Evangeline Anderson, $2.99
Fantasy Romance, 2021
Big, Bad Wolf is the fourth entry in Evangeline Anderson’s Cougarville series. Cougarville turns out to be the name of a town. However, given that I have not read any previous entries in this series, I assume that this is a series about older women having a thing for younger blokes in fur suits and something tells me that this is the deliberate intention of giving this series such a title in the first place.
Now, you may say, “No, silly, these are real werewolves, not guys in fur suits!” Well, please, these guys are merely wolves when the plot needs them to go all action hero-like. Most of the time these guys are stalkers with big peckers, rendered hot so that we will find such personality traits sexy instead of wanting to call the cops on them.
That’s not what I want to say, though. No, my point is this: why advertise this story as an older woman in a furry convention buffet when the heroine, supposedly fifteen years older than the hero, ends up “rejuvenating” and looking twenty years younger—in other words, she appears five years younger than the hero despite her true biological age? Maybe I’m the wrong kind of audience, as for me, the point of a May-December romance is to turn the age gap into a sexy, romantic selling point of sorts. This one just assumes that, deep inside, older women just yearn to be younger than their hot partners and they will pay Evangeline Anderson a lot of money for stories that whet this fantasy of theirs.
That aside, the best way I can describe this story is, simply: formula. I have not read any recent releases in almost a year, and it’s kind of depressing, really, to realize that things remain the same no matter how much time has passed. The story starts with the heroine remembering her dead partner for no good reason other than to squat over the reader and dump a whole lot of exposition—here, despite having lost her husband seven years ago and having lived in the same old house ever since, she is “suddenly” triggered by sad memories when she unlocks the front door—and it is pretty much everything from Pythagoras to Lora-Leighgolas formulae from there.
Our heroine Nikki Robinson is a schoolteacher. All the better to show off her maternal instincts, of course, so that we all know that her true calling in life is to pop out furry brats. She, naturally, has the magic hoo-hah or in this case, an attractive latent Shifter gene that makes her the prime honeypot of shifters everywhere. Our villain, Mr X, breaks into her place and injects her with a serum designed to activate this gene. Instead of mutating her into a horrifying potato blob-thing, this conveniently enough transforms her into a babe that looks twenty years younger than she actually is. All the better to create a stampede of erect were-whatever phalluses charging at right between her legs, I imagine.
What this leads to is to basically prime Nikki to assume the position for her former student, now detective Jase Saunders. He will now
stalk her watch her non-stop to ensure that she will never be touched by any filthy male always be safe, because the universe has run out of all but one plot lines to effect the homing in on a furry beast hero’s pee-pee into a woman’s hoo-wee. There is also the usual mate-mate-mate stuff because hey, formula.
There is plenty of fantastical jargon here, but in the end, the action fantasy aspects of the story remain mostly confined to the sidelines, like leering readers drooling over the pumping rump of a furry hero as he rogers his destined mate but never really intruding too much into the scene to ruin the sexy moment. For the most part, this is another familiar “Protect me, pump that into me!” story with the added eye-roll stupidity of Nikki whining that she is too old for Jase when that dumb heifer now looks like a supermodel five years younger than him. She comes off like an insecure hag seeking constant assurances that she is young and hot, and that thing barely works in a new adult hot mess, much less a grown-up romance.
In the end, I waver between giving Big, Bad Wolf two oogies and awarding it three instead. From a technical standpoint, it’s alright. It’s readable, no parts of it make me shudder at the horror of it all, and I manage to finish the whole thing in one sitting without any noticeable side effects. On the other hand, it’s also a generic, familiar story in which the world building and fantastical elements feel more like filler fluff to distract me from the fact that I am getting yet another same old, same old in a new kind of wrapper.
What the heck, we all could use more good cheer around this place, so three oogies it is. Folks that want more of that kind of stories will likely be happier off with this than I end up being. After all, it is exactly what they think they will be getting.