By Mari Hamill
****1/2 Surprises around every corner
Werewolf Nights by Marti Hamill is a keeps-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat paranormal romance. There is a surprise around every corner that will have you guessing what’s going to happen next and where everything will lead. If you can tolerate the brief moments where I get flashbacks of old B horror movies from certain scenes then Werewolf Nights is definitely worth the read.
In a small Michigan town called Wereville the werewolf lore is buried deep within the inhabitants as well as the flocks of tourists that scramble to the town during the Festival of the Wolf. Legends pit werewolf hunters against werewolves dating all the way back to the time of the settlers of Wereville. It’s in this town that Catherine Mercy, owner of the Full Moon Bakery, finds out that not only is her personal and family history wrapped up in the legends of the werewolves, but her present will also become enmeshed in them as well. These same myths and legends touch every aspect of this paranormal romance, down to even being tied to Catherine’s baking.
From the beginning I found myself interested in the goings on of Wereville and how Cathy was involved. The story line seemed to flow forth, but I have to admit it was a tad jumpy. One scene will happen and within the same paragraph an entirely different scene took place. Again, I felt the flow was great despite the jumpiness. However, the jumpiness did not interrupt the story line or cause things to be confusing.
We learn from the beginning that werewolves and the lore surrounding them will be not only the backdrop but will also be weaved throughout the entire story line. Catherine Mercy, owner of the Full Moon Bakery at the center of town, is semi dreading the Festival of the Wolf that is about to overtake her community for an entire month. The festival takes place every seven years and Catherine’s history with the festival isn't all that great. Seven years ago she lost her husband Frank in a boating accident around the time of the festival. Seven years prior she lost her high school sweetheart, Jimmy, when he left in search of an acting career in Los Angeles and was never heard from again.
As aforementioned, the Festival of the Wolf is a huge ordeal in Wereville. Different events, vendors and types of people practically take over the center of town. Because of the luck Cathy has encountered during the festival and something her grandmother told her as a teenager, she tends to keep her distance. However, this year is a little different. Galactic Films is taking the festival as an opportunity to use the town and it’s legends to film its latest movie. Anne, Cathy's best friend, encourages her to check out one of the filming sites where she encounters the lead character dressed in his werewolf mask and makeup, Greg Byron-a very good looking actor that, unfortunately, Cathy has never seen in the flesh.
Enter Charles, an out-of-town stranger who comes into the bakery on the first day of the festival for a piece of apple pie. Cathy is instantly drawn to him, and he to her. However, because of Cathy’s luck in love she is hesitant to pursue it. The two see each other a few times and we start finding out how many secrets this story holds and, as a reader, here begins the maze.
By some strange luck, Greg’s co-star leaves the film and the rumor is that Galactic Films cannot afford to bring in a new Hollywood co-star, nor do they have the time to do so. They hold auditions in town where Cathy-encouraged by Anne because of her background in acting during high school-tries out for the role and is given it immediately. She’s to be on set soon, but filming will be done outside of town where the time period of the legends has been recreated. So, she has to leave Charles and they decide to just be friends. Little does she know, their paths will cross again.
At this point, Cathy heads out to Wolfern Manor, an old abandoned plantation that's been rebuilt for the movie, for the remainder of the filming. This is where everything begins, and where my discussing much more ends. Why? You've got to read it to find out because the further I go, the more spoilers I’ll give. Suffice it to say there are tons of secrets, myths, legends, love, deceit, and a ton of other fun stuff for you to explore on your own.
Werewolf Nights was very well written with great editing. I found it to be easy reading. The laid back approach Ms. Hamill takes in telling not only the tale of Wereville’s legends but also Catherine’s story is quite a great approach. As I mentioned, some scenes were a little B-movie, but aside from that it truly was a great read. There is passion, but no explicit sex scenes-if that is something that bothers you about paranormal romance books.
I wasn't sure about this book but I'm super glad I read it. It kept me on my toes and even if I guessed I could never really figure out what was going to happen next-which I love. I enjoyed the way the story is wrapped around Catherine in every way, including in something as minor as her baking. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a little romance with their paranormal, werewolves, a great mystery, or just enjoys reading a good book. I’d definitely read another from this author as well as her style of writing leaves you guessing-which I love.