Title: Camp H.O.W.L (Camp H.O.W.L. #1)
House Line: Dreamspun Beyond #7
Author: Bru Baker
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 1st 2017
Genre(s): M/M Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 238 pages
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….
When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.
Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.
A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge.
Blurb sums up the premise of the story quite accurately, so I won’t rehash.
This was an enjoyable, slightly different take on the “Mate” aspect in paranormal/werewolf/shifter stories with the idea of Moonmates. That for some wolves, there might be a perfect complement somewhere in the world. It’s a special, rare bond, that every other werewolf couple seems to have.
There we have my first tiny complaint – this Moonmate is legendary, rare, and unusual, yet I think there were at least three other couples mentioned as having the bond (not including/counting Tate’s father).
Rareness aside, I liked the romantic dance between Adrian and Tate. Tate, counselor, understands the hormonal and emotional dynamics of a first Turn like nobody else. I appreciated how the author drew on that werewolf psychology when Tate was called on to work with Adrian. Tate knows how wolflings (I liked that term so much better than ‘Pups’) can form attachments during this time, all his training and experience understands the see-saw effect, but yet, he isn’t prepared for the growing attraction to Adrian.
What I also appreciated was the relatively slow (it was a month) evolution into coupledom. One of my biggest complaints with shifter books is the immediate declaration of “MATE!” and then they screw like little bunnies the rest of the book. Again, the author adroitly avoided this trope and we had a romantic dance that involved chats with other camp counselors to gain advise and personality insight.
Where I became a bit impatient with Tate and Adrian was in some of the repetitive conversations or repeated concepts. Several times I was muttering, “we already said this!”
As I noted, I did enjoyed this story as the author avoided some overused shifter tropes. Camp H.O.W.L was an interesting idea (tho why only for rich wolves kinda bothered me) and Tate and Adrian’s romance was nicely spooled out within the parameters of the camp setting.
Overall, a sweet and refreshing read about finding – and accepting – ones soul mate.