Dylan Warner is an architect; fairly together, responsible, and usually not that reckless. However, one night he meets a guy, fools around, and then that guy turns into a wolf, bites him, and takes off. Next month—oops—Dylan’s a werewolf too. Shit. Dylan is also a responsible member of society, so instead of hanging around in the city of Portland and endangering tons of people, he moves off into the Oregon country so that he can’t hurt anyone when he goes beastie. He gets points for that.
I appreciated the usual jokes about Portlanders: the coffee obsession, Voodoo Doughnuts, and the ones about eccentric folk, and then there were the more subtle jokes, including the one about the two women wanting to build a house together. And the business politics were very Pacific Northwest. Those had me on the floor laughing.
This is a werewolf story, but it struck me as more of a sweet werewolf story, rather than a horror werewolf story. Dylan’s werewolfism is unusual and interesting. At first he’s pretty much unaware of his reality once he turns into a wolf, but then he starts to remember things, and his higher brain is partially able to influence his wolf brain in some situations. Another thing about this novel was that there wasn’t a smattering of other paranormal creatures (yet—this is a series, and I haven’t finished it), such as vampires and zombies.
Chris Nock is Dylan’s neighbor and potential romantic interest, but Dylan doesn’t know if he’s gay, and he’s sort of afraid to get to know anyone, so he’s very reluctant to pursue anything. A lot of the novel is spent in this terrified headspace where Dylan’s worried about his job, affording his new home, keeping the people in his new life safe, and the werewolfism, and then on top of all that he has this guy next door who may or may not be giving him signs that he’s interested in him. It’s too much for Dylan to process, and I totally understood those moments when he seemed a bit denser than you’d hope. Poor dude had a lot going on.
Despite both he and Chris being a little dumb, I really enjoyed their interactions: the TV dinners, the construction work, and the small moments where they seemed to be present with each other and yet completely into their work.
This story is a wonderful paranormal romance, and has some genuinely loveable characters.
I like it when authors have websites that I can snoop around. I learned some interesting tidbits about Fielding: she’s gifted with languages, but has never learned to tie her shoes properly (I say “properly” loosely, because as long as they’re tied, it’s proper enough). Fascinating! She also has a ton of novels published, and maintains a blog, so check out her website:
Beth Brock is a reviewer for DSP and QSF. She enjoys reading, writing, running, family and food, and fills her life with bent bunk. She especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. Her website is http://www.bethbrockbooks.com. You can find her on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/BethBrockBooks.
Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey. http://www.dsppublications.com
Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction. http://www.harmonyinkpress.com