Title: Lone Wolf
Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 9th 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 230
Reviewed by: Kristin F.
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Jackson Lewis isn’t a typical werewolf. He isolates himself in a small town outside Spokane and dedicates himself to making his business—Lone Wolf Brewery—a success. If it leaves him little time for romance, he’s okay with that. His soul mate could be out there somewhere, but he isn’t actively looking.
So he’s in for quite the shock when he literally bumps into his soul mate—Leo Gallagher, an adorable, nerdy, vibrant music therapist who’s Jackson’s polar opposite.
But he’s human. And a man.
Jackson is straight—or at least he’s always assumed so. Though he can’t deny his attraction to Leo, it’s a lot for both of them to deal with.
While Jackson and Leo figure out what their future might hold, they face prejudice from both the human and werewolf communities—including a group of fanatics willing to kill to show humans and werewolves don’t belong together.
I enjoyed this shifter romance because it was very unlike so many other werewolf books I have read. Definitely “unconventional”, and I appreciated that. I liked it quite a bit.
Jackson is a werewolf who just wants to be left alone to brew his beer. Leo is a music therapist at a local hospital. A chance encounter brings Man and Wolf together, where Jackson discovers Leo is his Soul Mate. While revered as a special and cherished bond, the fact that Leo is a man and human has both shifter society and humans upset.
I want to applaud Ms. Martin for approaching the whole “mate” (in this case “soul mate”) trope from a completely different angle. Instead of the usual declaration of “MATE!” and pages of passionate sex, the need and drive to mark in livid bruises that said partner has been claimed, we have trepidation, concern, and no small amount of emotional angst. Jackson did NOT expect to find a mate, much less a mate that was male. The scene with him researching gay sex was just…perfect. For myself, the tentative dating and “get to know” was a welcome change.
This is set in Spokane, WA, where “supposedly” shifters and humans have a better relationship that elsewhere in the world. But, as we find out through the eyes of Jackson and Leo, not quite the case. Each man is confronted with their societal and friend expectations of what is “acceptable”. So while wolves are out in society, it’s not entirely a comfortable affair. I thought Ms. Martin did an excellent job of showing that discomfort from both a human and wolf viewpoint.
*I* appreciated Jackson’s and Leo’s best friends support and detested it. Both sets of friends individually wanted Jackson and Leo to be happy and find love and happy every after…but NOT with Jackson/Leo. It was an interesting dichotomy: friend/brother/sister/parent expressing their wishes for Jackson/Leo to not be alone, but only if its with someone they approve of. Where I grew to detest this feeling was the fact that BOTH Jackson and Leo were faced with this expressed emotion. In the overall scheme of the story, it was too much. One set of friends would have been adequate.
A couple of detraction’s: I didn’t like how Jackson blew up at Leo when he realized Leo was wearing Human Protection League bracelet. It was over the top, but I suppose necessary to the plot in some degrees. Still, didn’t like it.
Leo’s friend Mitch – at first I liked his flamboyant sassy-pants attitude, but his personality switched partway through the book and there was less “wolf” and more “ass”.
I could keep rambling on about this story, but I’ll draw to a close. *I* enjoyed this because it was different: there was a struggle to form a relationship, it wasn’t insta-love and pages of bruising sex (thankfully), and in their own way, Leo and Jackson were going to make it work. So if you are looking for a non-standard paranormal/werewolf shifter book with two people trying to come to terms with themselves, you might like this one.
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