Brenda Williamson's name has popped up often at the ebook online bookseller I visit but I must own up to not having read any of her work previously. She has a fine portfolio of literary achievement and has held her own among the bevy of romance writers who are producing some fine romance fiction for today's readers. So I was excited about reading this novel. I must also admit that until about a year ago I had not read paranormal anything and wasn't particularly interested in doing so. That is no longer the case and I have become a serious fan of paranormal romance. I was not disappointed with this story.
Randi Brown was your quintessential real estate agent, good looking, aggressive, driven--not by personal ambition particularly, but by the need to support her two siblings since the death of their parents. Her boss wants her to get a reclusive billionaire to sell some of his land on Wolfe Mountain, properties that are dream acreage for potential developers. Unfortunately, Mr. Wolfe has repeatedly declared that none of his property is for sale, and unfortunately, Randi attempted to contact him in the middle of a terrifying rain storm. Following a slide into a ditch--an accident that rendered her car unusable, she encounters an individual that allows her to believe he is caretaker for Mr Wolfe's mountain residence. He tells her his name is "Jr" which is not a lie--his name is Nicolas Wolfe, Jr. She is also unaware that he is a werewolf and that he is overwhelmed with her scent--the scent of his mate. He tries very hard to resist her as she is a human. Doesn't work, not even, no way. It doesn't help that she has had a long relational dry spell and his good looks and masculinity are like a blow to her stomach. He scents her attraction and they are both down for the count.
This is a very erotic story and goes back and forth between "J.R.'s" inability to resist her, their mutual determination to resist one another that keeps falling by the wayside, his reluctance to tell her anything about himself and his prevarication regarding "Mr. Wolfe." Randi's car is inoperable so she is stranded several days by the storm. She is puzzled by the occasional appearance of wolves at the edge of the property, and she is perplexed that J. R. keeps insisting that she must remain within the boundaries of house and yard. She is a bit distressed that in the heat of passion he had bitten her. Little does she realize what the long-term ramifications of that marking will be. And overshadowing all this is the occasional surfacing of a mystery involving the death of his first wife, the appearance of his attorney and that man's negative reaction to Randi's presence, a chance meeting with an "old man" when she is out for a walk which brings warning to her that make her very uneasy.
This is a story about trust, about caring for those who need protection from a society that will assuredly misunderstand and persecute, about the right of someone to preserve one's own surroundings for the greater good, and about the power of love and kindness and trust to overcome fear, greed, and death. Ms Williamson has written a story that is full of hot loving, gentle caring, a friendship that grows quietly but persistently, and a journey of discovery for Randi about herself and her abilities to move beyond her comfort zones. Nick (J.R.) must also find a way to move out of the confines of his carefully orchestrated lifestyle, his self-imposed prison of aloneness and silence. He and Randi both must find ways to resolve the tension between what others do not accept or believe, and their love that can bridge both the world of humans and those who don't fit well into the human context.
I liked this story a lot. It was entertaining and very romantic, well-written with a story line that reflected a good plot. The resolution to the mistaken identity, Randi's need to make an adequate living for her family, the mystery of the death of the Mrs. Wolfe, and the impasse between J. R. and Randi was surprising and well-done. This tale will be a worthy way to spend some reading time and will be a stroke for the libido as well. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
This novel was released by Red Sage Publishing on 01 November 2010
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