Book Reviews,  Fantasy,  Romance

Book Review: In Darkness: The Werewolf

In Darkness: The WerewolfIn Darkness: The Werewolf by L. Diane Wolfe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Vickie is a young American woman who has come to England to attend fencing school. She soon finds herself attracted to her landlord’s son, Nicholas. Just as romance begins to bloom, she discovers that he’s a werewolf. Can this relationship be saved?

Out of the many werewolf books there are to choose from, this is perhaps the sweetest, gentlest story in that genre that you’re likely to find. I’d even venture to say its a werewolf story for readers who don’t usually read paranormal books.

If you’re more interested in the intrapersonal relationship between a self-conscious woman and a shy boy-who-never-left-home, this just might be your cup of tea. I use the word ‘intrapersonal’ deliberately, since Vickie and Nicholas both struggle with serious self esteem issues which keep tripping them up as they struggle to find their happily ever after.

Vickie lives in one of the many cottages that Nicholas’s dad rents out. The landlord’s house is nestled in among the cottages, but unlike the cozy rentals, it’s a large mansion filled with plenty of rooms, and mysteries. I especially enjoyed scenes set in the mansion, as I love that sort of backdrop to a tale. Most of the story takes place in either Vickie’s cottage or the landlord’s mansion. These two locations are well-used in telling this story; I could picture each in my mind’s eye very easily, and that enhanced the story for me.

This is not an action/adventure book. The plot is made up of day to day activities, laid out in detail. Nothing is hurried through or glossed over. Every emotion is described in a way that brings the reader firmly into the minds of the characters. The conversations are, for the most part, sweetly awkward, or earnestly confused.

The blossoming romance is darn near wholesome. Intimate contact is minimal and contains no graphic details. It’s also well-delayed until late in the book thanks to our couple’s abundance of ‘nobody could possibly love damaged me’ hang-ups.

When we witness the full moon changing Nicholas into a werewolf, there’s no actual violence, unless you count one accidental mauling that’s deeply regretted by the mauler and quickly dismissed by the maulee.

The cover art is dark and brooding, and features a pivotal scene in the story. I appreciate an honest book cover—we live in times where you often cannot judge a book by its cover, so I appreciated honest artwork that’s integral to the story within.

In Darkness: The Werewolf releases on September 5, 2023 and can be pre-ordered at your favorite bookseller.

This review was first posted at SciFi.Radio.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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