Wednesday, 3 July 2013

My Wolf's Bane by Veronica Blade

  Different species. Mortal enemies. It'll never work, but they'll die trying.

Are you looking for a fun, light-hearted paranormal romance for the summer? Or winter, if you're in the southern hemisphere? Yes. Then My Wolf's Bane (Goodreads) would be a good choice if you're not too picky about originality of plotline. This is a typical school-based paranormal where the girl - Autumn Rossi - meets the strange new hottie - Zack de Luca - and (surprise, surprise) they fall passionately in love. 

Okay, maybe it's not quite so straightforward . . .  

Like all angst-filled teenage romances, Zack first takes an instant dislike to Autumn. He acts like he hates her, yet he keeps bailing her out of trouble. Not only is Zack both insufferable and irresistible, he seems to sniff her anytime he gets close. And that is the key to the story . .  . Zack is a werewolf. And Autumn? I'm not telling you other than to say she can suddenly outrun every critter in the forest, making her wonder if she’s even human. 

The problem is that her 'species' and weres are mortal enemies. But like all headstrong teenagers that little fact doesn't stop their passions flaring. As it hots up, Autumn isn’t sure which is more dangerous: her psycho ex-boyfriend, or falling for Zack — who’s risking his life just by being near her. Although the plot is achingly familiar, the writing is good and there was enough action to keep me engaged.

The publisher is very clear on the My Wolf's Blane Goodreads page that this is a romance, meaning it's romance first and everything else is second. 

So, how did the romance do? 
I'm not sure romance is quite the word I would use to describe My Wolf's Bane. Lust works better, and Veronica Blade definitely knows how to write toe-tingling lust. She skillfully crafted the sexual build-up between them, peppering it with a healthy measure of misunderstanding and mutual embarrassment. The publisher rated My Wolf's Blane PG-13 for sexual situations and mild profanity. Being sensitive to steamy sex (I avoid it), I was pleased that the book remained a fairly clean New Adult read. I would have no problem letting my teenagers at it. 

And the characters? 
I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Autumn and will seek her out in subsequent books. Veronica Blade also has two free novellas/segments written from Zack's POV which I read and really enjoyed. Lone Wolf - The Complication (Goodreads) and Lone Wolf - The Beginning (Goodreads) The fact that I hunted them down is testament to how much I liked Zack.

Any objections? 

Yes. In the beginning of the book, Autumn's parents are suffocating, even messaging her when she's in class. Then, suddenly, they agree to go away on an extended business trip, leaving her all alone. I'm sure that bit of out-of-character weirdness will be explained in subsequent books, but it detracted enough from the story to rob it of half a star. It felt like a typical YA plot device to get the heroine and the hottie alone together. Still, reading My Wolf's Blane was fun with a capital F. 

So how many stars? 
3.5 shaggy, black wolves howling at the moon.  

Just so you know, I won a copy of this book.


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