Review: Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger (2017)

Supernatural Society, Book 2

Heat Factor: Steamy with a side of sentiment

Character Chemistry: Maybe an overemphasis on the Alpha/Beta, but I was rooting for them

Plot: Rekindling the old flame after 20 years

Overall: A charming couple of hours

This is the totally adorable love story of Professor Lyall and Biffy, who feature in all five of the Parasol Protectorate novels as well as in Prudence and a little bit Imprudence of the Custard Protocol. Biffy is short for Rabiffano, as in Sandalio de Rabiffano, which is an AMAZING name that has been used twice in 8 books, which in turn is very sad. Professor Lyall is only called professor because he really likes to study sheep. (As wolves do.)

Possibly the reason I so enjoyed this book is because I really liked Lyall and Biffy in all the other books and they both really needed to fall in love with someone! All you need is love! Biffy is the Alpha of the London pack, but he hasn’t been Alpha for very long, he hasn’t even been a werewolf very long. Lyall has been Beta of the Woolsey/London pack for a loooooooooong time before spending some time as Beta of the Kingair pack as penance for past wrongs. He’s hundreds of years old. It’s a novella, so the story is not very involved. There are just two basic streams:

One: Biffy and Lyall both have some past romantic baggage that’s sad but awww-do-you-need-a-hug sad, not how-could-you-possibly-overcome-this-level-of-melancholy sad. They had a little something going on before Lyall left to join the Kingair pack and it meant more to both than either admitted to the other. Now Lyall’s just back from India to resume his position as Beta of the London pack, and Biffy is completely unconvinced that he’s doing a competent Alpha. But would Biffy be abusing his position as Alpha if he resumed his relationship with Lyall? Meanwhile, Lyall thinks Biffy moved on and doesn’t want him anymore.

Two: Someone keeps leaving babies on the doorstep of the pack’s new house, so there are all of these hundred+ years old werewolves trying to figure out what to do with babies, so they’re like, “Why is it crying?!” and “We need a Christmas tree!” and “I’m pretty sure humans need wassail!” (Heads up–human infants do not need wassail.) It’s pretty funny, as it’s meant to be.

All in all, this book is enjoyable. Biffy and Lyall are likeable characters, and I find Carriger’s writing generally delightful (she tends toward the absurd, so might not be everyone’s jam). Here’s the grain of salt, then: I’m not sure that a reader unfamiliar with the Maccons and Akeldamas would get to know these characters well enough in only this story to be as charmed as I am. I also noticed (and did not enjoy) that Lyall treated Biffy much differently than he treated Lord Maccon, and I don’t mean because of the lover thing. In seven books, I’m not sure I could count on one hand the number of times Lyall referred to a pack Alpha as “Alpha” rather than by title (“Lord Maccon”), but he does it in this book constantly. They have a dominant/submissive relationship. Got it. No need to hammer it into my head. Would have much preferred to see the deference as written in those other stories: faultless politeness.

Oh well. Anyway, if you’re looking for some steamy but not graphic M/M werewolf action (so specific!), this is a good place to find it.

Buy Now: Amazon

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