Anna had no idea werewolves existed until three years ago, when she was attacked by one. She survived, more from innate stubbornness than from anything to look forward too. Since she healed from the attack, she’s spent the intervening time learning that werewolves are monsters, and the more dominant a wolf is, the more she’ll want to forget any encounter with him afterwards. Her pack spent the three years violently teaching her her place, and feminism has NOT hit them yet.
But last weekend there was a power change in her pack. A lot of people she isn’t going to mourn died. The enforcer who did the killing, (who specifically was able to kill the alpha because he’s even more dominant,) tells her their wolves have decided they’re mated, and he asked her to come home with him. And she went, maybe not even for the usual keeping-her-head-down ways. Now Anna and Charles have to get to know each other, and also oh, btw, ancient evil is prowling around in the woods, maybe you should look into that before it eats your soul.
Okay, this is a romance, no denying. And I liked it. I could actually track emotional developments, and I could identify with the characters’ romantic interest. As I believe I’ve mentioned, this hardly ever happens. But I liked following along with Charles learning not to glare at his girl, and Anna learning she’s allowed to be bossy when her man is gonna HURT himself cause he won’t let himself HEAL. *exasperated sigh and pushes him around*
Within Patricia Briggs’ world-building, werewolves deal with being basically two people in one changeable body. The human and the wolf. The wolf is generally not the peaceful one with the relationship. Which is why, given that they barely know each other, both the angry, defiant and damaged little girl and the super powerful hitman everyone’s scared of are rather disconcerted by their wolves’ interest in curling up and snuggling around the other person.
And in this book, the snuggling was what interested me. (Sigh, I really am a girl, aren’t I? Drat.) It was just sweet! And yes, this is a “sweet” romance, not “steamy.” Which is possibly why I also liked it. I could enjoy following the emotional arc without having to go “AUGH, I”M TOO YOUNG,” and there was more focus on building friendship, instead of half the book being depictions of body parts and how there’s heightened blood flow. Which really, you know, I’m just not that interested.
There was an actual plot, beyond making friends with each other, and I did approve of how it ended. For me, it was more of a vehicle for the making-of-friends than a key player, so I’m not gonna deal with it. Because of my somewhat “meh” reaction to the plot, I gave it three stars out of five.