Book Review – The Detective’s Familiar by TJ Nichols

Familiar Mates
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 184
Characters: Sam/Mark
POV: 1st
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Series

Walking out on his husband, and fated mate, is the hardest thing wolf shifter Sam Carver has ever done.

Detective Mark Buchan knows he’s screwed things up with his husband, but he never expected Sam to leave. Now there’s a killer targeting witches, and Mark is worried he’s next. He needs Sam’s help one last time.

Sam agrees, but only because if Mark dies, he’ll pine away because of the bond. He hasn’t forgiven Mark, and he won’t forget. And the last thing he wants is to fall in love, again, with the man who broke his heart.

This time Mark will do anything to prove to Sam that he’s worth the trouble. Even surrendering his magic.

For readers who like second chance romance, werewolves and fated mates.

Buy Link


I love this series, and I wanted Sam and Mark’s story when I met Sam in The Vet’s Christmas Familiar. This didn’t disappoint, and I enjoyed the mix of paranormal, detective, action/drama and romance. I particularly liked the different approach with this one with one of the already mated couple not wanting that part of their relationship.

I liked how Sam and Mark had completely different reaction to their bond. Mark embraced it, while Sam hated the lack of privacy. Poor Sam also has the added angst of being on the outs with his family and pack for being gay and mating with a witch. I did like the onscreen scenes with him and his dad towards the end of the book though, and the hope for the future that came with it. I thought Sam’s distress, confusion, and PTSD were portrayed very realistically and I could feel the emotions on the page.

I also liked that Mark and Sam still love and want each other, and their magical bond is what is complicating things and not working between them. I thought it said a lot for Mark that he’d do anything for Sam, including giving up his magic, which is very cool, and little different. Mark’s family history isn’t any better than Sam’s, and his father sounds like he was a total tool.

The mystery part of the plot was well thought out, and the confrontation with the bad guy exciting and tense. I liked that there were consequences for what happened, rather than either party walking away unscathed. The world building is fabulous, and I love the details especially the history of the pack and wolves in this story. An extra bonus for me is that this series is set in Australia. There needs to be more urban fantasy/paranormal stories set in the southern hemisphere.

I liked that Sam and Mark’s HEA was different than the other mates in this series.

I enjoyed the glimpse of the Outcast pack and liked Kyle, so am happy these guys are getting their own series, although I still want more of this one too.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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