by Marisa Chenery, werewolf (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-422-3
Beowulf And Roxie has nothing to do with the recent movie version of Beowulf, in case you're wondering. This one has werewolves and all the "mates" overkill that comes with those hairy beasts.
Roxie Stone is not too excited to be dragged into the club-hopping circuit by her more outgoing buddy Candice but she perks up considerably when she comes into contact with what seems like a hunky bartender in a club called Wulf's Den. I don't know about anyone else, but I will never be caught dead in a club with a name as cheesy as that one. Anyway, that bartender is actually the owner of that club and he's called Beowulf. Poor Roxie manages to trip before crashing onto his chest (don't ask) so the poor dear finds herself being carried into the wolf's lair for some TLC. Before she knows it, the fellow is stalking her - although since he's a werewolf, such behavior is automatically considered romantic - and calling her his "chosen mate". Roxie is at first sane since she tells him that you don't choose mates after knowing someone for only a few hours, but then he shags her and she goes insane. Oh well.
The story is pretty much a chase-and-mate story as Roxie is pursued by Beowulf and she eventually learns all about him and his people. It's a familiar story if you like your werewolf stories. Pack politics, the heroine realizing that she is a very special person indeed, and other possessive males fighting for her - they are all here. The end result is a predictable, often cheesy, and mostly campy read that has its share of moments. Although, come to think of it, most of those moments are due to unintentional comedy.
Ms Chenery may want to fine tune her characters' dialogs though in the future. Beowulf here, for example, comes off like a patronizing old man pretty often when he should be more like an arrogant alpha male. Okay, I know he's quite old (although he doesn't look old, of course), but still, it's quite a mood kill to have the hero sounding like a grandfather intent on lecturing the kids.
All in all, Beowulf And Roxie is an unpolished kind of cheese. It is rather entertaining because it can get hilariously campy at places, so that pushes it a little over the average mark for me. That's a good thing... I think.
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