Review: Wolf’s Instinct: A Day Care for Shifters by Elva Birch (2021)

Heat Factor: It’s not high heat, but it’s certainly sweet.

Character Chemistry: There’s not a ton of tension but it’s certainly an adorable romance.

Plot: Addison is a new resident of small-town Montana and gets a job at a shifter nursery where she meets single-dad Roderick. Roderick is also dealing with the arrival of his daughter’s birth mother, crazy town politics and presumably just being a shifter dad.

Overall: This book was a charming little palate cleanser. Not too tense, not too boring. Just lovely.

I’m PRETTY sure this one hit at just the right sweet spot–I’d finished a couple more intense, angsty books and I knew I had some WEIRD coming down the pike in October (HEY-O MONSTER WEEK) so what better palate cleanser than a sweet and not-too-terribly stressful shifter book involving a tiny shifter daycare?

Honestly, the best part of this book was the shifter babies. Essentially, starting to shift is just another milestone kids have to figure out how to manage like walking and eating with silverware and using the toilet–and as anyone who has ever spent time with tiny people knows, these skills don’t come gracefully. So the whole book is full of tiny chubby people clumsily shifting into armadillos and owls and puppies and stuff and it’s so cute it almost hurts. 

Ok, right–but this is a romance. And that’s where Addison and Roderick come in. Roderick is a single dad who was burned before when his instinct led him to the mother of his daughter, Gabby. Although she was not prepared for parenthood, Roderick is determined to be the best dad he can be. And honestly, he really is–he’s patient and kind and thoughtful. Surprisingly, his biggest worry in starting a relationship with Addison isn’t whether he should be introducing her to his daughter’s life; he’s worried that he trusted his instinct before and it failed him. So how can be sure his instinct about Addison won’t?

Addison is in a slightly more precarious position. She’s new in town, has a new job, is dating the father of one of her daycare kids, has been abused in the past, and just generally doesn’t have a strong foothold yet. For the most part, I had zero flutters of worry or anxiety in this book because it’s just so totally easygoing, but I did have a very halfhearted hint of “aww, honey are you sure this is a good idea” float through my mind a time or two. Ultimately though, it was pretty obvious they were meant to be.

To add further complications, the town is undergoing a huge boom and rent prices are going through the roof (so of course these people who have known each other for two weeks are toying with the idea of living together), and then Roderick’s ex and the mother of his child show up. I expected things to get a little crazy here because, in my humble opinion, the recipe for relationship drama is a smidgen of rushing into things with a hefty dollop of parental responsibility, plus a dash of “damaged from a past relationship”. But, of course, they’re all very reasonable and well-adjusted adults, so…no drama.

Like I said, this was a palate cleanser that hit me at just the right time. In all honestly, I could easily see this being a bit too relaxed and carefree for some readers, and it is exceedingly wholesome (so bodice ripper enthusiasts would perhaps be disappointed). But it was a sweet and funny, feel-good read and I enjoyed it very much.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon

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