Reviewed by: Ulysses Dietz
Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team
Written under the pseudonym Sid Love, this novella is the first in a promised series that focuses on a classic paranormal romance theme: the conflict among various groups of non-human beings.
Terry is rescued from his burning house and wakes up on the edge of the forest with a large wolf watching over him. As he gets to know the townsfolk—after his near-death makes them warm to him despite his being a stranger—he realizes that their local sporting-goods/hardware store owner Clyde is the very wolf who pulled him from the flames. But Clyde is a cursed werewolf, and Terry steps in to help him because of a singular pull he feels toward this young man.
Turns out, Terry is himself a warlock, who moved to this beautiful but isolated part of Montana to start a new life. Both he and Clyde are victims of a war among paranormals that ended when they were children. Terry’s attraction to Clyde becomes a test of the strained truce between the magicals and the night creatures. Very Romeo and Juliet.
I enjoyed this. Sawyer’s writing is clean and clear. Both the characters and the plot are solid, and the paranormal premise is a sure hook. My only complaint is that, like many novellas, it feels rushed, and at times the narrative is perfunctory. We get a lot of back-story thrown at us with relatively little explication. Terry and Clyde’s evolving attraction is not allowed to grow organically. For me, this would have been better as a full-length novel, giving the author space to flex his writing skills, with a slower build to create a richer backdrop for Terry and Clyde’s story. Novellas are difficult, and this suffers from the brevity of its format.
That said, I was hooked, because the author’s imagination is fertile, and the romantic possibilities of the series are ripe. Sawyer has tapped into a world of fantasy that made me want to go along for the ride.