I don’t read a lot of romance novels, but when I met paranormal romance novelist Stella Night, we bonded over our love of werewolves and shape shifters and I thought I would check out the first in her Whisky Springs Pack trilogy – ‘The Call of her Wolf’.
Fleeing an abusive relationship, Ella finds herself caught in the small town of Whiskey Springs during a flood. Entering ‘Old Master’s Bookshop’ to get directions to the nearest hotel where she can weather the storm, she makes an instant connection with the shop owner, Josh, and his sister Celia. Invited to stay in Whiskey Springs and work in the shop, Elle jumps at the chance of a new life with new friends, but not everything is as it seems and not everyone wants Elle to stay in Whiskey Springs.
Stella Night writes well, with an easy to read, compelling style that holds your interest from start to finish. Her characters are likeable, and portrayed with affection. The usual romance tropes are there, and there are two rather steamy sex scenes, but there is also plenty of character development. Elle has metaphorical demons she must slay, and in doing so she matures and is able to find happiness. She is an intelligent, capable character who teeters on the edge of being a damsel in distress a couple of times throughout the novella, but never really falls into the abyss. Josh, likewise, has his obstacles to overcome. Yes, he is handsome and alpha, but he is also intelligent, loves books and worries about being a good leader to his pack.
At the beginning of the book, the author announces that this is a HEA tale, which I gather is romance fiction lingo for happily ever after – meaning the hero and heroine end up together. This unfortunately negates any scenes of real tension in the book, of which there are a few, as the safety of the main characters is assured.
I enjoyed this novella. I liked the characters of Ella and Josh. I particularly felt for Josh’s sister, Celia. I fell in love with ‘Old Masters Bookshop’ the minute it was introduced, and I wouldn’t mind living in Whiskey Springs and working in the bookshop, spending all my time immersed in lots of rare first editions.
The only problem I have with this book, however, is that it didn’t have quite enough werewolf in it for me. It is paranormal romance, but the paranormal is quite a minor element. I would have liked more depictions of the characters in their shifted form, how the pack dynamic worked and really just more of the wolves. Josh often refers to his wolf wagging its tail or sitting up to attention, but it seemed almost like a metaphor rather than an actual essential part of his personality. To liken it to another paranormal werewolf romance, ‘Bitten’ by Kelley Armstrong, where there is a lot of detail about what it is like to be a werewolf, how it alters your behaviour, what it is like to go on runs, and how the pack structure works. Obviously, ‘The Call of her Wolf’ is a totally different work, with a very different story and focus, but I was left hungry for more description of the werewolves and the exact nature of the paranormal creatures that make up Whiskey Springs.
Saying that, I was interested in continuing the trilogy, with the second book, ‘The Call of her Heart’, focusing on Celia, who elicited my strongest emotional reaction.
Solid writing, pleasant romance and surprisingly complex characters mean that I enjoyed ‘The Call of her Wolf‘, and I award it three out of four dogs.
Find out more about Stella Night and her books here.
Buy her books on Amazon here.