Once Upon A Wolf

Once upon A Wolf by Rhys Ford: Review by Lost in a Book for @BMBR

Synopsis:

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Wolf….

Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

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2.5 Stars

I LOVE Ellis. I love his wolfish shenanigans, the mystery of his story, and how far he came throughout… the problem is that it isn’t Ellis’ story. I think?

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Gibson is a wolf shifter that lives with his brother (Ellis) in a mountain cabin. One day Ellis decides to play a game of chase with an unsuspecting stranger… except the stranger is terrified and slips down the mountain. Luckily, Gibson is able to rush to the aid of the badly injured Zach.

Zach is the new neighbor that purchased a bed & breakfast and he connects with Gibson *super* fast. Well, maybe not a connection but they are attracted to each other right away… even badly injured, Zach is wanting to mount Gibson (which I would totally believe if this was a mates type shifter book). It just seems a foregone conclusion that because they are the only two men within miles, they would end up together. I get it, last man on Earth and all- but it didn’t seem authentic IMO. Unfortunately there isn’t much else to the Zach and Gibson show. The romance/connection between Gibson and Zach was put on the back burner as all focus went to Ellis. Because of this, the relationship felt forced.

As the synopsis mentioned, Ellis is stuck in his wolf form to cope with the nightmares that never leave. This book provides in-depth coverage of Ellis’ status, the growth he makes, the danger he gets in, and the care he receives from Zach and Gibson. Ellis and Zach form a special bond that I believed and a connection I felt. It’s a damn shame it wasn’t their story.

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One of the things I adore about shifter stories is the possessiveness. I love the growly mine and the unapologetic need to be near the other and the ultimate desire to claim them. With this book, any time Gibson showed a hint of possessiveness, he went apologetic. *sad face* There wasn’t much heat on page and I was glad for it. Without the connection between the MCs, more sex would have just felt out of place to me.

I can’t recommend this book for the MCs but I was a fan of Ellis and if he’s getting a story, then reading this would be necessary. I’ll continue on this series *only* if Ellis gets his official story.

Copy provided for honest review.

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Rebel (415 Ink) #1

Reviewed for @BMBR

4.5 Stars

My oh My this was an angsty read.

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On face value it has many of my favorite elements. Rough upbringing? Check. Tattoos? Mmmhmm, Yep. Tortured and broody MC(s)? Oh yes. Then, when I actually started reading it, so many more of my hot spots were being hit. Slow burn, patch-work family, overcoming crippling obstacles, etc… All were a big yes, please. Hell, I was even all about the second chance aspects of this romance when it isn’t something I actively seek.

Three years have gone by since Rey walked away from Gus. Both men have scars from their childhood but Gus’ are much deeper than Rey’s. When he walked away, it reminded Gus of every social worker, judge, foster family, parent, and random person who decided he wasn’t good enough. In the beginning I just thought Gus had a gypsy soul and kept on moving. It isn’t until the surfacing of his kid from a one night stand that he comes back home and we really get to see a different side of him and the effects of his heartbreaking past on his present circumstances.

Rey is a firefighter and best friends/roommates with Gus’ brother, Mason. We learn very early on that Mason pulled Rey out of a fire when they were younger. This solidified their bond as well as Rey’s bond with all of Gus’ brothers. Rey had his reasons for walking away when they were younger but their love for each other hasn’t dimmed over the three years. When Gus moves back to town, they have plenty of encounters and even more time to evaluate their choices.

As I mentioned, this is a slow burn. Both men have baggage and past hurts to work through. It was amazing to *see* how each man held stubbornly to their anger and as time went on, they were able to understand the other’s perspective. I also loved how they had to really work to get to a healthy place without the arrival of the magical peen to help make all the woes go away. Don’t get me wrong, they had chemistry and were H.O.T. together. But, their reconciliation was ugly, beautiful, and real. Their character arc was so transformative and I absolutely enjoyed each step of the way and where they settled.

Let’s talk about the baby mama. I LOVEEEEEEE that this wasn’t written as a bitter ex/one night stand scenario. I was thrilled that all parties acted like adults and Jules wasn’t written to be a she-bitch. Actually, all of the characters acted like adults (minus brotherly shenanigans) and it was refreshing.

It takes the entire book to fully appreciate the complexities of the characters and the role each plays. It reminded me of a kaleidoscope where the patterns can be distorted or crisp with only minor manipulation. The secondary characters of all the brothers added another dimension of angst, confusion, and clarity. Gus and Rey earned their HEA but I think that we’ll understand them even more as each brothers’ story is told. I’m down for that, especially Luke. AND Ivo with his “fuck me heels.” Oh and Bear with him being all big, growly, and soft-hearted. Actually, I just want them all.

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I really really enjoyed this book. There are still holes of information needed but I think the key to understanding each brother individually is to understand them all. Definitely recommended.

“Loving someone doesn’t mean needing them to be what you want them to be or swaddling them in bubble wrap so they can’t move. It means them knowing, deep down inside of their heart, you’re going to be there to hold them when they fall and celebrate when they fly.”

https://boymeetsboyreviews.blogspot.com

Copy provided for honest review.