Tom Davidson left his small hometown, Waycroft Falls, to make it big on Broadway. He’s not had his big break, but he’s told his sister (and therefore the whole town) that he’s a big star. Now he’s back in town because his sister, Annie, needs his help. Annie owns a bookstore in an old building she’s trying to have certified as an historical landmark. However, a rotten old property developer, Dick (and yes, he certainly is one) Davidson, wants to buy the building and tear it down to make strip malls. Annie thinks if she could turn the unused third floor into a venue for plays, music, and such, it would generate enough income to be able to pay off the mortgage. Who better than Tom, the big Broadway star, to direct a wonderful first production that will kick off her dream?
Frank Braden is the assistant manager at Annie’s bookstore. He lives a quiet life in a small apartment owned by the cranky, curmudgenly Mrs. Anderson and he likes to keep to himself. Frank is afflicted by Galen’s Syndrome. A long time ago, someone in his family was cursed (yes, a real curse) with lycanthropy, and because Frank’s father and mother carried the latent genes, he can shift into a wolf.
It’s decided Beauty and the Beast (the fairy tale, not the musical) will be the play that’s to be performed. Not only does Tom turn to Frank to help turn the story into a screenplay, he wants to bring the house down by having Frank play the Beast, shifting from half wolf to human. Frank’s unsure at first, but thanks to his relationship with Tom (and the fact he’s falling for him), he takes a chance and agrees to take the part.
Can the play save the building or will Dick Davidson win the battle? Will the cast be able to come together and put on a successful play? And most of all, will Tom realize that for some things it’s worth changing his dream?
I love Beauty and the Beast stories! Of course, you all already know I love wolf shifter stories too. When I saw the blurb for Wolf Around the Corner, my heart skipped a beat. A combination of both? YES!! I was not disappointed. This was a lovely book with lovable characters (except that dick…Dick), a plausible plot…ok maybe that whole shifting into a wolf thing…but I can certainly see a town coming together to save an historical building, and a sweet and sexy romance.
Tom was great, even if he was lying to Annie and everyone else. He wanted them to think he was successful because he didn’t want to let them down. He came home because he’d do anything for his big sister, although he wasn’t necessarily expecting her to ask him to put on a play. I liked how Tom was down to earth. Even though he wanted to project the persona of a successful actor, he wasn’t arrogant at all. He even took a tiny apartment in Mrs. Anderson’s building rather than expecting to be treated like royalty. He was attracted to Frank right away. At first, he’s shocked when he found out about Frank’s Galen’s, but he finally accepts it’s just…Frank. Tom realizes Frank’s not a wild animal and he’s got no fear.
Frank is a sympathetic character. His father and stepmother asked him to leave when he was 18 because he snapped at his little sister. They were afraid he’d do some damage or harm someone. He still loves them, though, and he faithfully calls home, even though they won’t pick up the phone. The messages he left broke my heart. I liked how he, after the initial shifting experience, felt such a natural pull toward Tom. However, he did feel sad that it would only be a summer fling as Tom will go back to New York after the play’s run ends.
Together, the chemistry between Tom and Frank was lovely. It wasn’t instant and intense. Instead, it was tentative. Yes, they wind up being a little physical rather quickly, but it feels natural. When they do finally make love, it’s beautiful. They weren’t long scenes, but enough detail was given to make them just right.
I’ve already mentioned the important background characters. Annie was my favorite. Her love of her family, brother, and building is infectious, and I could feel that love coming off the page. I got a kick out of Mrs. Anderson. She’s fussy and pushy, and the scene with the pizza delivery man was really funny. Dick Davidson was the perfect villain. He was dastardly and I could imagine him standing there, twirling his mustache as he made threats to Annie. It was almost comical, even though he was a real jerk.
The ending was predictable, but I didn’t have a single problem with that. I rooted for Tom and Frank through the whole story, and I wanted everything to work out…and it did. All in all, Wolf Around the Corner was a charming book that ranks up there with some of my favorite Beauty and the Beast themed books. I definitely recommend this one.