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Strength of the Pack

(The Tameness of the Wolf #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,438 ratings  ·  507 reviews
A Marine werewolf and his commander bring legends to life while surviving combat deployment in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn't know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas' platoon, the Marine Corps' True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant's authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he strugg
ebook, 336 pages
Published January 18th 2013 by MLR Press (first published January 17th 2013)
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Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Gigi by: A

March 30, 2019: Comfort re-read #6.

Oct. 2, 2015: Starting my 5th re-read. The time for therapy has long passed. (Hey, I get to meet Kendall in 2 weeks at GRL. I gotta brush-up, ya know.)

May 20, 2015: Just finished my 4th re-read. I think it's time for therapy.

June 19, 2014: Just another update after re-read number 3 to say I still absolutely LOVE this book! It's still in my all-time top 5 and I just can't get enough. READ THIS BOOK if you haven't yet. Seriously.

I'm going out on a
Julio Genao
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
this is UST-porn. siriusly.

the point of this book appears to be to set two simpatico dudes in a fertile situation for mutual attraction and sexual tension and then find as many ways as humanly possible to keep them from becoming lovers—or, indeed, from properly fucking each other at all.

if that sounds like your idea of heaven—my felicitations! no better-spent $9 in all the land; skip the spoiler.

but if that sounds like your idea of hell—

(view spoiler)
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.5 stars*

Holy F this book was S-M-O-K-I-N-G hot!!

Guys, I am a seasoned erotica reader. Oral, anal, menage, spanking, whipping... you name it, I've read it. Over time, I've become a bit... jaded. Desensitized. So that fact that this book got me all hot and bothered over a freaking hand job???? I'm in awe.

Let's talk about the hand jobs, folks. A ton of readers complain about the excessive amount of hand jobs in this book, and, to be honest, about 95% of the sex scenes are hand jobs or variatio
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
HOT & HEAVY on the UST and hand-jobs, BUT:

- Way too much military stuff for my taste—not a lot of action, but hanging around the base, planning missions, yada, yada. I know that's REAL, but I was bored with the excessive details.

- Confusing world building; lots of telling about pack politics. Humans came off looking like idiots. I couldn't quite make all of it gel.

- I wanted these guys to do something other than give each other hand jobs! Surely, they could have managed to shower and fuck?

- MI
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
3.5 Stars!

I liked this one, but it did drag a bit for me. I think maybe military books aren't at the top of my list of faves.

Had this book been about 50 or so pages shorter I think I would have been okay.

That being said, I liked the premise. I liked the MCs. For a book filled with predominately hand jobs....those were some hella hot hand jobs.

I loved the whole mating thing, the alpha and dominant roles, the biting, the sniffing.

Not a bad read by any means. I don't think I could read this ser
Jenni Lea
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: growl-and-howl

***ETA 6/23/14***

After reading book 2 I've come to the conclusion that Lucas is not the clueless idiot I first thought he was.

It was all Noah's fault. Noah, being a typical Alpha male "only said half of what he's thinking and none of what he's feeling".

That about sums it up. Adding an extra half star because book 2 made me like book 1 more.

3.5 stars


Not sure how to rate this.

I'm not a fan of military books. And yet I flew through this one.

There were WAY t
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shit !!! I really need an assistant to write what I think about a book and that person will do a fantastic review for me, with those cute pictures or short videos everyone seems to know how to do (except me)and it's possible my assistant will be tall, dark, handsome and naked, well, until that day I don't have any other choice than to do it myself.
I had this book on my "to be read one day piles" because I read Brother in Arms and I'm afraid I didn't get the story and I was constantly cheeking th
❧A Bookish Berkeley Girl❧
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Military World was So Captivating~

The Wolf Aspect was Sooooo Intriging~

Captivating and Intriging are the words that come to mind when I look back at this book~both wolf and military aspects captures my attention the writing of Kendall McKenna held my attention, I love that!

BUT, What I Really Really Loved Was~

Noah, his Silvery Blue Eyes his Stealth Factor and Holy Sh*t his Alpha Persona, Written ALMOST to Pefection!

Noah,OMG, he was so freaking perfect, his character drew me right in and I
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nomance

If I'm the lawyer to these two fellas, I'd be set for life.

... Because a bigger bunch of communication failures I've yet to seen. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This started out good, and would have gotten three stars if I'd stopped around 50%. It did not however, stopped at 50%, and just went on to become stupider and stupider until I went from tolerating it to unamused.

