Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Do you ever wake up and just know that you’re going to have a bad day? Yes? Well Ezra Jones can relate. The day after burying his father, he wakes up covered in blood with two huge, intimidating men pounding at his door. The men, Callum Dawson and Blaise LaPorte, look like Mafia hit men, but the story they tell Ezra is nothing like he was expecting. It appears that Ezra was bitten by a rogue werewolf of all things, and he needs to be taken into protective custody for his own well being.
It turns out that Callum is the local Pack Alpha and in addition to caring for newly turned Ezra, he has been investigating rogue wolf attacks, which are a part of a much larger situation. Ezra is frightened, and confused, not only because of the improbability of the situation, but also because of how he feels every time he is around Callum. Never one to be submissive in the past, Ezra falls apart whenever Callum is near and the fact that he finds Callum to be incredibly sexy doesn’t help. Callum also finds the smaller Ezra attractive but since Ezra is a true Beta, Callum can’t act on his feelings, always worrying that it is the Alpha pheromones doing the thinking for Ezra.
Ezra turns out to be a wizard with regards to research and data analysis and uncovers a far bigger issue than Callum originally thought. A staggering number of wolves have gone missing or been found dead. The data leads to a possible culprit but the proof is not there. Unbeknownst to Callum, his efforts are thwarting the plans of the individual killing and mutilating wolves.
Callum decides to teach Ezra “werewolf 101,” how to resist an Alpha’s pheromones. The problem is that Ezra wants Callum as much as Callum wants him and with that decision made, the men give in to their desires. As Callum and Ezra come closer to discovering the source of the trouble, however, it turns out they may end up in danger themselves.
I just love me a good werewolf story and Hair of the Dog certainly is that. Full of hot wolf-men, great dialogue, and an excellent mystery/suspense element, Kane and James certainly crafted a solid story.
Shifters and the mystique surrounding them is so popular and the beauty of this sub-genre is that the author can create their own mythology and characteristics without worry. The Alpha/Beta dynamic is addressed often, but what I found different in Hair of the Dog was the intense effect of the pheromones on Ezra, and how Callum continues to misinterpret the meaning. It was nice to see the intelligent, capable Alpha at a loss regarding a situation.
I have to be honest here, Ezra kind of bugged me at first, because some of his behaviours were on the extreme side and a little irritating. It did make sense though, considering everything that has happened in such a short period of time, with his father’s death and the whole werewolf thing, which went a long way to explaining his bratty and somewhat Petulant attitude. Thankfully Ezra’s attitude evened out once he and Callum got together.
The story was well thought out and had more going on than I expected, and thank goodness for that! This could have easily been a simple shifter romance, and been good, but Kane and James wove a mystery with murder, mayhem, kidnappings, and a truly diabolical bad guy, along with the hot sex and sweet romance that we expect from their books.
The shifter community in the story is large, and there are many secondary characters, but only a few, like Co-Alpha Jax and Enforcer Blaise play a significant part and I loved them both. Clever and witty, they added such depth to the story and supported Callum and Ezra beautifully. The antagonist was addressed anonymously at the beginning of certain chapters, and I never found the sections featuring that character to be awkward or annoying. Overall, Kane and James have such a fluid writing style that I could not tell where one ended and the other began.
I picked Hair of the Dog as a Throwback Thursday book because it is, without a doubt, one of may all time favourites, as demonstrated by the number of times I have read it. The characters may not be the most complex, but the story will keep you reading and guessing right until the end.