REVIEWED BY L.A. ASHTON
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Queer Rep: Lesbian
Warnings: Blood, violence, rampant misogyny
L.A.'s Rating: Two Stars
[Note: I received an ARC of this work in exchange for an honest review]
Rachel and Sara cross paths on the full moon. A deep and immediate attraction overcomes them, but they part ways before initiating a full bond to receive approval from their Alpha Wolf fathers. Rachel’s father is accepting, but Sara has no such luck. Pain of an uncompleted bond seizes them, but Sara’s father is determined to keep them apart until the feeling fades.
This novella is marked as “4.5” in the “Regent Park Pack” series, but the author assured me it could be read as a standalone. As most of the books focus on individual couples and conflicts, I happily agreed. The world needs more lesbian werewolves.
But maybe not these lesbian werewolves.
The author was right—mostly. This novella can be read as a standalone. The conflict is built and resolved wholly within its pages, and the world-building was done simply. However, I do not think this piece is best consumed that way.
There were times during the novella where a lot of werewolf men were talking and I felt like I’d dropped into episode 39 of a long running TV series. The men were presented without much information to anchor them in the reader’s mind, and there were so many. They were previous series protagonists, no doubt. But they were cardboard cutouts to me, and it was difficult to care about any of them.
I’ve said before I’m not a fan of “love at first sight” or soulmate tropes, unless the piece seeks to defy them. Rachel and Sara are immediately attracted to each other with no buildup (there is a sex scene literally a few pages into the book) and I could have really dug the animalistic yearning of being forced apart, but... it was mostly just sad and mopey, which is fine, but not something to endear me to the dynamic. I think people who prefer this type of narrative would appreciate the piece much more than I did. It wound up not being a great match.
In general the novella felt very cliché. Tropes have their place, but it was always very obvious what was coming. Without something to shake up the pace or add spice, the words grew dull.
This was not helped by the fact that the protagonists did not actually propel the novella forward. The girls were very reactionary; everyone around them aimed to help their situation and puzzle things into place while they did extremely little. In the end, all but one of the final scenes was orchestrated by side-characters while the girls were dragged along. They did so happily—and hornily—but were strangely inconsequential to their own plot. Sara finally showed some steel at the end and leveraged the best possible outcome, but had she not done so, the result would have been similar.
Neither of the girls captured me as I thought they would. Their personalities didn’t come through as well as I believe the author intended, which made my interest in their bond slowly degrade. I did love Sara’s grandmother. She is the MVP of this novella.
As I mentioned above, the men did not stick in my brain properly. We needed more one-on-one with some of them I think; as it stood, I could not remember one from the other or what personality/position belonged to who.
I’m a big fan of paranormal romance, but I am not a big fan of soulmate tropes. I think for fans of the series and maybe some fans of destined lovers/soulmates/etc, this could be a match. For me it was not.
Annabelle Jacobs’ official site can be found here, and her twitter is here.
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Bitten by Her (paperback) | Bitten by Her (ebook)