The characters: as usual, these fall prey to the trap of Nothing Unless There's You. They have barely any character whatsoeve

Let me ask you this....what is hotter, than a book filled with alpha wolf shifters ?? One that is also filled with hot military men !! Phewww, I definitely hit the jackpot with this series. Make sure you have your (hand)fan handy when starting this one ;)

I am a big fan of shifter books, but I am also very picky about them. It's hard finding some great shifter stories out there, especially when you are not into the whole mpreg me ...sorry.

Well look no further, because this series is
4,5 Stars - hard, rough and exciting in the middle of the war zone - I was completely breathless and just want more of these guys

I've hardly read any romance from the real war zone, here Afghanistan, nor about M/M relationships in shifter PNR. But now I know for certain that I like to read more in the genre.

This truly fine novel, constantly keeps a low-key tone. It's not a flutter, fortune romance but a story of a slow-growing man-werewolf relationship. It's steaming hot but in a very masculine
Man, how I loved this book.
It's the first time in a long while that I read a full-length novel in only two sittings – which resulted in me going to sleep at 2am yesterday, but it was totally worth it.

Everything about this novel was hugely compelling, fascinating and realistic – as much as a military werewolf romance can be.
McKenna put a wholly original spin on the traditional werewolf lore and basically gave birth to a new creature, with specific rituals and needs, giving a particular importance
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it
It looks like I am going to be the party pooper on all of the 5 star reviews. The serious lack of communication between Lucas and Noah annoyed me to no end. Why did I have to read 330 pages before NoahFINALLY told Lucas that what he is feeling is not due to 'werewolf culture'? Good God. And why did I have to read, what felt like, 100 pages of them jacking each other off? It was boring as hell. Now that I have vented my frustrations, the story is good and I did enjoy it for the most part.
"I won't deny you, Lucas."
"Deny me what?"

This book is so strangely hot, I think I burned myself.

I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. But here's what I did love!
The writing, IMO, was fantastic. There wasn't too much inner turmoil where the characters sit around and ponder things for chapters and chapters. There's just a lot of action and exciting situations! I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of this book.
I loved the relationship (Obviously) between Noah and Lu
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Bev by: Ingela's review

This was a great mix of military action in Afghanistan and the intricacies of trying to integrate shifters (werewolves) into the Marines. Oorah!! 4.5 stars and

Lucas Young is a lieutenant in the Marines, and is aware that werewolves help the military, but is totally unprepared for the old lightning strike between himself and Noah Hammond, the True Alpha of the Werewolves  photo coupdefoudre_zps0b3896b2.jpg even though the 'L' word was only used towards the end of the book, it was there, you could tell!!

Lucas becomes Noah's D
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
― Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

This quote has long been a favourite of mine and always sums up werewolf politics to me. So when I saw the title of this book my mind went to it immediately and McKenna quotes it before the book starts. Yay! It's just such a great line and really appropriate for this story as well.

This is a fabulous start to a new series. McKenna is my go to for military stories, I love the ja
Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
Re-read: 07.12.18
I found myself thinking of this book again and couldn't help re-reading it. It has such an... interesting concept with a True Alpha and his Dominant. I liked it. I still find some things strange, but I do wish the author would've given us more from these two. I would've loved to see how much stronger their bond will become now that they'll finally be completely together. I still really enjoyed it though. Recommended!
New Rating: 3 stars

⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*True Alpha & His Dominant* ⋰⋱⋰
Trisha Harrington
Okay, so after a long time without my review I am finally doing this. Fist off I want to say that this book was amazing. Without a shadow of a doubt this book had a lot of my favourite things here, possessive MC's, sexy scenes and some general sap. If you are looking for a hot shifter story then this is one that I would recommend.

This story has a hint of D/s to it. Though it's not a BDSM book. I loved how Ms. McKenna did this element. It suited the characters, the story and their relationship. E
2.5 stars

Meh. This wasn't too bad, but it wasn't anything I'm gonna remember for very long, either.

The way the heroes kept brushing cheeks and giving each other hand jobs became boring too soon (a bit vexing, too,) and the last 15% or so of the book felt like one long sex scene.

Noah was OK as a sub, but Lucas came across as an ignorant wretch who obediently accepts his destiny to function as the Alpha's Dominant expecting others to explain what the role entails. He was such a dud, I wondered wh
1.5 stars.


There is a very disappointing amount of military action, considering the location as well as the length of the book. The story reads like a manual on werewolves, mostly werewolves' mating/sex. The language is dry and heavy with unnecessary details and peculiar military terms.

HUGE pet peeve: specialized language and/or foreign language.

