Title: Once Upon a Wolf
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 16, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 96
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Once Upon A Time, There Was A Wolf….
Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.
For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.
Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.
Zach is walking through the woods on a freezing day when he suddenly encounters a wolf. Scared he runs away, only to be chased by the wolf. And that’s how Zach ends up in the freezing lake.
When Zach wakes up he learns he is rescued by Gibson, who is living in a cabin in the woods. Gibson is living there with his….. wolf? Except when there is a thunder Zach sees that wolf changing into a man and into a wolf again.
Gibson is living in his family’s remote cabin because he needs to solitude to take care of his brother, Ellis. Ellis came back from the war a wolf and refuses to turn back.
Now that Zach knows about their werewolf secret. Gibson lets him stay there for a few days to recover…
I never really got into this. In some books the way we learn about characters is done right. I love books where I learn a great deal about a character or what’s going on in one single sentence. This was not such a book.
I felt confused when things were mentioned in a way that made me feel as if I’ve already should have known about it. Sometimes that works in books. Not here. It made me feel disconnected and standing on the sidelines instead of in the middle of the scene.
Like we only get told at 40 or 50% that Zach bought the Inn nearby and that’s why he was walking through the woods. It was so weird to learn that so late in the book and it was told in a way like I should have been aware of it all along. I know this is a short book but it still felt very late.
Even the relationship was handled that way. I still can’t figure out how Gibson knew Zach was gay. It is never mentioned and they both kind of assumed but never said it out loud. Same with the attraction. I did not found out they were attracted to each other with the way they talked to each other. They never acted flirty, or said anything to make the other person aware there were feelings.
That’s why it was a huge surprise that we suddenly get told there have been kisses. Yes, there is a peck on the lips on page, but after that it is mentioned in passing that they are now kissing. Oooookay…. And then we got the I love yous. Without any relationship building whatsoever I was stunned they were already at that level.
I don’t think Rhys Ford’s writing style and I mesh very well (even though I loved her Cole McGinnis series).