Author: L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 358 Pages
At a Glance: The authors manage to raise their own bar with this book
Blurb: Hunter Easton is screwed. Fans, producers, and his agent are all chomping at the bit for the next book in his wildly popular Wolf’s Landing series, but he’s got epic writer’s block and is way behind deadline. Then he reads The World Tree, a fanfic novel by his online friend “Lone Wolf.” It isn’t just a great story—it’s exactly what the series needs.
Kevin Hussain is thrilled when “Wolf Hunter” wants to meet up after reading The World Tree. When Wolf Hunter turns out to be Hunter Easton himself, Kevin is starstruck. When Hunter tells him he wants to add The World Tree to Wolf’s Landing, Kevin is sure he’s being pranked. And when their online chemistry carries over—big time—into real life, Kevin is convinced it’s all too good to be true.
The problem is . . . it might be. The book deal, the sex, the money—everything is amazing. But fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Kevin is left wondering if Hunter really loves him, or just loves his book.
Review: This is the fourth book in a universe built around Bluewater Bay, a small oceanside town in Oregon, and a TV production that is being filmed in the town. Each book focuses on a separate couple, but the cast of characters intermingle throughout the books, and that is one of the best parts of reading a universe series, for me. When an author can successfully bring secondary characters into their own stories, and add depth to the readers’ awareness of the characters, then they have displayed their own talents well. L.A. Witt and Alexsandr Voinov do this very well in Lone Wolf.
We are introduced to Hunter, the author of the original books that the TV series is based on, and Kevin, a young, geeky fanboy of the books. They have developed a friendship online while hiding behind avatars in the fan group for the books. Kevin is the administrator of the site, and writes fanfic that he shares with Hunter. Of course, he doesn’t know who Hunter really is. This leads to the two men meeting in real life and therein lies the story. I don’t like to write spoilers for the books I review, but I must say the glimpse into the life of an author and the behind the scenes look at publishing, editing, and promotion was amazing. I loved it and I feel so much more sympathy for my favourite authors who might complain of edits in their inboxes now. In terms of this story, though, it solidified the two MCs for me, made them real and allowed the progression of their relationship to resonate. In a good romance novel, we must feel a connection to the characters, and the authors deliver in this one.
The conflicts that arise are real stumbling steps for a relationship, the walls that each man has, and the softening of the barriers between them, are carefully laid out and explored. Layers are added to the characters as they interact with others, both recurring in the series and newly introduced to us, in a very convincing way. The power of this book comes from the emotional connection that grows between Hunter and Kevin, as well as the joy they find in their physical relationship. These two authors are well known for their erotic stories, but I think they have managed to raise their own bar with this book. The alternating POV they use is an effective tool to emphasise the conflict between the characters, and it works seamlessly to highlight the development of the relationship and adds elements of humor and depth to the book. The reader was gifted with an awareness of the character that adds to our connection to them. The plot, pacing and tone of this book are solid; the authors have taken an unbelievable situation and made it work. This is not a fairy tale, it is a romance, and it left me wanting more… More in the series, and more glimpses of Hunter and Kevin.
You can buy Lone Wolf: A Bluewater Bay Novel here: