With a cheating ex and an unsatisfying law career, Randy Connor finds the tiny town of Wolf, WY on a Google search and decides to take his hard earned savings and run away. He packs up and leaves D.C. behind for the beautiful tiny town, but Randy quickly learns that he is an outsider and will never be accepted. As winter approaches, he has several run-ins with his next door neighbor, Vaughn O’Connell. Vaughn is condescending and judgmental, and Randy cannot figure out why Vaughn hates him so much.
That doesn’t stop Randy from trying to make amends, and as the two men spend more time together, it’s clear that their sexual attraction is strong. When Vaughn finally makes a move, Randy is more than receptive. But almost immediately, Vaughn says that they can’t get involved. When a terrible storm rages, and Vaughn comes to check on Randy, things take yet another turn. Randy takes a spill, and Vaughn is there to care for him. It’s then that Vaughn admits that he can’t stop thinking about Randy, and that instead of fighting it, maybe he’ll call instead.
But in the meantime, Vaughn’s 18-year-old son Lyle is going through something that Randy doesn’t understand. And Lyle is making a play for Randy too. Even after Randy politely but firmly shuts Lyle down, things are strange. Randy tries to understand, but no one is explaining. Until the night of the full moon, and first Lyle and then Vaughn shift in front of him. Randy had no idea such things existed, and Vaughn certainly never explained things. Randy only manages to keep his sanity because of Vaughn’s other two younger children, but the next day, Randy is beyond angry, and what is seen cannot be unseen. However, after a talk with his father, Randy hopes to make things work between them anwway. He just knows he has to try, because he loves Vaughn. And he hopes Vaughn loves him back.
Okay, I have to say that I was a little iffy when this book started. The prose is lyrical and beautiful, but it seemed a bit over the top at some points. I had trouble getting into Randy’s head, even though he’s the POV character, and I disliked Vaughn at the start. I was unsure of what was going on with Lyle, and it was just a little bit weird the way that Randy was thinking about father and son. So it started out shaky for me, but as the story progressed, I was dragged into the story, absorbed in the characters, and became totally involved.
So after the first 20 pages or so, when I was struggling to get the rhythm of the story, Randy absolutely endeared himself to me. He felt so real. His thought processes where hysterical and believable, and I just loved the way he worked things out. He did read a little bit younger to me than his supposed 32 years, and I had to remind myself that just because I knew the things that he didn’t seem to know, it was entirely plausible and even quite possible that he wouldn’t. He was at once adorable and trying, and I basically just adored him. He made me laugh, I loved the way he interacted with the two younger kids, and every time he showed how logical and thoughtful he was, I all but cheered. I really liked the growth he showed over the course of the story, and I loved the way he worked things out and came to the right conclusions. Really, Randy ultimately made the book for me, and since he’s the POV character, that worked exceedingly well.
Vaughn is a different story, and I had two completely different feelings about him. At first, I didn’t like him very much. He wouldn’t acknowledge Randy when the spoke, which was beyond rude, and then when he did speak, he came across as condescending and offensive. So I was kind of irritated that he was the love interest, and I was waiting for him to redeem himself. He does, and once he does I basically fell in love with him, but it takes longer than I would have liked. And to be honest, I had been hoping for a little bit more explanation. And perhaps some groveling and asking for forgiveness. Ultimately, we understand why he is the way he is, and that made it easier to accept. But for what he felt for Randy, I would have liked to see him apologize for his behavior.
And, let me tell you, there is no doubt about the way Randy and Vaughn feel about each other. Once they get past their blocks and start talking, and allow their attraction to really surface, their chemistry just leaps off the page. Guys, there is absolutely no doubt that these two men are sexually compatible and together they are smoking hot. More than that, even, their affection grows as well, and they just work together.
Basically, I really enjoyed the characters. You also know I’m a sucker for a well-drawn world, and I think Henley a fairly good job with that as well, though I had some points I would have liked better explained. If you’re looking for a shifter book with just a slightly different twist, and some good characters, then I would suggest this book to you. On top of that, it appears to be the first in a series. I know I’ll be keeping my eye out for the next one.