Threatened by financial ruin, widowed bakery owner Catherine Mercy leads a solitary life with more interest in reading about werewolf lore than in finding a man. Her one true love disappeared after high school and her now deceased husband kept her trapped in the house claiming that a werewolf might hunt her down one day, just as her grandmother repeatedly warned her. When Hollywood interrupts the town’s monotony by shooting a werewolf movie on location, Catherine decides to audition. Already in her thirties, she feels ridiculous trying to become an actress, but lands the leading role.
Catherine’s daily routine turns into a hair-raising adventure as fame begins to monitor her wanderings and she falls for her sexy costar Greg Byron, in spite of the actor’s neon warning sign that flashes conceited womanizer. Just when romance sparkles, a wolf bites Greg.
While Greg’s features turn lupine, Catherine discovers a resemblance between the movie script and her family’s history. Afraid, Catherine recruits werewolf expert Steve to figure out if the movie’s werewolf legend is real and Wolfern, the werewolf her grandmother spoke about, has finally come for her. If it is, Greg will turn into a dangerous werewolf. Only finding a way to undo Greg’s curse and destroying Wolfern before the next full moon can save their love and their lives.
I’d like to start this review by saying this book is cheesier than a stuffed-crust, four cheese pizza with parmesan sprinkled on top of it! But, as something of a self-titled cheese aficionado, please take that statement as high praise. It is the debut novel by Mari Hamill and a great one at that.
After the last book I read I needed something light-hearted and easy to digest, and Werewolf Nights was exactly that. It was an easy to pick up book with short chapters that helped to keep the plot swimming along nicely and the characters developing with it. It was nothing short of a pleasure to read and I am very glad to have been given the chance by author Mari Hamill, as usually I wouldn’t pick up a book like this – romance, supernatural or otherwise, isn’t usually my ‘thing’ but every now and again one comes my way that I can’t say no too.
The setting of Werewolf Nights is the fictional town of Wereville – not to far from Weretown – which comes across as a relatively small town that boasts a museum of it’s local history, Wereville University and a local bakers which rising starlet, Catherine owns and works. The town is a fascinating setting as it hosts a month long celebration ‘Festival of the Wolf’ Where the residents of the town dress up on the full moon, as either werewolves or hunters and chase one another. It sounds like an utterly crazy festival, but highly entertaining! Much like the book itself, it is a crazy, but highly entertaining read that I found myself looking forward to picking up and reading during any spare moments that I was afforded.
The main character, Catherine Mercy, I found myself having a fondness for as she was easy to connect to and sympathise with. Her lack of luck in the love department and her fun – but rather traumatic first date – introduction set the scene and pace for the rest of the novel. Through her, at times rather jaded eyes, we are introduced to the other characters within the book. Her quirky friends Anne and Agatha – who also offer different perspectives, which are jovial and down to earth. We’re also introduced to potential romantic interests. Charles and Greg; both of which have their unique charms and have a wonderful story to reveal to the reader. As does Frank Swank, Catherines presumed dead husband. It’s clear who to root for in the story when the characters all start to show their true colours. Their backstories doesn’t feel forced either and are easily followed in their own individual chapters – clearly dividing the past and present of the story.
The plot of Werewolf Nights is extremely clever, think of it as an easy to follow, light hearted Inception of the Romantic Werewolf variety! The tension on the plot grows as the story reaches its climax and the reveals are as entertaining as the rest of the story is. What I found the most pleasing about Werewolf Nights was that it felt like so much more than the ‘boy-meets-girl’ romance trope. I found it surprising and engaging beyond the predictable in terms of content. It’s a nice mature romance without a school in sight, which I found to be a much more captivating choice as a reader; in layman’s terms, Werewolf Nights isn’t the Twilight clone that I was expecting – and I feel bad for even making that comparison in this review, but whenever someone utters ‘supernatural romance’ that’s instantly what springs to mind. If you read Werewolf Nights please be prepared of that preconception, because it’s nothing like it.
It’s nice to come across a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I dare say Werewolf Nights is one of those books. It’s not going to be for everyone. There are a few twists involving the love interests, but they’re easy to predict which is really the only slightly negative element I can think of, but not every book needs to be a complex intrigue and it was refreshing to read something that was easy to take at face-value.
An easy to read and digest supernatural romance that has a very clever plot but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Probably best avoided if werewolves aren’t your thing!