Title: Rome and Jules
Series: Dreamspun Beyond
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 242 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Shifters
At a Glance: Each new twist and turn left me wanting more on this journey. And, unlike the original Romeo and Juliet, this book does have a happy ending.
Reviewed By: Jenn
Blurb: Two werewolf households, both alike in dignity….
Rome Siracusa, youngest son of the alpha of the nouveau-riche Siracusa pack, wants to be a faithful son and pack member, but he’s got two big secrets. One, he’s blessed with enhanced hearing, vision, strength, and the ability to shift at will. Second, he’s gay, a fact he can’t admit to his deadly homophobic father.
Rome crashes a party at the mansion of his pack’s greatest enemy, the ancient, pure-blooded Havillands. Jules, the gay son of the drunkard alpha, is being married off to a rich entrepreneur. Smitten and moved by the beautiful male’s plight, Rome tries to find a way to save Jules—while digging himself deeper into pack politics and navigating his own arranged marriage. Secrets climb out of the caves as the werewolf gods speak through the mouths of their children, and the two great families clash, suffocating the hopes of star-crossed lovers.
Review: When studying Shakespeare in school the plays we were given were The Merchant of Venice and King Lear, so I come to this retelling of Romeo and Juliet with only references and the general outline of the story. I have also never watched a remake or retelling, to my knowledge, so I can’t comment on how true to the original Rome and Jules is. Tragedies aren’t really my cup of tea, generally needing a massive dollop of sugar and sweetness to balance out the dark emotions they dredge up. Having seen Tara Lain manage this balance previously, I was comfortable giving this book a go and she did not let me down.
I loved the idea of secret werewolf enclaves that allow this almost-secret society to exist within our own world, leaving me wondering if I could have stumbled over one without ever really knowing. The worldbuilding is layered in the perfect mixture, giving you the information when you need without it bombarding you. Rome’s dedication to his family and loyalty to his friends was clear from the outset, even though he doesn’t particularly want to be a pawn in some political game of his father’s—he supports him and does as he’s asked. Born and raised in the strongly homophobic Siracusa family, Rome struggles with what is expected of him and knowing he may never be able to deliver. That he may even have to leave the support of his family and pack.
Given this viewpoint, I was interested to see the dynamic and relationships of Jules’ Hallivand Pack when Jules’ engagement to Donald Anderson was announced. However, when we are brought into Jules’ point of view, we see more about Donald and his machinations than the ordinary pack members. Which, given that Jules has been away from the pack for an implied long length of time, does make sense yet I was still slightly disappointed with this. That didn’t stop me enjoying the book and finishing it to the end. Each new twist and turn left me wanting more on this journey. And, unlike the original material, this book does have a happy ending.
You can buy Rome and Jules here:
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