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Monday, May 23, 2011

Long Lonely Howl by Lyn Gala



Long Lonely Howl by Lyn Gala
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (170 Pages)
Other: M/M, Ménage, M/M/M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Although Casey Keller loves his life as a YMCA counselor, making a difference in the lives of inner-city kids, his personal life is a mess. He loves Adam, his live-in boyfriend, but he can't deal with him. He misses Nathan, an old lover and current friend, but there's a distance between them Casey can't overcome. He’s starting to fear that he's the one constantly ruining any chance he has for happiness. But life is about to change: a trip to the California mountains to escape the pressures of city life will introduce him to a world he never knew existed, where creatures out of mythology and fiction roam and men run in packs.

Lyn Gala has written a story of love, trust and secrets.

Casey is happy working with the disadvantaged boys at the local YMCA in Los Angeles. He’s proud of the progress some of the boys have made, and delighted when two of ‘his boys’ get college scholarships based on academics. And he’s very comfortable staying safe in his nice snug ‘closet’. He knows he couldn’t do his job, working with boys, if it became known he’s gay.

This causes a lot of friction between Casey, and his current lover, Adam, an over the top art student who pushes the limits at every turn. Casey realizes that Adam is not his type, and that he really doesn’t see a future with Adam. Only one man has ever really rocked his world, and that man has chosen to maintain a strictly platonic relationship with Casey.

Nathan is a forest ranger, and welcomes Casey and the boys for day trips up to the mountain, but keeps Casey at arms length-until one fateful day when Casey shows up on the mountain unannounced, looking for some peace after the nasty breakup with Adam. He gets so much more than he ever bargained for, when he encounters Vince in the woods. Vince believes Casey is like him, and Casey suddenly learns of the existence of werewolves, a reality he was not ready to accept.

When Nathan explains things to Casey, he encourages Casey to move far away, for his own safety as well as for the safety of Nathan’s small pack of three ‘misfit’ wolves. But Casey realizes that Nathan is ‘the one’ and tries to convince Nathan to turn him so they can be together. Can Casey convince Nathan he wants this? Does Nathan even want Casey or is it one-sided attraction? Can Casey pass the control challenge necessary to prove he’s ready?

Ms. Gala has created a world filled with sympathetic characters, each with their own desires and all with secrets and doubts. None of her characters are perfect, but all are extremely likable. Who wouldn’t love a werewolf with a summer cold and insecurities? I liked that she set her story, not in some out of the way municipality, but in and around Los Angeles. I also liked that although she has four hot guys, each has his own insecurities to overcome.

Casey is, if not happy, at least content to be in the closet. He loves working with the boys who need his guidance, and knows it would change if his lifestyle were exposed. He realizes that his choice of Adam as a lover was a rebound from his one night of heaven with Nathan, but just doesn’t have the energy to say the words to make the split. I liked Casey’s dedication to his boys at the YMCA, and his determination to be there to keep them moving forward.

Nathan is alpha of his tiny pack of three, and very lonely. He realized after one night of passion with Casey, that it could be more, but Casey is human and knows nothing of his life. He is determined to protect Casey from the darker side, the part of his life he shares with only two others: Vince, the newly turned wolf, and Amadi, the African wolf with a secret past. Nathan knows Casey is his mate, but hesitates to turn him, fearing Casey may not survive the change. I love his protective nature, willing to sacrifice his happiness to protect the man he is growing to love.

This is a story of finding ‘the one’ regardless of gender or species. It is a love story, sweet and tender at times, with two people learning about each other: what pleases them and what they have endured and survived to become the men they are now. It is also a hot and sexy adventure with an alpha and a stubborn ‘meed’, both wanting the same thing-each other. I enjoyed the passion here, and would love to read the stories of the rest of Nathan’s small but interesting pack in the future. What is a ‘meed’, you ask? You’ll need to read Long Lonely Howl to find out.

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