Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Romancing the Werewolf: A Supernatural Society Novella
SERIES: Supernatural Society #2
AUTHOR: Gail Carriger
PUBLISHER: GAIL CARRIGER LLC
LENGTH: 149 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 5, 2017
Werewolf in trouble…
Biffy, newly minted Alpha of the London Pack, is not having a good Christmas. His Beta abandoned him, his werewolves object to his curtain choices, and someone keeps leaving babies on his doorstep.
Professor Randolph Lyall returns home to London after twenty years abroad, afraid of what he might find. With his pack in chaos and his Alpha in crisis, it will take all his Beta efficiency to set everything to rights. Perhaps, in the process, he may even determine how to mend his own heart.
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger presents a charming gay love story set in her popular steampunk Parasolverse. Featuring the long-awaited reunion between everyone’s favorite quietly capable Beta and the werewolf Alpha dandy who let him slip away. This sweet romance is full of unexpected babysitting, holiday decorations, and no small amount of pining.
If you have been eagerly and longingly awaiting the story of Biffy and Professor Randolph Lyall–first introduced in the Parasol Protectorate series–you are going to be pleased with this novella. I haven’t read, yet, the previous book in the Supernatural Society Series, but Biffy’s story is one I have been wanting since I first met him in the Parasol books.
It has been years since I read any of the Parasol Protectorate books, so I must admit that the first couple chapters in this story were…not confusing, because I wasn’t ever lost, but they certainly required a bit of thinking to remember the events being referenced from previous stories by the author. However, if you haven’t read any of Carriger’s other historical books I think you can do a passable job of understanding the background and characters because at its core the story is simple enough that you shouldn’t be terribly lost. You might not get everything, but on the whole you’ll probably be fine.
What you should know going in is that Biffy was turned into a werewolf against his wishes–since he had always intended to attempt being turned into a vampire–but over the years he has grown to accept his new position in life. He and Lyall had a brief fling early on in Biffy’s werewolf days, but the Professor had to leave their pack to fulfill an obligation in another pack. Twenty or so years after their fling, Biffy is the new Alpha, Lyall is finally free to return to London, and both men are rather unsure about each other. This story mostly deals with the week or so after Lyall’s return and problems they have to overcome both as a couple and as a new pack.
Despite the fact that it took me a couple of chapters to get back into the swing of things with this story and the setting, I really enjoyed this book. Biffy and Lyall have a very sweet connection, which actually plays very nicely against the craziness going on in the rest of the story. I had a bit of hard time buying the whole “it’s been twenty years and I’m still pining for you” thing they both seem to have, but they are werewolves, so maybe it can be laid at the feet of their more furry nature. Other than that, I found they worked well together. I also think that they benefit from having a lot of their backstory already told in previous books, so this one doesn’t have to focus on what was, but instead who they are now. Granted, if you haven’t read the other books in this world, that might be a detraction.
One of my favorite things though was the various relationships and interactions among the pack members. You might not spend a lot of time with them, but there are some very distinct and memorable secondary characters in this. And the fact that they are this memorable after such short amount of page time is a testament to how well this is written. The various pack members all played their parts well, and were all amusing in their own ways. Even more so when the babies start showing up on their new doorstep with nary a note of explanation.
On the whole baby-mystery thing…it wasn’t the mystery of the century but on the whole it supplied the book with enough entertainment that I didn’t mind. It also helped make this story about more than just the will-they/won’t-they between Biffy and Lyall. And the wrap-up of the baby problem ended on a rather hilarious scene involving a goard, so I can forgive a whole host of sins for that.
Overall I think this might be a better book for those of us who have some investment in the couple previously, but it can probably give enough enjoyment to a new-comer to make it worth your while. It was funny and sweet, with just a dash of the odd that makes Carriger’s books so worth reading.