Consigned to a life without his soulmate, who died 400 years ago and can no longer reincarnate, Hamish has lived the life of a satellite werewolf, always on the fringe of society.
A former policewoman who fled the force due to her ability to read minds, Desiree has taken refuge in the wilderness of Colorado. Now a Forester, she finds herself under attack. When a wolf kills the men attacking her, she locks him into a cage, unaware that it’s a werewolf in his wolf form.
Destined to be together, Hamish and Desiree are torn apart as his past comes a’knockin’. Now Desiree must overcome his past and learn the truth of her own nature.
Source: Review copy from the author
Although there were aspects of this book that I did enjoy, and it certainly has a gripping plot, I’m afraid to say that this book didn’t quite work for me. It’s a style issue, mainly. I like to get to know characters, especially in a romance, and this book is more about telling me what’s going on rather than showing.
For instance, the opening scene has Hamish in wolf form coming across a bunch of men intent on attacking Desiree. I found it hard to tell when he was wolf and when he was human, because there’s barely any difference in his viewpoint between the two, while Desiree somehow kills two men and doesn’t feel anything. This lack of physical reaction put a barrier between me and the book, so instead of being immersed in the novel and breathless about what would happen next, it was just words. Interesting enough, but it won’t ever make me feel anything.
This isn’t always a bad thing, and it definitely makes for a quick, action-packed read, but it became a definite problem for me towards the end of the book. There’s a big action sequence to which several plot points have been building throughout the book, yet it’s over in three pages and is really confusing – because things just happen, rather than characters reacting to what’s happening to them. Then it’s over. There are aspects of the aftermath that could have been really moving, but because of the tell style I didn’t feel anything. It made the whole story sadly flat for me.
I also had a few other world-building issues – instead of being introduced to the idea that vampires and gargoyles are out to the public, it was sprung mid-conversation, making me wonder if this was the first book in the series or if I’d somehow wound up with the second. I was also confused about whether Hamish really was from Ireland (partly because of his very Scottish name) and how long he’d lived in the States, since there seems to be some confusion over the calendar, and how they didn’t tell time the same way back then. Which would have been five hundred years ago. However, Western Europe and particularly Christian Europe have had a version of the modern calendar in place for two thousand years – and had others before that. True, the modern Gregorian calendar wasn’t used in Britain (and at that time Ireland) until the mid-1700s, but since it only changed the Julian calendar by two weeks, I’m pretty sure Hamish could track years just fine.
Then there are the gargoyles. On one hand, yay, gargoyles! On the other… what was the point of them? I loved their invisible ways but hated the secrecy regarding just what Desiree meant to them. You’d think it would be important for her to know and understand her role. Then there’s the fact that whenever she’s in danger they are absolutely useless! Especially when somewhere along the way it’s mentioned that they’re good against the Deathwalkers. But for the most part I did like them a lot.
Finally, for someone who has a terrible fear of dogs, Desiree sure gets over that quickly. A bit like her anger at Hamish. One minute she can’t stand the sight of him, then she has a dream and suddenly it’s true love forever after. Perhaps if I’d known the characters better that might have worked, but sadly, it all felt forced and a bit bland to me.
Which all sounds really negative and bad, which is a shame because there are good points in this novel. It’s easy to read, the plot is interesting and I loved the goblins. Some of the story lines have the potential to be really beautiful and moving, especially when the dryads are around, and if you don’t like to get too involved with the characters you’re reading about, then you’ll probably love this. Sadly, for me, it didn’t quite work. Though I could see some real promise in the tale, overall it felt too rough and rushed to shine for me. It’s okay, but only if you value action over characters.
A Wolf’s Song is Out Now.
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