Author: Missy Welsh
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher Buy Link:
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel (53k words)
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: Too many plots and subplots happening in one book. At least for me, less would have been more.
Two years ago, the small Southern Ohio town of Isherwood seemed to change overnight. Businesses were abandoned or sold and townsfolk just up and moved away. Now, those who were left behind are trying to keep their lives afloat on the hope that things will improve someday.
Finn Webb is one of those people. His construction and remodeling company he runs with his sister is one of the largest employers left in town. He’s felt his world teetering on the edge of failure for so long, that saving an injured dog is a bright spark of life he’s happy to hold onto.
Cas Maine has come to Isherwood because that’s where the road led. He’s tired, hungry and desperate for the acceptance and safety he once had in his birth pack. But crossing into town sees him shifting into his wolf form and unable to shift back. Then he’s hit by a car only to be rescued by his one true mate.
What follows is a series of events where a job outside of town lets Cas and Finn grow closer while also leading to the uncovering of numerous secrets held by several inhabitants of Isherwood. Everyone has a stake in this. And the stakes are high…
I discovered Missy Welsh about a year ago when I read My Summer of Wes, which was wonderful. Whenever I’m impressed by a book, I will try to find out a little bit more about the author and check out their backlist. I noticed right away that Ms. Welsh is originally from Ohio and some of her books are based here. I live in Ohio so it jumped out at me, and she has been on my radar ever since. I was excited to see her name come up on the list of new releases, but I was even more intrigued when I saw Isherwood was a paranormal romance.
Cas is a lone wolf. He was kicked out of his home pack for being gay. The loss of his pack hit him hard and he has been wandering about in search of a place he feels at home. After being run out of another pack’s territory, he stumbles into the town of Isherwood. Unbeknownst to Cas, a strange force inhabits Isherwood which forces all werewolves to shift against their will. Cas is confused, stuck in his wolf form, and in unfamiliar territory when he is struck by a vehicle.
Finn is a born and raised resident of Isherwood. He comes upon what he thinks is an injured dog. He feels an instant connection with the hurt animal and takes it upon himself to rescue the poor creature. Cas, in his wolf form, also feels that connection. He knows it means Finn is his mate, but he’s still stuck in his wolf form. Cas has a big dilemma. He needs to find a way to shift back to human, concoct a way to meet Finn as a human, and then gently break the news of his being a werewolf.
I’m feeling torn in two directions as I try to write a review for Isherwood. There were some things I really enjoyed, and some things I didn’t care for in this story. I enjoyed the romance between Cas and Finn. They were nicely developed characters on their own, and they had good chemistry together. I didn’t like the insta-love when they met in human form or how they jumped from introduction to lip-lock in less than a minute.
The mystery of the dark force in Isherwood was interesting. The dynamics of the packs surrounding the town of Isherwood were also enjoyable. I loved seeing Cas find a welcoming pack after the hostile treatment he endured from other packs he encountered. I didn’t like how much was crammed into the plot. There is the mystery of the dark force, the romance of Cas and Finn, the past trauma of Finn’s nephew, the complicated inter-pack relations, and then a secondary romance. I think this book would have been better served by eliminating some of it, and/or putting the rest of it into a sequel. Having so many different layers disrupted the pace of the story. It felt mashed together and choppy at times.
I did enjoy reading Isherwood even though I had some issues with it. How much did I enjoy it? While I liked this book, I doubt I would be reading a sequel if one was to be written.