There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.
Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen year old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.
But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems…
Randy runs to Wolf, Wyoming to escape the headaches he’d found while being a lawyer in Washington DC. He thinks some time in the sticks will help him develop his creative side of writing and painting. But he’s a city boy through and through and notghing has prepared him for living in the country during a Wyoming winter.
Vaughn and his family have lived in the isolated community for their entire lives. They live in Wolf for a reason and have to be careful of who they allow to get close to them. At first they’re very stand-offish with the city slicker Randy, but later things become far more complicated.
There are some strange dynamics going on and in a strange turn of events both Vaughn and his 18 year-old son Lyle seem to be sort of vying for Randy’s attention. Vaughn is more on again/off again about his feelings, but Lyle is all in.
Though Randy can appreciate Lyle’s attractiveness, it’s his father that catches his eye.
When the tension between father and son comes to a head, the secret gets out and Randy has to decide if what Vaughn offered is worth sticking around and fighting for, or should he run from his problems as he has done all his life?
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW
I have to admit to spoilers, though not very surprising, they aren’t spelled out until late in the book. So be warned, if you want the full “experience” don’t read the rest of this review.
Ok, with that out of the way… Vaughn and Lyle are werewolves. Duh. They have to hide it from humans, until there’s a reason to let them in on it. I’m not exactly sure what the “rules” are for this, because it never made sense to me. At one point Randy is told, “Once the eyes have seen it can’t be unseen”… and? So I guess now that Randy knows about werewolves suddenly all paranormal creatures can be seen. I didn’t really understand that part.
There is more I never quite understood. First, it was extremely uncomfortable having Lyle and Randy do their weird, flirty, domination dance while we are supposed to be rooting for Vaughn (Lyle’s Dad for Pete’s sake!) and Randy to get together. I think the author would have done much better making Lyle a friend of the family or another competing male … something other than his child. It was weird and felt gross.
Second, I never understood what the issue was between father and son. Was it a play for alpha-ness? They don’t have pack dynamics that we see in other shifter novels, so I wasn’t sure what they were fighting each other for. Was it just weird werewolf teenage rebellion? I didn’t get it, and like I said it felt gross.
Third, I never really liked Randy. Yes, he was funny and his inner dialog was witty. But it went on and on and on and on. It took up to 53% of the book before anyone even kissed and most of that was inside Randy’s head. This book needed a lot of heavy handed editing so that it could be whittled down to a much shorter book.
Fourth, Randy’s parents and the running away thing should have been fleshed out or left alone.
Finally, when Randy and Vaughn do end up “together” I was left wondering, together how? Did Randy give up being a lawyer? Is he now a writer? What happened? And what about Lyle? It was abrupt and again didn’t make sense.
So… to sum up. I thought this was a weird and sometimes inappropriate book that didn’t always make sense and though it had some elements of charm to it (Randy’s funny dialog both internal and external), I can’t recommend it.
I’m sorry to say this is the first book I’ve read by this author and it may be the last.
1 of 5 stars
(Copy generously provided by NetGalley for an honest review)
Coming October 21st.
Less Than Three Press Presents