defying the moonRating: 3.25 stars
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Length: Novella

Animal Control worker Ed Zachary is used to his neighbors calling on him when a stray dog is wondering the neighborhood or a cat is stuck in a tree. But he wasn’t prepared for what he found the night his next door neighbor called him about a wolf stalking the area. What he found was more than he thought possible: a beast – half man, half wolf – snarling and seemingly very deadly. After shooting the beast with a tranquilizer, Ed discovers that the creature is someone he knows – a cop, Brian Blake. The one night stand that Ed can’t seem to get out of his head.

When Brian wakes up from yet another blackout, he’s taken aback by the story that Ed tells of a mythical beast that is supposedly Brian himself. Even more, Brian is fighting a strong attraction to the man that he walked out on after a one-nighter on New Year’s. Ed has been near impossible to forget, but Brian is afraid to let himself trust someone enough to let him into his life completely. He’s been hurt in the past and he’s lived his life afraid of having his heart broke again.

Working with Brian’s sister, who is a zoologist, Brian and Ed search for answers: how is did Brian come about being turned into a werewolf? When did it happen? Is there a cure? All the while, struggling against an attraction that is stronger than either man has ever felt. Dealing with a drastic change in who he is and in his feelings, Brian is afraid to be what Ed needs. And when he makes a mistake that may tear his fragile relationship with Ed apart, Brian must find a way to mend the situation before he loses Ed. But he may not have that chance when he finds he is being stalked by the mystery he’s been trying to unravel.

So, I’m not saying I didn’t like Defying the Moon by Cheryl Dragon. I did. I just feel that it’s incomplete. The world is lacking. It seems to be a world of nightmares, of bumps in the night, but the author doesn’t elaborate much on it. It’s obvious that it’s a world of werewolves, but we really learn about the beasts. Some seem to be sentient and then some seem to blackout when they shift. Do they run in packs? Do they have a set of rules to themselves? Can they shift at will or are the relegated to the full moon cycle? I am a big fan of the world of shifters and weres, but like I said earlier, this one is sadly lacking.

I like Ed. I like that he is a strong character with goals and morals. He has his head on straight and doesn’t let much surprise him. He’s willing to help out, but he’s not willing to settle. He’s a good character. I liked Brian as a person/wolf, but I think my biggest problem with him comes when he finds out that he is a monster. Ed tells him what he saw, what he knows Brian to be, and although Brian doesn’t remember any part of it, he’s quick to accept that he is a werewolf. No fight. No denial. Nothing. It’s was hardly believable, especially since Brian is one to fight with Ed every step of the way in this story.

Finally, the story is a good one. It could have been more detailed, but it is a good start. There are a few holes that I would have liked filled – some whys and hows I can’t go into because I don’t want to give away any spoilers. The basis of the story is good though. The discovery of the werewolf/ex-one-night-stand, the investigation into the origins of the problem, and the tug-of-war romance are all very good. The execution is a little weak, which I think is the overall problem here. But it was a decent read.

In the end, I have to keep reminding myself that this book was written in 2009, and this author has since progressed in her craft. I know, because I’ve read several of her books and I’ve liked them. Defying the Moon is a good start to a dark, mysterious and scary world, but it was weakly executed.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

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