Marginally better than the first one, at 2.5 stars, this book comes in as the 2nd in the Werewolves of Manhattan series, matching the new regional Alpha Remy Clavier with Ian Sullivan, a young man who's just lost his bigot father and gambling-problem brother due to a "suspicious" car accident.
First, the parts I liked:
Ian being not a doormat. He stood up to Remy's pushy wolf, and didn't let people run roughshot over him. He showed determination and grit, moving forward when others would give up in the same situation. Even though he's portrayed as having low self-esteem, he doesn't let his homophobic father's treatment of him get him to give up.
Remy Clavier comes across as a bit arrogant on occasion, but the mating compulsion gives him reason to listen and woo Ian. As in the first book, I had a difficult time seeing their connection, and other than the mating bond, there is no discernible reason why these two men fall for each other, with ILYs about halfway through.
I did like revisiting with Sean and Armand from book 1, and could see that these two characters had actually grown into their relationship, and that Sean no longer seemed TSTL.
What I didn't like because it lacked reasonable explanation:
The plot with the mobster guy who's after Ian's virgin butt. I couldn't see any reason why this man was so very interested in Ian that he would not only out himself in the process, but go against his Don's orders as well, just to get at Ian's ass. He seemed almost completely disconnected from reality, and thus became a cardboard cutout villain with only that one purpose.
Waiting until marriage for the sexy times/mating bite. What is it with these wolves that they insist on putting their mates in danger because of some ridiculous, contrived reason? And if they're all Loup Garou, why do certain packs have different rules than others?
The fact that Ian's sixth sense didn't scream "Danger, Will Robinson" when a new client falls all over himself to make his life easier by hiring more people, by paying more than quoted for the job, by buying expensive gifts two days after meeting... Remy comes on rather strongly, and Ian didn't really question it. And when he did question it, Remy placated him with "I just want to be with you and love you and take care of you." Sure, there was some perfunctory resistance, but either Ian was so starved for affection that he just couldn't help himself at all, or it's the mating compulsion. And if it's the latter, than perhaps that could've been explained a little better. Seriously, what kind of person kisses the man they hired to PAINT A HOUSE on the forehead when that person leaves? Why does Ian not question that any further than 'are you sure?'
What I didn't like, period:
Referring to female wolves as bitches. Yeah, yeah, I know that this is how breeders refer to female dogs, but surely these wolf-people have evolved beyond that? It's derogatory and chauvinistic, and reduces female wolves to nothing more than breeding machines or servants. Other than the Alpha Female, whose job it is to serve as a vessel to the Alpha (because all Alphas are gay and can only produce female offspring), women are mentioned as an afterthought almost. And yeah, it's patriarchy all the way for the wolves, and that's fine, if that's their way of life, but surely, the author could've found a way for all those males to realize that without the females, they got nothing with which to perpetuate their race, and maybe, possibly, treat them a little bit better?
The lack of editing:
- Baring is not the same as barring. - They're is not their. - Dose does not equal doze. - "Painting your channel with my seed" is used twice. TWICE! Is that supposed to be sexy? Seductive? Do men talk like that? Where was your editor? - I'm fairly certain that city morgues do not have marble slabs. - Punctuation is important - use it!
Rambling dialogue and stiff, wooden writing made for a sluggish read, and this will likely be my last book from this series. I like the shifter lore used here, and I could see how the author set up her next book with the next Alpha to find his mate too, but I'm not vested enough in any of these characters to want to read more.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **