Rating: 3.5 stars
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Length: Novel

Fox and Wolf by Julia Talbot is a cute paranormal story about the Apex Private Investigation firm and it’s varied shifter team members. Wolf shifter, Mick, runs Apex and is the one who vets the clients and then hands them over to the appropriate investigator. When fox shifter Rey Mercier comes to Apex needing help, he is handed off to Dylan—another wolf and former cop. The goal is to find out who is after Rey and why. The little fox is one who normally stays under the radar, but he has ruffled someone’s feathers and there are a mess of vicious crocs out for his blood. Dylan will risk everything to save Rey—after all, it’s not often one’s mate comes along out of the blue.

This was a sweet little romance. The chemistry between Rey and Dylan was spot on and their growing connection as mates, while fast in terms of time passing, really felt genuine. There was no weird stuff like anger from Mick in terms of Dylan mating outside the species. In fact, this ragtag group of men were very much a family and that came across nicely.

I think what keeps me from rating this novel higher is the connective tissue in the story itself. The dialogue was often stilted and it got confusing at times when some of the group were mind readers and could sense or hear internal dialogue and others couldn’t. I often found myself getting a bit lost as the plot unfolded, as if there were gaps in the action, yet some characters knew exactly what was going on while the reader had to guess at it. I also was confused as to the world building here. Did the human police force know these guys were shifters or not? There seemed to be an intention not to share too much with the human police, yet they also obviously knew of Mick and his agency.

However, despite the gaps this was a good paranormal story and I especially liked how the mating was handled—more emotional connectivity rather than some sort of physical mating ritual. The way Dylan cared for Rey was very tender and lovely to read. I think fans of the paranormal genre will like this novel by Julia Talbot. I look forward to the next one in the series and learning more about this quirky team.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.