by Joely Skye, paranormal (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60928-055-0
Our werewolf hero, Rory McIntyre, isn't sure what his pack leaders were thinking when they assigned him to keep an eye out on a newcomer in their part of Toronto. Since his father is the pack alpha, he couldn't really say no to the assignment. He is bored, however, tailing after Scott Lund. Scott is a Minder, a pretty imaginative name for someone who can control another person's mind.
At first some sexual dalliance in the Holiday Inn looks like a good way for Rory to elevate the boredom, but Scott predictably pulls that "Stay away from me! I'm a loner! I'm emo!" card afterward. However, when other folks show up, clearly wanting Scott for sinister purposes, poor Scott will have to put aside his emo show as Rory comes to the rescue.
I have not read Joely Skye's works in order, so I think I'm missing some pieces here, like Scott's relationship with Trey, the man who along with Rory's father Angus assigned Rory to watch for Scott. Still, the story is coherent enough for me to get a decent idea of what is happening here.
The early sex scene between Rory and Scott seems perfunctory in my eyes, as if that scene is something the author just wants to get over with. It is the emotional intensity during the aftermath of that scene that makes the romance come alive for me. Oh, Scott is emo, yes, but Ms Skye manages to make me feel Scott's loneliness and his belief that he needs to be alone for the good of all. Rory for a werewolf guy is a pleasant fellow with a sense of humor. Oh, he's definitely reliable in a fight and he can hold his own, so it's not like Rory is a wuss. He's a capable hero who feels protective over Scott without being overbearing and ridiculous. These two guys have some pretty intense chemistry between them and I can certainly buy their romance.
For a story of its length, Wolf Town works very well. I get angst, believable chemistry, and a romance that plays to the "dark/light; vulnerable/protective" tropes of gay romances without being too obvious and clichéd in the process. I like it.
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