Once Upon a Wolf (Belen’s Review)

Title: Once Upon a Wolf (Wayward Wolves #1)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 16th 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 96 Pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Wayward Wolves: Book One

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.

Once Upon a Wolf is the first novella of the Wayward Wolves series, it’s pretty fluffy for Rhys Ford, and she has assured readers that all of the books in the series will “fit” into one another.

I really liked all of the characters, and there’s a sweet HEA to be found at the end, but I wish more time had been spent on the romantic relationship development. I didn’t mind that this is sort of a low steam romance, but not really slow burn, because there’s an instant connection between Gibson and Zach.

I just feel like right now, here with you, I’m not alone anymore,” Zach whispered, his voice trailing off. “I felt alone in a crowd of people, in a house full of my family and friends, but here in a cabin barely big enough to hold two humans and a wolf, I feel like you see me, you hear me, and I’m not just shouting in the darkness hoping I won’t disappear.

Don’t get me wrong – I thought what romance is there is very sweet, but so much time is spent on Gibson’s brother, Ellis, who suffers from PTSD and handled it by going wolf for years, that while there’s palpable love between the brothers, and a real connection that can be felt, I missed that connection for Gibson and Zach.

There’s less time spent on romance and more time spent on the rehabilitation of Ellis, so because this is quite short at just over 90 pages that made it really difficult to explore the relationship between Gibson and Zach as much as I craved.

“I love you,”…“I cannot live without you.”
“Well, that works out, then,” he murmured back, tightening his hold on Gibson, refusing to let go. “Because I can’t live without you either, and I love you so much, I want to spend my life making you smile.”

There’s definitely quite a bit of world-building, which was interesting and has me hooked for more, but there were some things left unexplained that I wanted more information about (i.e.: Martha – where does her training come from? What happened to Brown?).

Hopefully we’ll get to know the characters more as the series progresses, and I’ll get some answers for my burning questions, but I’m excited to see where Rhys Ford is taking the series next.

Wayward Wolves Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Once Upon a Wolf (Wayward Wolves #1) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I’m happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand.
I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I’m in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA!

My biggest no-no’s are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my “Favorite M/M” stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future

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