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REVIEW: The Wolf At The Door by Charlie Adhara

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Big Bad Wolf: The Wolf At The Door – 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.

I’ve been reading three shifter stories in quick succession. So far, each of them brought something different to the table and kept things from being same-y. All Souls Near & Nigh has gods and magic galore and Hexhunter has witches, familiars and its own toned-down magic.

The third book, The Wolf At The Door has no magic at all, except maybe for the part where people can change into wolves. It’s an engaging first novel that blended were-wolves with police procedural. It puts a fresh spin on the shifter genre and offers another delightful couple to root for. So I’m happy my first Charlie Adhara is a win.

First, I really liked how this series avoided the usual insta-love fated mate thing and made the whole set-up as realistic as it can given the premise. It treated the wolves as ‘normal’, almost like a racial minority who had to fight for their rights and deal with bigotry.

The wolves came out to the government but still a secret to the general public. The Trust, their oversight organization, collaborated with the Bureau of Special Investigations to investigate possible wolf-related serial killings in the town of Florence. Cooper was the agent chosen to investigate and he was assigned Park as his Trust partner. Cooper survived a werewolf attack, which was the reason why he started working at the BSI and being partnered with a werewolf was bound to get his hackles up.

“Something bothering you, Agent Dayton?” 

“Nope. Just want to solve this case. And go home and hug my very live cat.” 

“Should have known you were a cat person.” 

“Why, because I don’t like you?” Cooper muttered as Park left the trailer.

Cooper is insecure, not a small talk person and more often than not tends to be harsh. Meanwhile, Park is unflappable, caring, and kind of perfect really with a vulnerable side that makes you want to hug him, especially when Cooper was being particularly bitchy. This combination has worked pretty well for other mystery/paranormal series such as Holmes & Moriarity and Psycop and the same fantastic chemistry could be felt in this series too as viewed from Cooper’s perspective. I also liked how the progression of their romance was paced and where they are in their relationship when the book ended.

Mystery-wise, I guessed the unsub early on. However, I didn’t really mind. Even with the predictable part, the book was well-written and had a lot of surprising twists, suspenseful moments and snarky humor to keep me listening until 4 am. I enjoyed tagging along with Cooper and Park in their investigation. I was also more focus on Park who was a big mystery himself. It didn’t help that the were-wolf was close-lipped when it comes to himself and his family. There were many things hinted at, the Parks, were-wolf politics, the ominous “it’s bigger than us” declarations, a lot of hush-hush stuff. That’s also as far as the world-building goes and boy, do I need to know more!

So color me intrigued. And hooked! I’m definitely sticking around for these big bad wolves.

Recommended for those who like ’em growley but low-key.

Rating:
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

Soundtrack: Safe
Artist: David Bowie
Album: Heathen

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