"The Wolf at Bay," by Charlie Adhara
Paranormal Gay (M/M) Romance
Going home digs up bad memories, so it’s something Bureau of Special Investigations agent Cooper Dayton tries to avoid. When he’s guilted into a visit, Cooper brings along Oliver Park, his hot new werewolf partner, in the hopes the trip will help clarify their status as a couple…or not.
When Park’s keen shifter nose uncovers a body in the yard and Cooper’s father is the prime suspect, Cooper knows they’re on their own. Familial involvement means no sanctioned investigation. They’ll need to go rogue and solve the mystery quietly or risk seeing Cooper’s dad put behind bars.
The case may be cold, but Park and Cooper’s relationship heats up as they work. And yet if Cooper can’t figure out what’s going on between them outside of the bedroom, he’ll lose someone he… Well, he can’t quite put into words how he feels about Park. He knows one thing for sure: he’s not ready to say goodbye, though with the real killer inching ever closer…he may not have a choice.
You know those nights where you aren’t quite tired enough to fall asleep so you decide to read a chapter before you nod off? Sometimes it works, and off into dreamland I go, riding on a happy cloud of fictional character tomfoolery to spice up my night's rest. (Or, ya know, so I hope. Depends on the story. And the chapter. And the author. 🤣)
Other times… yeah, y’all know what I’m about to say. We’ve all been there. Those nights where that one chapter turns into two… which turns into three… then the next thing you know the morning birds are squawking their heads off and sunlight is piercing through your closely drawn curtains, attempting to burn your vampiric readerly eyeballs.
Yep, you guessed it, this week’s read was one of those. Carina Press’ The Wolf at Bay, by Charlie Adhara, sucked me in so hard I forgot to pee. Literally. I vaguely remember thinking somewhere around the middle my bladder was angry, but I didn’t pry my butt outta bed until I hit “The End” several hours later. Reading can be a cruel mistress, can it not?
Now, it must be said: I’m not the biggest fan of paranormal stories. A book in that genre has to be done really, really well or I get cringe-face while I read. That’s not to say I haven’t adored many a paranormal romance (PNR), but they tend to get a little less leeway from me. They gotta give it their all and maybe just a little bit more or I can’t claim fandom.
That being said… shall I remind you how this post began? Yep. The Wolf at Bay is a werewolf PNR that did its genre such exceptional justice, I stayed up all night without a single bathroom break. I, quite simply, devoured this bad boy.
I discovered, after doing a touch of investigation, this is book two in the series Big Bad Wolf. The whole reason I did research is because I had a feeling it was part of a series based on the way previous events were discussed as if I already knew about them. I feel like it does a decent job of acting as a standalone novel, with a satisfactory HEA, but I kept getting that twinge of recognition I was missing out on something. I’m definitely gonna pick up book one, entitled The Wolf at the Door, and fill myself in on the missing pieces, but guess what? My research also showed this isn’t just a sequel… it’s a book two of at least three.
No lies, y'all... I about died when I realized there’s a third book coming out April 2019. If I had a calendar that stretched that far out, you best believe it would be marked. I’m not sure where Ms. Adhara is going to take things after the quite satisfying HEA feel of this book’s end, but that just makes me even more desperate to read and find out!
Another aspect of this book I was surprised to discover did not bother my delicate readerly sensibilities was its use of single POV. In my romance, I like to get into both character’s heads. I often feel cheated if I only see one side of the story, which is one of the reasons I’m not the biggest fan of first person… unless it’s dual POV first, then I’m more agreeable. 🤣 However, it worked for this story. Really, really well. In fact, had it been in dual, it would have destroyed some of the tension and buildup that made it so enjoyable.
I applaud the author for making a staunch dual POV supporter walk away from a single POV book thinking, “Okay, that really couldn’t’ve been written any other way.” Kudos to you, kid.
I’m not going to touch much on the plot because seriously… y’all should just read this for yourselves. I went into it blind and regret nothing. All I’m gonna say is this… one of the characters—the love interest of our MC—is a werewolf. A fantastically handled werewolf that induced absolutely zero cringes from an easily cringe-able PNR reader. Oh, and there’s a twenty-five-year-old murder mystery with a fun and well managed investigation spearheading the main, non-romance plot. 👍
Overall, I would recommend this to just about anyone who enjoys a good read, but most especially male/male romance lovers, PNR addicts, werewolf fanatics, and murder mystery enthusiasts.
So… for rizzle, what are you waiting for? The Wolf at Bay is available for pre-order or can be purchased for immediate enjoyment on or after its release date, September 24, 2018! (In the meantime, you should totally get book one, The Wolf at the Door. Haven’t read it yet, but I can pretty much guarantee it’ll be worth your time. Just sayin’.)
Until next time,