Ben Davis is a vegetarian, Buddhist, and … werewolf. Sorta. For the last three years, Ben has controlled his lycanthropy by avoiding team sports and doing power yoga. Because of his iron physical and mental control, he doesn't change into his less attractive form.
Danielle Linden is a reporter, Ben’s writing partner, and … survivor. Five years ago, she divorced her abusive husband and never looked back. She learned her lesson about love and attraction, though, and guards herself against both. The only guy able to crack her emotional walls is Ben, and he’s just a good-looking teddy bear who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
When a frantic father bursts into the newsroom and claims that his daughter, a local college student, was kidnapped by a werewolf, Dani begins an investigation that soon plunges both her and Ben into the dangerous world of the local wolf pack—a world filled with Pagan rituals and animalistic lusts.
Ben fears both for Dani’s life and his own secret, but things get more complicated when the Hunger Moon rises, an event that only happens once every eighteen years. With his attraction to Dani already straining his self-control … the strong and enigmatic pull of the Hunger Moon brings him to the edge of change.
Then Dani gains the perilous attention of the alpha wolf and Ben realizes he must give in to the dark side of his soul … and in doing so, risk losing the woman he loves—forever.
What the heck is with the length of this blurb?
This is another story about a woman with, what she labels, a seemingly innocent, sweet guy friend when in reality that guy is a repressed freak in the sheets, hopelessly in love with our starring female.
That's how it all started for me, too. =)
Ben or Josh. While Josh from Wishful Thinking had everything going for him, he wasn't a shifter. Which Ben is. Josh also has the better name... So Josh wins but Ben was still fun.
It was pretty clear that Dani resented my intrusion into her perfectly ordered world intensely, but I didn’t hold it against her. She was one of the top reporters at the Sun Times and moving rapidly up the ladder. I quickly learned that my new partner was pigheaded, obstinate, and stubborn. She was also brilliant, gorgeous, and utterly unattainable. To say I was smitten would be an understatement. I fell hard and fast and never looked back.
The partnership that was supposed to last for two weeks had somehow stretched into almost five years, and had become the best and deepest friendship of my life. But that was all it was, just a friendship. That’s where the regret came in. Because I loved Dani Linden with every fiber of my being, but I knew by now she was never going to return that love.
After a lifetime, five years of it with Dani, Ben is losing his control. The superior strength he's been hiding is beginning to prove itself. His eyes are glowing. And he's growling. Slowly and surely, Dani is starting to suspect something is a bit off with her partner/best friend.
I've got to give kudos to Dani though. When her little sister puts the bug in her ear that Ben's been *waiting* for her, that he has feelings for her, Dani steps up and calls him on it. Well, sort of. She backs down pretty damn quick but at least she tried. At least the gears are turning.
And I was actually quite surprised at how quickly things started to unravel in this book. Dani was the victim of an abusive marriage and it was quite the task for Ben to earn her trust the way he did. Once she sees the animal side of him, Dani freaks. Even claws at his face until there's blood. Talk about a 'woh' moment.
Poor Benji. At least the guy's smart and looks to family for advice. Gotta love his mom and grandfather. Now those are some characters.
“I don’t believe in all that Pagan crap,” I said, clenching my jaw. “Lycanthropy is a disease, not a blessing or a curse, and it can be controlled.”
Grandpa sighed. “For the life of me I don’t know why you fight it so hard. Let me tell you exactly what you need to do. First, go tell that pretty little gal of yours that you love her and you want her so bad you can’t see straight. Second, tell her the truth about what you really are. Third, find a pack or a coven to celebrate Mabon with -- or just go off the two of you and celebrate alone. Let her watch you change. When you change back, worship the Goddess together.”
“Worship ...?” I raised an eyebrow at him.
“Take her, sonny boy. Make love to her. You’ve never had sex till you’ve had it after a change during the Hunger Moon. It’s the closest thing you’re gonna find to Heaven this side of the Milky Way. Why, I remember with your grandma --”
“Grandpa, please.” I could feel my cheeks heating. “I really don’t need to know the details.”
“All right then.” He kind of chuckled, like it amused him to embarrass me. “The point is,Benji , that the Hunger Moon is the time when the Goddess actually manifests herself among her creatures. After the Mabon ceremony she fills every woman to the brim -- you can see her shining in their eyes like moonlight, and it’s beautiful, just beautiful.” He sighed. “She’s most present in the Mabon queen, the woman picked to represent her, but every woman there gets a little piece of her for that one special night. You haven’t lived until you’ve fucked a goddess under the full moon on a crisp autumn night, sonny boy. You really ought to try it.”
As Dani insists on playing detective in her hunt for a missing teenage girl, she gets herself in trouble with the local pack alpha, Thrash, who needs a woman to fuck during Mabon. It then becomes a big hoorah for who gets to claim Dani. And, according to a priestess, if Ben has a true claim on her then his kiss will heal the wounds inflicted by Thrash during his own little claiming ceremony. Odd much?
At about eighty percent, in the days after the Mabon ritual, Dani completely flips her script and proves the stereotype men have that women are just crazy. How she made one plus one equal, hell, *fifteen* I don't know.
This was such a perfectly romantic story, but the ending just failed. On an epic level. I don't see how they were channeling anything whatsoever in the direction of McKinsey. Once again, the female POV just kills it for me.
If they had stuck with just Ben's perspective, instead of jumping back and forth to Dani's, things would have been fine. Juuuuuust fine.