Published by Dreamspinner Press
Released on December 15, 2011
Some books take you by surprise and just refuse to be labeled. I’m telling you this book has something for everyone in a way. Like Historical Romance? Check. Like Paranormal elements? Check. Like M/M? Check. How ‘bout a good old fashioned murder mystery? Heh, heh, yes, its in there too. I have to say that above all this enjoyable book is a romance. This story demonstrated that not everyone is the same and as I have learned over the years ‘diversity is good’- though I think a human discovering there are werewolves, demons, angels, vampires, and other shifters living among us does take the diversity thing pretty far.
James, a unique man, who chooses to forsake his aristocratic birthright and follow his own desires is a constable for Scotland Yard. He is a little man that bravely does his duty walking the dark gas-lit fog-filled streets of the infamous Whitechapel district of London which a year before had been the place that Jack the Ripper chose to commit his crimes. On the night that will change the direction of his life, James is convinced that the Ripper has returned when he comes across a horrific scene in an alley. A young woman is slaughtered on the cobblestones and a large man is leaning over her. Before he can summon aid, he is accosted by the man who with little effort slams him into a wall and informs James of his innocence.
This man, Alun, is not a human man at all, but an exiled Welsh werewolf and he knows that he is in trouble on more than one level. He looks like the number one suspect for a gruesome murder and he is attracted to the younger man before him. Their relationship begins when James first believes in Alun’s innocence, but wishes first friendship and then companionship with Alun. Alun’s instinct feels that he has come home when he is with James in his beautiful home and spending time with the human, but another instinct is hard to ignore too. James’ kindness and openness is suspect by Alun because he has been taught to mistrust humans and has experienced a betrayal of the heart by one before so Alun runs from James’ offer of love more than once hurting James in the process.
In a plot driven by James and Alun’s forbidden romance, the murders, and the lurking wolf pack set against Alun, can the two not only survive, but find their heart’s fulfillment?
The author spun a very good plot that was well paced and constantly kept my interest to find out what would happen next. The danger element caused by the murders and the werewolves was exciting, but the steamy and touching romance was gripping too. Normally, I am not big on characters who blow hot and cold in their actions toward their lover, but in Alun’s case it did not bother me because he had a great deal to think through and his motives were selfless and guided by his love. The scene that was most gripping to me was in the courtroom when Alun stood on trial for murder think James believed him the murderer and James was called as a police witness having to protect Alun by keeping his distance and fearing that Alun thought he blamed him. Then just when I thought ‘whew’ they survived, it came down to that issue that had been ‘the elephant in the room’ through much of the story- werewolves and humans were not supposed to mix and now Alun must choose.
The characters were great. The story was almost completely focused on Alun and James, but I loved some of the minor characters like James’ irascible housekeeper Mrs. Dunberry and the puckish Robin.
It was my first time reading this author, but I would definitely read more of what she has to offer.