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Romance and other things


The Wolf at the Door (Big Bad Wolf #1) - Charlie Adhara

A former FBI agent is partnered with the enemy in this suspenseful male/male shifter romance from debut author Charlie Adhara Hunting for big bad wolves was never part of Agent Cooper Dayton’s plan, but a werewolf attack lands him in the carefully guarded Bureau of Special Investigations. A new case comes with a new partner: ruggedly sexy werewolf Oliver Park. Park is an agent of The Trust, a werewolf oversight organization working to ease escalating tensions with the BSI. But as far as Cooper’s concerned, it’s failing. As they investigate a series of mysterious deaths unlike anything they’ve seen, every bone in Cooper’s body is suspicious of his new partner—even when Park proves himself as competent as he is utterly captivating. When more people vanish, pressure to solve the case skyrockets. And though he’d resolved to keep things professional, Cooper’s friction with Park soon erupts…into a physical need that can’t be contained or controlled. But with a body count that’s rising by the day, werewolves and humans are in equal danger. If Cooper and Park don’t catch the killer soon, one—or both—of them could be the next to go. This book is approximately 90,000 words


Dear Charlie Adhara,

My friend Raine told me that she was going to be brave and try a new author and when Raine recommends books to me I listen, because our tastes tend to run very close to each other. I am so pleased that I now have a new author whose works I can look forward to. I love books about werewolves in theory, but same as it tends to be with BDSM themed books I rarely find the book about shifters that I enjoy. This one I enjoyed very much.

Beware though, that even though the narrative does give us the beginning of romance between two great guys, the focus of the story is on the mystery/suspense storyline which I thought was very well done. Do not get me wrong, for me the book had more than enough romance (and some great sex too). The men were very busy doing their jobs and I appreciated how the author made the romantic storyline believable for me by not making them forget about their jobs in favor of romance but I can see how it may not be enough for some readers.

In this world, the werewolves recently came out to some of the human world and in order to deal with the werewolves related crimes the BSI was formed where some former FBI agents were recruited and told the secret which they either encountered by accident, or for whatever other reason.

Of course not everybody amongst the werewolves was/is happy about even such limited coming out and tensions between werewolves and BSI are heating up for various reasons. To improve cooperation between werewolves and the rest of the human world ( that part of the world that knows about them anyway) our main characters are paired together as blurb tells you. They are paired together and sent to the town of Florence to investigate the series of murders that could have been done by werewolves.

Cooper was basically told that his regular partner is not going to be a part of this investigation and instead he gets himself a temporary new partner – a former university professor and now the agent of “Trust” Oliver Park. Of course Cooper is not happy with such development, but his Boss in BSI tells him basically to be on his best behavior and make it work.

The book is written from Cooper’s third person limited POV and he is the only one who tells the story for the reasons which are made clear perfectly well at the end of the book. We only see Oliver’s through Cooper’s eyes and I thought it was very well done; I loved how we got to know him through Cooper while Cooper was working through his missteps and some unintentional prejudices. Cooper honestly wanted to do good in his investigations and not target innocent people, but nobody is perfect and Cooper certainly had to learn/re –learn some stuff where werewolves were concerned.

And I just loved Cooper’s voice. The story was dealing with gruesome murders, so by and large this was not a humorous book, which made perfect sense considering the subject matter, but the author managed to insert some humorous touches and occasional sarcasm in his narrative.

“Rudi Abouesse stared at him from the open doorway. It was a toss-up whether her expression was more hostile or disbelieving. “Why aren’t you as sick of me as I am of you?” She looked over his shoulder. “You know, the good cop/ bad cop routine is usually more effective with two people.”"


As you can see the next couple of short quotes are more closely related to the romance storyline. Please note that when Cooper is thinking in these, he literally is stuck in the certain place and is waiting for Park to come and help him out. I did not find romantic comments inappropriate in this part of the narrative at all. I know opinions may differ.


“Stupid. Maybe he deserved to have someone drop a rock on his head and put him out of his misery. “C’mon, you bastard. Show me your super hearing. Asshole Park. Huge alpha Park. Big, strong, muscular Park. Amazing Ass Park. Pretty Eyes Park.”"


“But his surprise at the comment distracted him from the aching in his back for one or two precious milliseconds. Had Park checked him out? Was he interested in him sexually? Was this a reasonable time to be thinking about it? Probably not seemed to cover all three."

Romantic storyline does include some bickering between the men, but once again I thought the author kept it to the minimum and I also thought that while Cooper did occasionally go overboard, he learned throughout the story and he did not do it at the expense of the job. We do see him acknowledging that he trusted Park and was attracted to him as well.

I thought the mystery plot was *extremely* well done. I was very impressed by the final twist, because the author managed to came up with the scenario where Cooper being clueless till the very end about the main villain and his motives ( supposedly he did figure out another one a little bit prior to the big confrontation) made perfect sense and I would have even been upset if it did not happen. I am unable to explain it without any spoilers, dear readers.  Cooper even tries to get help before he goes to confront the villain whose identity he did figure out and I appreciated that after reading about so many characters in m/m mysteries just bravely and idiotically go to confront the villains all alone.  And  still asking for help does not help Cooper much!  You would have to read the book if you want to find out the meaning behind me being cryptic, but I loved the ending. I thought it was very cleverly done.

I am very much looking forward to the next book.

Grade: B+/A-