There’s been a bit of hullaballoo in Romancelandia lately about disclosing relationships when we presume to rave about a book, and so I will begin by admitting I know Kristin Miller, the author of Gone With the Wolf. She was one of my roommates at RWA and we spent several nights up too late giggling with fellow ParaUnbounder A.J. Larrieu. I met Kristin when I joined my local chapter. She was president at the time and not long after, one of her vampire novels, Intervamption, finaled in the Daphne. I promptly bought my copy and it was a solid, steamy paranormal romance with dark world building and occasional bursts of a quirky sense of humor. I really loved that the heroine ate too many vampire energy bars called “blood blasters.”
This first book in her latest series was on sale recently, and so I finally grabbed a copy and got around to reading it.
Along with a steamy and compelling romance conflict, Kristin’s out-right silly sense of humor—one of my favorite things about her—was even more evident in Gone With the Wolf, a light paranormal romance. There were scenes of laugh-out-loud dialogue, like when the hero and heroine make crude jokes about the size of Starbucks drinks and are overheard by the drive-through barista who believes the hero is propositioning him (It IS Seattle, after all). What made these jokes wonderful were how realistic they were. At least, I sincerely hope everyone in love makes the same kind of raunchy jokes my husband and I do in our weird flirting rituals.
Gone With the Wolf is a CEO, opposites attract, category romance, and while I used to think I didn’t like tropey category books, what I’ve learned is that I do, when they’re smart, fresh, and the author has a great voice. The thing about tropes is that, done poorly, they let authors cut corners, and skip the full development of the characters.
Kristin Miller doesn’t fall into this trap—she delivers two complete characters, including an honorable, philanthropic alpha and a feisty bartender heroine who—and I loved this—shredded some of his business documents while working as a temp in his office to get revenge. Hopefully I’m not spoiling if I say the black moment is very convincing—the hero acts like a heavy-handed jerk and reveals he doesn’t quite understand the woman he has fallen for in spite of his good intentions. That seems pretty realistic, in my experience of men, so although I’ve never personally dated a CEO Alpha Werewolf, I could totally empathize with the heroine.
I especially liked the way Kristin wrote the “fated mates” part of the story, and how it worked in the world she’d built. Wolf rivalries, a sort of racism against humans, mates who sicken and suffer when they’re apart. There was plenty of high-stakes drama and I can imagine the same world spawning a complex, dark PNR, but I know Kristin plans to keep the series light, fun, and fast moving.
Oh, and did I mention she writes hot sex?
Gone With the Wolf is a great, fun read and I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series, Four Weddings and a Werewolf.