Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Forever Werewolf by Michele Hauf #review

Title: Forever Werewolf: Forever Werewolf/Moon Kissed
Author: Michele Hauf
Publisher: Harlequin, 2012

If stock-standard paranormal romance is your kind of thing, then this two-in-one special featuring the writing of Michelle Hauf will most likely be your cuppa joe.

The first novel, Forever Werewolf, is the story of Trystan, whose mixed race means he’s always been considered an outsider among his own kind – werewolves. With a vampire mother, and a half-vamp/werewolf father, Trystan protests a lot that he’s no “longtooth” as his race is wont to name vampire-kind. Enter Alexis, who’s rare for her breed – a female werewolf. Which basically means she and her sister are cosseted to within an inch of their lives, and there’s no way in hell daddy’s going to let her date someone unsuitable.

And due to his heritage, Trystan is very much unsuitable.

Of course the chemistry between the two is undeniable, even though Alexis pulls a spot of tsundere. Throw in a few dark secrets which create minor obstacles for the characters, and a mystery related to solving the illness of the pack leader’s father, and you’ve got the basics for what’s primarily a heated coming together between the two protagonists.

I’d have liked to have seen a little more depth in the world-building with this one. The setting is very much French/Alpine, yet the characters’ names and outlooks are all very much Americanised, which struck me as a little odd, because this was a prime opportunity to add extra dimension with an international flavour.

Moon Kissed brings the werewolf Severo into the up and until then relatively uneventful life of Bella, who’s passionate about dancing. Severo is very much the loner/alpha type, and Bella’s used to living according to her own terms – so to have this overbearing male insert himself into her world is quite an adjustment, to say the least, and a transition that is anything but smooth.

At times I found Severo’s alpha personality a bit too overbearing, and felt that Bella gave in to his attentions a tad bit too easily. [WARNING] Later, some of the sexual encounters went a bridge too far with my sensibilities when it comes to shifted werewolf-on-human intercourse. The fault most likely lies with the reader, but it honestly *did* make me uncomfortable.

If I have to compare the two books, I can see a definite improvement on Hauf’s early writing compared to her newer offering. A concern that I have with both novels, however, is that they’re a bit light on plot development but have to concede for what they are – erotic paranormal romance – that this in all likelihood wouldn’t provide a stumbling block for the target readership. Hauf has populated her world with a large cast of characters and has clearly put a lot of thought into the rules applying to her supernaturals. At times she could do with a bit more developmental editing but overall delivers a perfectly enjoyable paranormal tale for lovers of perennial favourites – vampires and werewolves.

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