I am not a native speaker. I suspect a few of these words/abbreviations might be well known to those who grew up in the US, but then again,
Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌
I absolutely adored this book. There's no other way to say it. It was such a enthralling, captivating read, turning something as overused as 'werewolves' into what seemed to be a whole new world for me. Ms McKenna managed to grab this idea of werewolves, turn it into her own and weave it so thoroughly into the story I found myself thinking that if werewolves really did exist, they would be exactly where she wrote they would be. In the military, not in the military, but so wonderfully integrated ...more
Alright, so I started reading this book with big expectations; I mean, first I love any book that has to do with the military, and second the blurb sounded absolutely amazing, exactly my kind of book. So I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I finished the book. Now, don't get me wrong, I still liked it a lot, and it started out amazing, 5 stars for sure... so why did I end up giving this a 4 stars? The were a few things that really bothered me throughout the book. I'll get to them at th ...more
*** 4.5 Stars ***

My first ever shifter book was an arousing... er... rousing success.

Thanks to all the sweet, pushy broads who said "You gotta read this!" :)

Full review to come.
Another Kendall McKenna book, yay. And this one snuck in under my radar! I remember how good Brothers in Arms was and the very sexy Waves Break My Fall. I love a man in uniform, I love a military story. And shifters? Oh yeah.
A different setting for wolf shifters. I enjoyed the combining of paranormal and contemporary military. I also want to say this is THE perfect cover. They nailed the brief. Review at On Top Down Under Book Reviews - http://bookreviewsandtherapy.blogspot...
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it

This one's a good read. I've enjoyed it. But why only 3 stars for me? There some things that I've missed in this book.

It was actually well-written. Not that hard to follow and understand. The military and werewolf terms in the story were not that hard to grasp. She even had acronyms spelled out. Great for those who don't have Google access while reading. It has cool action scenes but I missed the romance.

The characters were nice. I liked them.

Lucas is a lieutenant
Lilia Ford
I had an uneven response to this. I think McKenna is one of the best military writers I've come across. Her knowledge of the details, speech patterns, attitudes of US soldiers struck me as spot on, and infinitely better than the average writer. I really like the story's premise and the way that the book focused on integrating werewolves into combat operations in real-world "theaters of war."

That being said, this is a long book, and yet I felt like there were some key aspects missing. We are nev
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved loved loved this story! I love Kendall McKenn’a version of shifters. Here we have romance, shifters and military action, combine it with wonderful writing and I am a happy reader!!

LT Lucas Young has had no experience with shifters, let alone leading them and when he gets Sergeant Noah Hammond he is a bit off balance. I like Lucas, he is a fair leader, hot of course and definitely an alpha man. He also appears not to have a clue when it comes to shifters. And as his relationshi

Mehhhh, this had so much potential and the military aspects were detailed and interesing. But, sweet baby Jesus, if I had to read about one more f'ing hand-job, I may have lost my damn mind. Way, way too repetitive.

Lucas, I swear you must be one of the most clueless characters I've ever read. I also don't have any grasp on what he looks like, what his background is, and who he is as a person. Noah was made of awesome, but even he should have just sat down and explained shit to Lucas. Again,
Apr 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Hot Alpha loving were-human style.

Biting. Yep. BITING. Now one might think that 85% of the sex in a book can't be just biting and licking--And they'd be wrong. Seriously, the dedication and delectation of the act is spectacular in the attention to detail. This is a major turn on for me. Another 10% is hand jobs and the last 5% is split between everything else. Sexy hot scenting and marking of two alpha males in combat situations and more. Yummy.

The miscommunication while somewhat understandable
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Far too much tell and not enough show. As a reader it was a little annoying, I mean I understand inference and don't need it spelled out like I'm a bit dim. Also, while parts of the plot were quite tight, the last two thirds of the book was all over the show and didn't flow. I think this had potential, but needed more work in the end.
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Kendall McKenna
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Kendall McKenna is an author of M/M erotic romance novels featuring well-developed characters, complex stories, and realistic action sequences.

Kendall McKenna is the MLR Press 2013 Author of the Year. Her first work of fiction was written at the worldly age of nine, and was a transformative work that expanded on the story told in a popular song of the time.

She tried

Other books in the series

The Tameness of the Wolf (4 books)
  • Strength of the Wolf (The Tameness of the Wolf, #2)
  • Strength of the Mate (The Tameness of the Wolf, #3)
  • Heart of the Warrior (The Tameness of the Wolf, #4)

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Last year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen struck a chord with her viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.”...
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