Hair of the Dog

Title: Hair of the Dog
Author: Ashlyn Kane and Morgan James
Cover Art: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Buy Link Hair of the Dog
Genre: M/M/ Paranormal, Werewolf, Suspense
Length: 250 pages
Rating: 3.75 out 5 rating stars

A Guest Review by Raine

Summary Review: The good build up of unresolved sexual tension was ultimately anti climactic, which spoilt an often entertaining and well written werewolf adventure.

Blurb: It’s nine o’clock the morning after his father’s funeral, and Ezra Jones already knows it’s going to be a bad day. He wakes up hungover, sore, and covered in blood. Then it gets worse: the handsome and compelling Callum Dawson shows up on his doorstep claiming Ezra’s been turned into a werewolf. Ezra wants to be skeptical, but the evidence is hard to ignore.

Ezra doesn’t have a lot of time to get used to the rules Alpha Callum imposes—or the way his body responds to Callum’s dominance—as he’s busily working for the CDC to help uncover the origins of a lycan epidemic. When the sexual tension finally breaks, Ezra barely has time to enjoy it, because a new danger threatens. Someone wants Ezra for their own unscrupulous purposes and will do anything to get him.

Review:

I found this werewolf story rather frustrating as it doesn’t quite fulfill the promise of the first half of the book. There is a great initial set up, good characters and some interesting lycanthropic social detail. This one came across as rather like a community based business with an organised, practical but hierarchical authority structure. The pack was nicely created as a gossipy and mostly warm family group. More unusually for werewolves, it was very contemporary, tolerant of sexual diversity with some interesting attitudes on political correctness.

I thought the main character Ezra was engaging, intelligent and often wryly funny. His take on his changed situation contained about the right balance of shock and resigned rueful acceptance. The pheromone and authoritative tone of voice control system used by Callum, one of the pack’s two Alpha leaders, developed into some fun sexual attraction play- mainly involving uncontrollable erections. This was drawn out a bit too long, but it all added to Ezra’s werewolf learning process as his body’s DNA gradually changed over the few weeks before the next full moon.

The unresolved sexual tension between him and Callum was built up impressively with some real provocative heat. Unfortunately all that foreplay was undoubtably the best part. Feel free to call me kinky but I felt really underwhelmed by the anticlimactic vanilla sex. I tell you -as a commanding sexual Alpha Callum needs lessons in domination, preferably from Killian, my favourite werewolf Dom.

The mystery and suspense based plot was built on the premise of a lupine virus affecting pack alpha’s aggression. Ezra’s transformation was caused by being savaged by an infected werewolf. The investigation of this was nicely developed with Ezra’s useful computer skills, helping him become Callum’s assistant and finding a place within his new pack. Unfortunately the eventual nasty villain of the piece came across as rabidly stereotypical, and I just couldn’t understand why he thought his master-plan was a productive use of his megalomaniac prejudices and/or resources.

The book was delightfully free from most of the cliches that irritate me, and there was some rather good, amusing and understated writing. I also liked the clever chapter titles, starting with The Wolf at the Door ….. I understand the attraction in avoiding stereotypes with this progressive, reformed lycan social code. Yet I felt the the sexual relationship which should have been a real strength in the book was mistakenly subdued to fit more with this ethos- resulting in mixed signals.

I really thought Ezra as a beta werewolf was a lovely mix of the submissive and the sensible. While I also liked Callum he just needed a bit more intensity to carry off the demanding role as a believable sexual dominant. However after a strong first impression Callum kept reverting to a rather conflicted and almost apologetic stance. Personally I feel the term sheepish should never be applied to an Alpha male werewolf. Consequently I decided that this was both an enjoyable and a frustrating read. I have a fascination for this genre and would rate it for my collection as a 4, but I feel that that in deference to the less obsessed reader I should adjust that rating downwards.

14 comments

  • Hey have a question, I keep walking around this one. Are you sure the length is only 76 pages? Dreamspinner has it on amazon for 6.99 – which is usually their price for full novel. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
      • Oh, its nothing, I just did not want people who may want to try it be scared off by mistakenly thinking that it is a shorter story, if it is a factor in their buying decision, you know? The long email is going to you 🙂

        Reply
    • Thanks, Raine, I am adding Thread to my TBR list as soon as I can find a version that is actually readable on my e-reader. Grr, turns out that I already own it but that it is illegible. Hate that.

      Reply
  • Hi Raine,
    great review. I am looking for a good paranormal and your comment about Killian, your favorite dom werewolf made me curious. Where can I read more about him?
    Pat

    Reply
  • I generally liked this one, but as for irritating cliches – I’m getting very tired of shapeshifter novels in which they are being kidnapped to have horrible scientific experiments conducted on them. I’ve been seeing way too much of that lately.

    Nevertheless, I liked the main characters and their relationship.

    Reply
    • Hi Gail

      lucky me- I seem to have missed many of the evil scientist set……I’m clearly not reading enough shifter stuff………

      Talking of descriptive cliches how do you feel about…” ridiculously long eyelashes” while I know Sirius hates ……”pools of green” I liked that there was little or none of that here. 😀

      Reply
  • Hmmm, you know I may like not too aggressive Alpha ;), after all am not a big fan of too pushy Doms in bdsm books, although there is a fine line between not too aggressive and pushover. Let me go and check out the extract. Thanks 🙂 Oh look green balls wear hearts. Thanks Christian.

    Reply
    • I was just thinking that it sounds like I didn’t like things about the book because it wasn’t the book I wanted if you know what I mean…….I hope somebody does and you are my best hope here 😕 ………but it really wasn’t that- I really feel the book started something it didn’t finish……..it twas a tease in fact!

      It is in lots of ways a fun read…….ooh I love the emoticons too. 😀

      Reply
        • I liked it. 4 stars for me. But they obvious bad guy was the worst part for me…very cliched. However the relationship between Ezra and Callum made up for that.

          Reply
          • I’m glad you had a good time- in spite of the stereotype. I dithered about the rating of this one as I said a personal 4 but public 3.75 but it sounds like noone else picked up on what I found most disappointing so perhaps I’ll reverse those ratings! 😕

            Thanks for getting back after you’d read it Lasha. 🙂

            Reply

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