Taking risks, especially risks of the handsome male variety, is currently out of the question for Sydney Reid. She will make no exceptions for tall, gorgeous Derrick Porter. Never date a player-it’s rule number one in Sydney’s book, and the charming lawyer constantly devouring her with his eyes is every inch the reason. Despite her best efforts to keep Derrick in the friend zone, sparks fly between the two of them, and Sydney isn’t entirely sure she wants to throw water on the flames.
Can Derrick convince the shy, sexy Sydney to give him a chance, something more than her elusive “maybe”? More importantly, should he? Derrick has a few secrets, the least shocking secret being that he can transform at will into a powerful wolf. He’s still trying to forgive himself for being at the wheel during the accident that killed his son. Losing Sydney when she learns the truth might break him, but he’s pretty sure not having her would be just as bad.
And with an obsessed stalker on their tails, more than their hearts are at issue.
I really like paranormal romance. I like reading about characters and their relationships and emotions all with the added benefit of some kickass world building and the supernatural. I think that the best paranormal romances are those whose main focus is still the relationships and the growth of the characters as people in spite of the fact that they may drink blood, have super strength or go furry once in a while. Some of my favourite authors, Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh for example, do this particularly well.
The first few chapters of this book drew me in immediately as the focus was on the characters and their internal struggles. There’s a prologue that hints at a tragedy in the hero’s past that shapes his internal conflicts. There’s not as much dedicated to the heroine’s past at first but her history of some very bad luck with past relationships slowly unfolds and it becomes clear why she’s so gun shy when it comes to relationships.
I really liked the first half of the book. I loved the “meet cute” of the hero and heroine via a well-meaning matchmaking friend who also happens to be a coach of a running club so both of them are forced to run/train for a race. I enjoyed the focus on the characters and how they fought and then gave in to their attraction all the while sweating and forcing their legs to go that extra mile. Given my own love/hate/love relationship with exercise I really like reading about other people (fictional or otherwise) suffering through it as well.
The dialogue was natural and not stilted and the tension build up in the first part of the book was done really well. It read like a really interesting contemporary where the main character happened to turn furry once in a while instead of the paranormal elements being the focal point to the detriment of the story.
However, I did feel that the book did take a turn somewhere in the middle into crazy town. I like a certain amount of crazy sauce in my books as I love escapism but I did feel that there were one too many elements inserted into the plot that the book could have done without and it would have streamlined the book a bit and kept the focus on the relationship between Sydney and Derrick. There were also chapters that were told from the point of view of the antagonist and this is never my favourite thing to read- but that is just a personal taste for me and does not reflect at all on the writing of the author.
All in all I liked the book and I really liked the first few chapters. I would definitely read this author’s work again because I liked her characters and the way she writes dialogue. Given my different reactions to the different parts of the book I feel that I need to give two ratings. I’d give the first half of the book a B and the second half a C.
Note: I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review