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Friday, September 23, 2011

Lone Wolf by Shelley Munro

Lone Wolf by Shelley Munro
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (137 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

When you fall out of step, that’s when everything falls into place.

R.J. Blake begins a new session tutoring young werewolves in the old ways—before the introduction of the shift-suppressing drugs that allow their kind to live secretly among humans. He expects nothing out of the ordinary. Until sexy, smart, aggravating-as-hell Corey Wilson arrives. Older than the others, son of a powerful Los Angeles pack leader, Corey is an instant temptation he cannot afford.

The last thing Corey wants is three months stuck in the Yellowstone wilderness, followed by the stifling life his father has all mapped out for him. One glimpse of R.J., though, sparks a determination to seduce the older man before he leaves. Yet as R.J. guides him through the sometimes terrifying process of rediscovering his heritage, a deepening respect calls to his artistic soul and fuels a burst of creativity.

When their time comes to an end, Corey senses hesitation behind R.J.’s insistence that theirs was simply a summer fling. Inspiring him to take a leap of faith with consequences neither of them saw coming. A dangerous plot that reaches from the heart of their love to the highest office in the land…

Werewolves falling in love when the odds are against them is always a good draw. Add secrets, lies and a conspiracy and a reader is in for a suspenseful treat.

The main focus of this latest story by the talented Ms. Munro is about two mismatched men who find each other quite by accident. What follows is a gripping and dramatic tale of heartache, revelations and hope. There’s also a lot of danger and the reason knocked my socks off. I figured out part of it towards the end but so much more was going on that neither hero had an inkling of just how far the twisted ambition would reach.

Corey, one of the heroes, does an amazing amount of growth during the course of the book. In fact, he is the one that carries the story. From city Goth boy to man, from hurt puppy to avenging wolf, Lone Wolf encompasses it all. I also liked how his dialogue changed as he did as well as his outlook and his reaction to things. He starts off passive-aggressive and ends up being a man who stands up for his beliefs, his dreams and the man he intends to be. Eventually, there’s a lot to respect in his character.

R. J. is a totally different story. He’s already a man’s man – sure in his skin, his place in life and who and what he is. What really threw him for a loop was Corey. The young hero makes R.J. sit up and take notice of all the things that lack in his life but because he’s older, he is afraid that what he wants in impossible. Plus, Corey inadvertently makes R. J. face a demon from his past. Talk about angst.

As with most romances, the protagonists tend to reason out and justify why they should succumb to their desires. They come up with all sorts of reasons to make it fly, calling it a vacation fling, scratching the itch or getting it out of their system. That never ever works and it continues to hold true for R.J. and Corey. They do fall in love and it’s tragic that they have to hide it, fight it and deny it. Oh, the torture! Made for great reading.

When Corey and R.J. get together, it’s a howling good time. Ms. Munro once again creates scenes that make the pages steam yet a reader always is provided that emotional connection that makes everything more poignant, more powerful and more relevant. That being said, there is one scene where they consummate their attraction totally in wolf form. It didn’t bother me at all because it fit and made sense. But just in case there are some readers who, no matter how well done or how much it fits with the story, will give this type of scene a wide berth, be forewarned to skip that part and read all the rest. Because the entire story has value to a romance reader due to its having heroes that have to fight for their love to survive. It’s classic.

The editing was perfect, the dialogue provided clear insight into Corey and R.J. and the antics at Yellowstone were entertaining and hot – and I’m not talking about Old Faithful. The secondary characters contributed important motivation at times for much of the plot movement. My favorite is Teague and a reader will find out why when they read the book. Hal reminded me of a retired John Wayne. As for Corey’s mom, well, I felt so bad for him. She’s not what I’d hope she be at all. So sad, so clueless. My least favorite secondary characters were Hal’s ‘cousins’. There was something about how they were written that didn’t quite fit with the flow of everything. I understood that they were necessary to the conflict. Emma’s character confused me because it seemed like she was more than just what I read. I wish I could be more specific. Probably it’s just me and other readers will have no issues. That’s the beauty of books.

Lone Wolf is a suspenseful and dramatic story of two men who fall in love even though the truth could tear them apart. It shows that opposites do attract and love doesn’t recognize werewolf-made boundaries and unnatural measures that try to stop nature. It’s a well thought out and crafted tale that balances sexy hotness for the heart with suspenseful intrigue for the mind. Paranormal romance readers are in for a great read when they pick up their own copy of Lone Wolf.

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