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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Camwolf by J.L. Merrow

Camwolf by J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemp
Length: Full Length (150 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

To save his lover, he must become his own worst nightmare.

Dr. Nick Sewell. Non-conformist. Werewolf. The first puts him at odds with his colleagues’ idea of how an All Saints College lecturer should behave. The second, bestowed upon him by an ex-boyfriend, puts him at odds with himself.

There’s his tendency to change into a wolf on the full moon. And his visceral attraction to Julian Lauder, a troubled young German student. Despite his determination not to act on his desire, Nick’s brutal response to seeing Julian with another man frightens them both. At first.

Then Nick learns that Julian is not only a naturally submissive werewolf, but one who has learned better how to deal with just being a werewolf. That explains the attraction, but it doesn’t make it any easier when the tables are turned, and Julian—once the student—is now teaching Nick…who still isn’t happy about conforming to the “werewolf way”.

Meanwhile, reports of a strange wolf stalking the town barely register on Nick’s radar—until Julian disappears. Accusing eyes—both wolf and human—are turned toward Nick. Even with the help of friends, hope is growing as cold as the kidnapper’s trail. Unless Nick gives free rein to the wolf’s inhuman power…

Grad student teachers are never supposed to have a crush on their students, even if the cute boy isn’t technically *his* student. That’s the dilemma haunting Nick. Not only is he a werewolf, which cuts down on potential boyfriends to begin with, but he’s got a terrible crush on freshman Julian. Knowing that Julian is too young and likely not interested Nick tries to put his feelings behind him. But when Julian reveals he’s also a werewolf but with a dangerous past, Nick is torn between wanting to protect the young man and walk away. The choice may be the hardest Nick has ever had to make.

Camwolf is an intense and interesting werewolf tale that definitely stands out from the pack. The story is somewhat familiar – two werewolves get together but are haunted by abuse from an earlier pack. The difference is of course the writing and the characters. Both men feel real and genuine as they struggle with their past and present. Julian is quirky, flawed, interesting, and definitely an easy scene stealer while Nick’s more gradual change is subtle but as important. Together they make a compelling couple with good chemistry and a lot of romance. The sex scenes especially are well handled and hot enough to make you squirm.

The story moves along quickly with good characters all around. The solid supporting players definitely add a lot to the story, so much in fact one of the secondary characters, Julian’s best friend, shares narrating duty with Nick. Julian never actually has a narrative voice, though he definitely has a lot to say in the story. Instead he’s seen through others’ eyes, which makes for a different kind of story. I think it mostly works and works well here but may not be to all readers’ tastes.

For those shapeshifter fans this is a must read. It’s intense, engaging, and never lets your attention waiver. Even those romance fans that are not always big on werewolves will appreciate the great writing, smooth style and interesting story. It’s an easy one to recommend.

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