Title: Humanity for Beginners
Author: Faith Mudge
Genre: F/F Paranormal Romance
Available: 15th Feb
Gloria did not intend to start a halfway house for lesbian werewolves. It just sort of happened. Between running a small bed-and-breakfast with her friend Nadine, helping one young lycanthrope adjust to life after the bite and soothing ruffled fur when the other brings home an unexpected cat, Gloria has more than enough to keep her busy, but one thing is definite: she is not nor ever will be an alpha, whatever Nadine says. And the ever-expanding circle of misfits in her guesthouse is certainly not a pack. If only Nadine and the rest of the world were as simple and clear cut as she kept wanting them to be.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this novella. Lesbian werewolves running a guesthouse sounded intriguing, but I wasn’t really sure where it could go from there. But this book, short though it is, is a wonderful mix of strong characters and complicated relationships that pulled me into their domestic world and made me sad to leave it.
I really liked Gloria. She’s a bit gruff and tough at times, but she’s also super protective of the women in her life and all the strays that seem to come with them. She insists she’s not an alpha, but she cares for them all anyway. I loved her relationship with Nadine, which is one of silent longings, deep affection and quiet companionship. They’re a wonderful pair, even if Gloria doesn’t quite dare ask for more.
The other characters all have strong presences too – Nadine in the kitchen, mysterious Damien the gardener who I am convinced is more than what he seems, plus Lissa and Louisa, the younger werewolves with problems of their own. I liked them all and the ways they formed a strange yet loyal family.
The wider plot, dealing with non-werewolf family members and other wolves in the area, weren’t particularly strong and I would have liked to have known a lot more about both Gloria and Nadine’s pasts. Both the plot and the history felt a little thin and left me wanting a lot more.
Mainly what this book delivers is a lovely look at a pack of lesbian werewolves quietly going about their lives. There is a bit of action, but it’s mostly focused on the relationships between the characters, both romantic and familial. I found it quietly enjoyable and I’d love to read more about any or all of them sometimes. I’ll definitely be looking out for more from this author, especially if it contains Gloria or the others.
Humanity for Beginners is out February 15th.
Visit Faith Mudge for more details.