New Concepts Publishing, $5.99, ISBN 1-58608-993-5
Fantasy Romance, 2006
Adam considered her insight. A heaviness in his chest lightened. Maybe Paul had tossed him from the nest, so to speak, in the only way he knew how. Paul Sheppard was a sink or swim kind of guy.
“I thought that after I cleared out Garrick and his ilk, I’d take the boys back with me.”
“Instead, he worked out a way so that you were obligated to stay here. I think your title fits you, Father Wolf. I’d bet he thought so, too.”
“He’s my father.”
Her surprise prompted him to explain.
“He didn’t raise me. My mother married a man, a psychic, named William Weis. Will’s my dad. Paul Sheppard is …” Adam made a loopy gesture with one hand. He crossed back to the bed and sat on the edge. If he didn’t finish this he’d go insane.
“As proposals go, I’m sure this one sucks.” He took her hand.
“Listen before you say no again. You give us something that is missing. Hope, I think. The boys need someone who cares enough to make birthday cakes and cookies. To fuss at them when their clothes are wrinkled.”
He was right, the proposal sucked.
Good lord! Have you ever felt like you just ran a triathlon after reading a book? Just look at this excerpt. It’s supposed to be the tender moment in the book where our hero tells the girl of his dreams his desire to be her mate. Unfortunately it gets distracted half way through and starts providing, for no reason I can determine, exposition on stuff we read earlier about Adam. I still can not figure out how any of it helped him in expressing his current intentions with Diana.
I really wanted to like this book. The hero Adam seemed very much the alpha with a heart of gold. He has proven he is all badass after having killed the bad guys that were abusing the cubs and had violently killed his ex-fiance but the big softy then went about raising this mangy group of disturbed teenage werewolves on his own. That was sort of a touching and unique and interesting story line and it immediately worked to grab my attention and buy all three books.
The author also went about world building with a vengeance creating the heroine Diana being this quirky psychic chick with a quirky psychic teenage daughter and Mack the quirky ex-military sidekick. Fun stuff, although I started to cringe with all the other were-whatever-characters. Why do people do that? Just a few were-animals per world keeps it magic and special… Too much and it is not special anymore.
The problem was the author did not know where to stop or how to edit. So we have here, from what I could tell, about two and a half major plot lines stuffed into one book.
There is Adam raising the cubs and meeting Diana and there is the coyote delinquents trying to confront and run off the young werewolf pack. That had potential to be different, not many stories about coming of age werewolf teenagers growing up in a pack. There was the old psycho greasy werewolf hunter putting our heroine and her daughter in danger. That might have been OK for a run of the mill short story but at least the characters are interesting. Then there was Mack, Adam’s human sidekick, who secretly wants to be a werewolf and the two stray biker wolves that show up out of nowhere wanting to join the pack and all the pack politics that Adam our hero has to deal with without blowing a gasket.
There are also several big confrontations, two happening at the same time, confusing actions and diffusing any chance of suspense building clearly towards any sort of goal. Was there really a justifiable need for Diana to have to be dramatically attacked and healed twice in one book? Was there a need to rehash the old psycho werewolf hunter plot on top of the big territorial challenge? You could see how the writer was running into problems when we kept switching between two separate confrontations going back and forth head hopping so badly it caused me to lose track of who was doing what to whom and where.
This book has some great potential, fun characters and lots of thought went into them in fact I keep thinking a great editor would make the whole series shine. I only wish the story was more simplified down to maybe two plots with an effort to focus on the struggle with the coyotes and this crazy pack of teenagers, not to mention their father Adam along with Mack and Diana.
Grade D for distracting and disappointing because there is so much here I really want to like.