Publisher: Dreamspinner Press May 2013
Blurb: Werewolves don’t have a how-to manual—nor do men embarking on a new life together.
It’s been a few weeks since Dylan Warner wolfed out and killed Andy, the crazed werewolf who originally turned him and later tried to murder Chris Nock. Architect Dylan and handyman Chris are still refurbishing Dylan’s old house as they work out the structure of their relationship. They come from very different backgrounds, and neither has had a long-term lover before, so negotiating their connections would be challenge enough even if Dylan didn’t turn into a beast once a month.
To make matters worse, Dylan’s house is haunted, and events from both men’s pasts are catching up with them. Dylan has to cope with the aftermath of killing Andy, and Chris continues to suffer the effects of a difficult childhood.
In his quest to get rid of the ghost, Dylan rekindles old friendships and faces new dangers. At the same time, Chris’s father makes a sudden reappearance, stirring up old emotions. If Dylan and Chris want to build a lasting relationship, they’ll have to meet these challenges head-on.
Review: The first question you have to ask yourself is, “Did I read Good Bones?” If you didn’t, stop. Go back, scrounge up some leftover latte money and get that one. Read it and come back.
You read it? Okay, super. Carry on reading this review.
This is the second book in the series and to understand anything in this book you must have read the first one. That’s not really an issue, I really loved Good Bones. Not much of a sacrifice getting to read two fantastic books. I know some of you are purists and think all books need to stand on their own. Well tough beans. You will not regret reading this series.
I don’t tend to like ghost stories, and if I hadn’t been craving more Chris and Dylan I might have put this story aside. And that would have been a mistake. I loved the ghost element in this. It was really well done. The mystery of who the ghost is and the effort of ridding the house of that element was fantastic. We meet new friends, learn trust, and fall more and more in love with these men.
It’s hard to separate these two books, even in the review. Chris is an incredibly beautiful man. All he has ever wanted was someone to love him. He craves Dylan’s love and presence in his life, but fears and truly believes that if he rocks the boat too much Dylan is going to scatter for the hills and leave him, like everyone else in his life has. My heart broke for this man who was injured incredibly deeply by everyone who should have held him dear.
Dylan has his own issues. He is terrified that his wolf self could injure or even kill Chris. He doesn’t know if he can trust himself with Chris, who he loves more each day, and he fights a closer connection because of that fear. That fear along with this ghost and we have a beautiful story.
This book is a journey through their personal histories and building trust, in each other and themselves, to allow for a future together. Both Chris and Dylan have to fight issues from their pasts and reconcile that although they are made up of past experiences and people they are much more than that. They can have a bright future if they are able to find peace in being the men they are with each other.
I loved Chris and his struggle with self identity. He is a hard worker and can do a little of everything, but feels inadequate to be with such an educated and talented man as Dylan. They have different types of intelligence and skill sets and it didn’t make them any less or more, just different. One of the things that I enjoyed seeing was Chris, and in some ways, Dylan, come to this truth. And Chris finally begin to embrace and live that truth in his own life.
In the same way Dylan has to come to grips with the werewolf part of him and realize that he hasn’t lost his humanity because he howls at the moon once a month. He has always wanted to be accepted and loved for who he is and must grow into the understanding that both sides of himself make him whole. And Chris deserves to know both his man and beast, and be let into all parts of his life. The only danger is that his holding back and hiding will alienate Chris, because no matter what skin he is wearing, he is always Dylan. And that is enough.
In the end it’s all about family, reconciliation, and love. The author helps us believe these two can make it and are real. That we could drive down the I-5 and be there to meet them in just a few hours. Werewolves, ghosts, or not.
Reviewed by Beans
Posted on May 27, 2013, in Beans and tagged a haunting past, B List, Beans, Contemporary, DSP, established relationship, Family, fantasy, fantasy in modern times, Ghosts, Haunting, love triumphs over all, M/M, Neighbors, Pacific Northwest, paranormal, romance, Series, Werewolf, world building. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.