Rating: 3.25 stars
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When Deputy Charlie Harper first met lab technician Daniel Conners, he knew there was something special about the older man. Maybe it was the way he stood up for himself, unwilling to be bullied in his own lab. Maybe it was the way Daniel bristled, or the way he smiled … whatever it was, it had Charlie coming back again and again with coffee and snacks and the offer of a date until Daniel finally said yes.
But that was then (all of a week or so ago), before Charlie nearly died when a drunk sliced his throat open with a broken glass. Now Charlie is a werewolf, barely in control of himself at the best of times, and Daniel … well, Daniel spent hours at the restaurant waiting for someone who never showed up. If it wasn’t for Caleb, who happens to be the boyfriend of Charlie’s boss, Charlie might not have gotten this second chance to make things right.
This is a light and fluffy romance with some minor set decoration of a mysterious break in at Daniel’s apartment and he turns to none other than Charlie for help. While there is an investigation, along with discoveries, drugs, and guns, it’s all very much merely the backdrop for the romance, which takes center stage. Daniel was in love, once, desperately so, but his boyfriend died suddenly and ever since then, Daniel hasn’t really been looking. And if he was looking, it probably wouldn’t be at a man five years his junior, for all that Charlie is built like an adonis with a heart to match.
Daniel is leery of being hurt again, but when he learns why Charlie ghosted him, he’s quick to forgive. And Charlie is quick to apologize and explain, not wanting to let this chance with Daniel slip past. He knew, from the first time he saw Charlie, that he wanted to get to know the older man, but now that he’s a werewolf, it’s different. The wolf inside him has a deeper, more instinctive reaction to Daniel, one that has Charlie all but rolling over at his feet. Still struggling with his PTSD after his service in Afghanistan, Charlie worries that he won’t be able to control himself, or his wolf, but when Daniel tells him to calm down, he does. When Charlie tells him to be still, to be quiet, he is. Something in Daniel soothes the wolf, which in turn soothes Charlie.
This is a quick read with more emphasis on the getting together stage of the romance than the relationship, with several steamy scenes and some snarky arguments … and equally snarky, but sincere apologies. This is the second book in the Dark Hollow series; the first one took place between Charlie’s boss and his boyfriend, both of whom have roles in this book, but this can easily be read as a standalone. There’s nothing much in the way of world building or plotting, but there’s a comfortable familiarity to the characters and story that might satisfy readers looking to fill their paranormal romance craving.