There’s nothing like a fresh start, and for Randy, still nursing wounds left by a cheating ex and harboring a deep mistrust for all things corporate, Wolf, Wyoming seems like the perfect place to start over. Secluded, quiet, and self-sufficient, Wolf is bound to not only inspire, but to bring Randy the peace he needs. The view’s not bad, either.
Vaughn O’Connell and his family are Randy’s only neighbors for miles, and while Randy knows it’s somewhat unlikely that a man with three kids is gay, it doesn’t hurt to look. When a misunderstanding brings Randy face to face with both Vaughn and his eighteen year old son, Lyle, Randy’s not sure what to feel about either of them.
But things are not what they appear in Wolf, and the closer Randy gets, the stranger the O’Connell family seems…
I’m a city girl. I like traffic noise, anonymity, and being able to walk to grocery stores, restaurants, and bars in under 20 minutes. The country is too quiet, eerie, and you can’t get food delivered at 2AM. Not for me. Which is why I love stories where city people like me decide to start a new rural life. Better them than me, and also, I can understand their struggles because I’m not built for the country life.
When Randy moves to Wolf, WY, some consider it running away. From a career, from his family, from a failed relationship. They’re not totally wrong. But he’s also running towards something: a greater sense of self. Solitude. A change of scenery can’t solve all of life’s problems, but it can sometimes allow one to step back from the bullshit and see things a little more clearly.
But for Randy, the peace and quiet isn’t always a good thing. He’s lonely, cooped up in his new house with no one but himself to talk to. He has too much time to dwell on the past, letting the break up with his boyfriend occupy too much of his mind. Good thing his self-exile is frequently interrupted by the family that lives in the next closest house, the O’Connells. They’re a constant presence. From the two youngest kids who keep popping up, endearing themselves to Randy but causing nothing but trouble between him and the kids’ father, Vaughn, to Lyle, the oldest boy who is barely legal and super hot and tries Randy’s patience in a variety of ways.
But it’s Vaughn, the patriarch of the family, that draws more than just Randy’s eye. He’s gruff, no nonsense, and doesn’t like newcomers at all. Of course, he has a good reason that Randy isn’t aware of. They’re werewolves, and Wolf is kind of a safe haven for them. Randy has a few encounters with the pack when they’re shifted, and feels a connection to them despite his instinctive fear.
The conflict between Lyle and Vaughn, the pack dynamics, especially with Randy added to the mix, is central to this story. It’s way more interesting than your standard supernatural/non-supernatural love story. Vaughn is all bark and no bite – pun intended – and feels the pull of Randy almost as strongly as he does that of the moon. He wants to keep Randy safe, no matter how much he tells Randy he won’t help him through the winter. And the attraction between the two is evident.
A.F. has a way of weaving a story that is rich in imagery without being too heavy-handed, but still light and enjoyable enough to make you want to read it all in one sitting. This is only the first book in the series and I cannot wait to see more of this town and A.F.’s fun take on werewolf lore.
And hopefully more of playful Randy and intense Vaughn, too.