Author: R. Cooper
Narrator: Robert Nieman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 18 hours and 55 minutes
Category: Mystery/Suspense, Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: I am still enthralled with this worthwhile series, and thankfully, a skilled narrator was able to hold my interest through a VERY long book.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: On the run from his old-blood werewolf family, Tim Dirus finds himself in Wolf’s Paw, one of the last surviving refuges from the days when werewolves were hunted by humans and one of the last places Tim wants to be. Kept away from other wolves by his uncle, Tim knows almost nothing about his own kind except that alpha werewolves only want to control and dominate a scrawny wolf like him.
Tim isn’t in Wolf’s Paw an hour before he draws the attention of Sheriff Nathaniel Neri, the alphaest alpha in a town full of alphas. Powerful, intimidating, and the most beautiful wolf Tim has ever seen, Nathaniel makes Tim feel safe for reasons Tim doesn’t understand. For five years he’s lived on the run, in fear of his family and other wolves. Everything about Wolf’s Paw is contrary to what he thought he knew, and he is terrified. Fearing his mate will run, Sheriff Nathaniel must calm his little wolf and show him he’s more than a match for this big, bad alpha.
Review: Tim is a young were in this world where other beings are now known and share the world with humans; this include fairies and other beings, as we’ve seen in the other stories in the Being(s) in Love series. Tim is only twenty and has been on the run from his family (well, really his Uncle Silas and his enforcer), an old-blood and powerful werewolf family, for five years. He’s part human and has used magic to try to hide himself. He has landed in Wolf’s Paw, one of the last refuges for beings and, particularly, weres. Any were in the town is under the protection of the town and its sheriff, Nathanial Neri.
When Tim meets Nathaniel, there is an immediate and visceral reaction. Nathaniel is definitely an alpha—the alpha-est, in fact. :) But Tim can’t seem to resist goading and challenging him at every turn. While he’s got a job at the gift shop attached to the diner run by a fairy named Robin’s Egg, he is nervous and wary and trying to stay under the radar lest his family and, in particular, Luka, his Uncle’s henchman, should be searching for him there. Nathaniel senses that Tim is on the run, but Tim doesn’t want anyone to know who he is and he dodges questions all the time.
When his safety and anonymity is compromised, Tim is driven to seek out Nathaniel for help. Nathaniel quickly takes him in and vows that the town will protect him even though he’s still not sure what Tim needs protection from. While in close quarters at Nathaniel’s house, Tim and Nathaniel grow closer. Nathaniel is worried about Tim’s age and lack of knowledge of weres and tries to help assimilate him into the town and were culture so that Tim can figure things out on his own. He vows to answer any of Tim’s questions honestly. Tim is so confused, however, that he doesn’t even really know what to ask. He can’t really make out scents, he hasn’t shifted in years, he’s never hunted, and he can’t make heads or tails of his feelings for Nathaniel beyond an overwhelming lust and need to challenge.
Tim may be the most clueless were in the entire world, and poor Nathaniel has his hands full trying to tutor Tim but not pressure him. Because, of course, Nathaniel has recognized what Tim is from their first meeting. Eventually Tim comes clean to Nathaniel about his family and the struggles he faced and what he endured, but he’s embarrassed about his lack of knowledge of his own kind. He’s got some fairly misguided ideas about weres and sex and love and mating and protection, and, in general, he’s a ball of hormones and confusion. But, the one thing he does know is that he doesn’t deserve Nathaniel, and he also can’t stay away from him either.
Tim seems to constantly exist in a fight or flight mode. He doesn’t want to endanger the town. He doesn’t want to leave Nathaniel’s protection, as that is the only thing that makes him feel remotely safe. He wants to understand all the things that he’s missed growing up on the run. It’s a constant struggle for Tim to try to figure out what’s happening to him and what to do about his family and Nathaniel.
When Nathaniel is injured, Tim can do nothing but stay close and try to help him to heal. The “accident” is suspicious and it dawns on Tim that maybe it has something to do with him—that his family knows he’s under Nathaniel’s protection and is maybe trying to get to him. A confrontation ensues and all is finally revealed.
I’ve been wanting to read this book for some time, as I really like this series but hadn’t gotten around to it, so when the audio was available, I decided to try it. Oh my! I guess I wasn’t fully prepared for nearly 19 hours of audio. Thankfully the narrator was good or I never would have made it, which would have been a shame because the story is definitely worth it. There were a few unnecessary pauses in the reading, but overall, I enjoyed Robert Nieman’s voice characterizations, especially Tim’s.
There are a lot of things I really enjoyed about this story. Nathaniel and Tim are a couple of opposites. Tim is a bit of a mouthy and insecure brat. Nathaniel is the strong and ever patient, in control Sheriff. Tim is hilariously clueless; the entire town has figured things out well before he even begins to have any idea what has been happening to him. Nathaniel is constantly cryptic with Tim, wanting him to discover things on his own, sometimes to his own detriment, but he’s definitely willing to make a lot of sacrifices for Tim.
There are also some interesting twists in the story that were a complete surprise. In addition, the secondary characters, including Zoe, Carl, Albert and Robin’s Egg, really add to the story and try to help Tim and Nathaniel as much as they can. My only complaint is that the story is very, very long. At some points, it dragged a bit. Conversations could have been shortened in several places that probably would have tightened the pace a little more, but I am still enthralled with this worthwhile series. I am actually reading the books in reverse order—luckily each book in the series stands alone, so picking up any book in any order won’t ruin the experience. I also recommend the companion free story featuring Zoe, but only after reading this one.
You can buy Little Wolf here:
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