Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Once Upon a Wolf by Rhys Ford Dual Media Review

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.

Audiobook Details
Length: 3 hrs, 49 mins
Narrator: Derrick McClain

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Audiobook Buy Links

Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  iTunes

Ebook Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Audiobook Review

For a novella, Rhys Ford packed a lot of story into Once Upon a Wolf and Derrick McClain does a wonderful job of bringing that story to life. The story opens with Zach running for his life – or so he thinks – when confronted by a larger than life black wolf after getting lost while wandering his property. Unbeknownst to Zach, the wolf is actually a shifter who may have gotten ideas of matchmaking when their paths crossed. Unfortunately, Zach’s natural instinct to flee danger and Ellis’ natural instinct to chase prey ends with Zach nearly drowning and having to be rescued by Ellis and his brother, Gibson. But before Gibson has a chance to convince Zach that he was chased by an oversized dog, Zach witnesses Ellis as he partially shifts, taking the situation from bad to catastrophic in Gibson’s eyes. And that’s merely the not-so-fluffy meet cute for Gibson and Zach.

As the first book in a new series, Ford does a very nice job of balancing the world building for her shifters and the romance between Zach and Gibson. Because of how they met and Ellis’ condition, we learn about the brothers and wolf shifters through conversations between Zach and Gibson post-rescue and as their friendship develops. Due to rather extreme circumstances and a sense of loneliness on the part of both men, things seem to progress rather quickly – or so it seemed to me, but I did have some difficulty keeping up with jumps in the timeline because I was listening as opposed to reading the story. Yet, their relationship doesn’t feel rushed because of the outside events that occurred between the time they met and the time they finally consummated their relationship. Between Ellis’ issues and the close quarters of the cabin, Zach and Gibson were forced to get to know one another before any physical intimacy occurred and I think that’s why it didn’t feel rushed. Being as both men were invested in keeping Ellis safe and helping him get better, that added to the foundation of their relationship, making its progression even more believable, in my opinion.

I’m just gonna say it, Derrick McClain makes werewolves sexy. This is not the first wolf shifter audiobook narrated by him that I’ve listened to and the man has a great tone to his voice when the wolves are getting all growly – I don’t know a better way to say it. You know that moment when a story says that the shifter’s wolf is riding the surface, trying to break through? That moment, that’s when McClain infuses his voice with a bit of growl and I can actually envision the wolf trying to break through even as the man fights to hold on and communicate with those around him. For me, it gives his narrative performances in stories like Once Upon a Wolf a bit of an edge over the usual shifter romances by giving the wolf more of a presence in the story. McClain is only one of two narrators I can think of at the moment who bring the wolf out in an audiobook and it’s why I was so quick to sign up to review Once Upon a Wolf. I can only hope that Ford is hard at work on book two and that McClain will return to the mic to narrate it because I cannot wait to find out where Ellis’ journey will take him.

Ebook Review

This was so good. Once Upon a Wolf is only the third shifter book I’ve read and I adored it. Shifter Gibson rescues Zach from the lake after his brother Ellis, who has been in wolf form for nearly two years, chases Zach through the forest.

Gibson is immediately attracted to Zach but there are more pressing things in to worry about, like helping Jack heal and looking after his brother. The romance in this story is between Gibson and Zach; they connect emotionally before the do physically and the sexy times in the story are minimal – the story takes centre stage in this book. For me, the heart of the story is actually the relationship between Gibson and Ellis and it was Ellis who had me in tears.

Once Upon a Wolf is book one in the Wayward Wolves series. I hope that we get a romance for Ellis’ next.

RHYS FORD admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger Cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep of a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

Connect with Rhys

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

After eight years of professional and competitive public speaking and (live) oral interpretation of literature, Derrick has turned his powerful voice to the world of audiobooks.

While he enjoys reading, listening to, and narrating a wide variety of genres, he has a particular affinity and passion for romance novels of all types.

Derrick records in a professional quality studio at his home in Tallahassee, FL, where he enjoys the quiet North Florida lifestyle along with his fiancé and insanely hyper dog. He has previously lived in rural Pennsylvania as well as Orange County California, and has extensively traveled the United States, becoming familiar with a wide range of American accents and sub-cultures.

Connect with Derrick

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free ebook or audiobook copy of Once Upon a Wolf (Wayward Wolves #1) by Rhys Ford, narrated by Derrick McClain to read or listen to and review.

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