tied together well, the main characters were strong, and the ending was satisfactory. The series is best read in order. I am looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for readers next.
SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca and Kait Ballenger provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for June 28, 2022.