Monday, March 18, 2019

Lone Wolf by Anna Martin

Jackson Lewis isn’t a typical werewolf. He isolates himself in a small town outside Spokane and dedicates himself to making his business—Lone Wolf Brewery—a success. If it leaves him little time for romance, he’s okay with that. His soul mate could be out there somewhere, but he isn’t actively looking.

So he’s in for quite the shock when he literally bumps into his soul mate—Leo Gallagher, an adorable, nerdy, vibrant music therapist who’s Jackson’s polar opposite.

But he’s human. And a man.

Jackson is straight—or at least he’s always assumed so. Though he can’t deny his attraction to Leo, it’s a lot for both of them to deal with.

While Jackson and Leo figure out what their future might hold, they face prejudice from both the human and werewolf communities—including a group of fanatics willing to kill to show humans and werewolves don’t belong together.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I was really excited when this book hit my Kindle, the blurb had my attention and I couldn't wait to start reading. I was honestly underwhelmed. This book didn't have any oomph to it. Jackson is a wolf and he only shifts once in the book, besides the fated mate you wouldn't really know he was a wolf. What he was, was a jerk. When he realized Leo, a gay human, was his mate his jerkiness shined and kept on shining. Leo seemed sweet but he also put up with crap I wouldn't have from Jackson. There wasn't much chemistry and I found myself not connecting with either of them. The book had potential but didn't hit the mark for me.

I’ve been in a bit of a paranormal romance mood (with a side of sci-fi romance for balance), so when one of my co-reviewers signed up to review Lone Wolf I decided to give it a look. I think this is the first Anna Martin book I’ve read and I’ll be checking out more of Martin’s work because I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s take on werewolves in this book. As I’ve been binging on shifters and vampires and weres (oh my!), I’ve never really considered what life would be like for the introverted werewolf. Right? In nearly all of the werewolf romances I’ve ever read, werewolves are, because of their pack nature, extremely sociable, gregarious even. So even though I myself am an introvert, the concept of an introverted werewolf who’d be more comfortable living a semi-isolated life never occurred to me. And that’s exactly what Martin gives us with Jackson, even if the term introvert is never used, the signs are all there and it made for a rather fascinating read.

In Jackson’s world, werewolves are out in society, living and working alongside humans. Not surprisingly, they are the target de jour for bigotry and hate-fueled attacks. Even living in one of the more werewolf-friendly places in the country, Jackson still finds himself subjected to such judgments, which only reinforces his desire to spend as little time as possible around others, especially humans. Needless to say, when he discovers his soul mate is a human – and male to boot – Jackson is less than thrilled. Having never had an inkling of attraction for a man and having faced discrimination first hand, it’s hard to say which part of Leo being his mate bothered him most. And yet, Jackson felt compelled to get to know Leo. Theirs is not an easy journey as they attempt to navigate obstacles both within their pairing and from the outside world. Despite their conflicts and differences, when push comes to shove, each man proves he’s there for his mate, ready to do what’s necessary to protect what’s his. Something that was proven more than once when an unexpected threat revealed itself.

One of the things I really like about the relationship that develops between Jackson and Leo is that Jackson warns Leo in the beginning that he’s a selfish asshole. This isn’t an excuse for Jackson to mistreat Leo – although, he does – but rather a self-awareness that Jackson has and tries to communicate to Leo. Jackson is a loner, he’s an introvert who doesn’t “people” well, not even with his own family; something which is further complicated by his mate being male. He knows he’s going to mess up and asks Leo to be patient with him. And Leo is, he’s so patient with Jackson, but Leo’s no saint and his patience has limits. For me, Leo’s breaking point was perfection. I don’t mean the event that caused him to break, but that he came to a point in their budding relationship and admitted it was more than he could handle and he’d had enough. Martin didn’t create perfect characters in Jackson and Leo, there is no toothache-inducing, perfect character who will forgive all of his mate’s bad habits because fate decided they were mates. No, these guys aren’t perfect, but they’re perfect for each other… well, eventually. After all, Jackson had a LOT of baggage to unpack and Leo wasn’t without his own issues. Working through their issues, individually and as a couple, kept me engrossed in Lone Wolf as the author struck a lovely balance between soul-searching, relationship development, and conflict without too much angst. I’m not sure I’d call this a romance in the usual sense, but more a story in which two men find a home in each other – whether they knew they were looking for it or not.

I’m hoping this is a series because I want Brandon’s story – the idea of an asexual werewolf is even more fascinating to me than an introverted one and I’d love to read Martin’s take on it.

ANNA MARTIN is from a picturesque seaside village in the southwest of England and now lives in the Bristol, a city that embraces her love for the arts. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, and reading anything that’s put under her nose.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, prereading, and creative ass-kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.

Connect with Anna

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Lone Wolf by Anna Martin to read and review.

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