My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a novella length which means Rhys Ford has a lot of work to do in both establishing the world building for the start of a new series but also giving the reader a fully rounded romance with the main characters here. I think, in the main, this is achieved and achieved well.
I liked the twist on the werewolf trope and the way in which she approached the set-up for what’s going to be a connected set of characters and I liked both Gibson and Zach, the romantic pairing. I loved Ellis, Gibson’s brother, who is really the main focus of this whole story.
The setup for the meet/cute was a brilliant way to open up the book, full of action and giving the reader lots of questions from the off but there was also a fair bit of time when not a lot happened and perhaps a bit too much of the book’s narrative was handed over to the two men dealing with Ellis and his predicament.
I would have liked a bit more actual romance between the two men, their attraction is obvious but we get nothing on page until almost the end of the book and even then, it’s more of a casual reference to the fact they’ve been getting it on. I don’t necessarily need graphic sex scenes but I would like to have an indication that there’s a physical relationship as well as the friendship!
The language, as expected from this author, is beautifully lyrical, descriptive and making full use of all the flowery emoting that is the norm. This book is also very funny as well and I know a few friends have quoted one of the scenes which was a highlight for me too:
Zach’s elbow got caught on his sweatshirt, and Gibson nearly kneed him trying to get his pants down. One of their plates landed on the floor, either hit by Gibson’s foot or possibly Zach’s underwear when it flew off of Gibson’s finger as he twirled it around. There was a brief scramble toward the fireplace, as it appeared one of the couch’s throw pillows was headed straight for the flames when thrown off to make room…
All in all this was a success for me and now I’m wanting to know more about this world, where Ellis goes next, what happens with Pat and more about the fabulous couple Ruth and Martha.
Also – how fabulous is this cover?! I’m not usually one for being attracted to a book just because of the cover, I like to go on the blurb usually, but this one absolutely caught my eye on Dreamspinner’s website when I first saw it.
#ARC kindly provided by the publishers Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review
Pick up your copy of Once Upon A Wolf at Dreamspinner Press.