I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A mutual attraction between two neighbors turns into a life-altering stroke of fate as a lifelong vegan finds himself part of a pack of werewolves in author Karenna Croft’s “Salad on the Side”, the first book in the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat” series.
Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him to. But his neighbors have a secret: They’re werewolves, and Tobias is the pack Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle in the neighborhood garden one night, Kyle learns the truth in a hurry. Now he’s a werewolf too-and since he’s vegan, he refuses to eat meat. With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life and protect himself and his friends from a neighboring pack.
This was such a fun and compelling LGBTQ-driven supernatural romance. The fast pace of the narrative immediately thrusts readers into the action of this supernatural world. The classic werewolf lore comes into play quickly, taking great care to honor the legacy of the mythos while also delving deeper into the pack mentality that is often associated with werewolves. From the Alpha mythos and how they assert themselves as the head of the pack to the connection, wolves make with their “mates”, made this story is so fascinating to behold.
However, the character growth and LGBTQ themes were the driving force of the narrative. The headed, passionate, and adult romance scenes played out heavily, and fans of M/M romance will absolutely love the development of these two protagonists as they grow together and develop in their own ways. Tobias’s struggle to publicly accept his sexuality paired with Kyle’s struggle with accepting love itself really balanced out their journey together and the narrow line that werewolf culture brings to the question of LGBTQ romance as a whole was unique to see play out, being accepted by their human sides and yet viewed as some sort of “weakness” in the werewolf power/hierarchy. The author’s handling of that storyline was robust and really mirrored our own society’s struggles to normalize and accept love in all its forms.
Heated, engaging, and thrilling, author Karenna Croft’s “Salad on the Side” is the perfect first novel in the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series and a brilliant LGBTQ-driven supernatural romance novel. The wit and humor the dialogue brings the two protagonists in their relationship and the balance of action and politics within the werewolf power system made this story so engaging. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
Karenna Colcroft has a new MM paranormal romance out, Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat book 1: Salad on the Side. And there’s a giveaway!
Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him, too.
But his neighbors have a secret: They’re a werewolf pack, and Tobias is their Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle, he learns the truth in a hurry–and in the most painful way. Now he’s a werewolf too, and as a vegan is at war with his wolf aspect, who craves meat.
With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life. But can he protect the pack and his lover from a werewolf seeking revenge against Tobias?
Warnings: References to sexual assault.
This is a rerelease.
Karenna is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47238/?
No! Oh, God, anything but this!
That was the first conscious thought I’d had since the wolf had bitten down. I didn’t know what it meant at first.
Then I opened my eyes. Nothing looked right. Everything around me appeared flat and muted. I definitely wasn’t in the garden anymore, but since I couldn’t see things properly, I couldn’t tell where I was. Inside, somewhere. Not my apartment. I was lying on a floor; that much I could tell.
When I tried to stand, my legs didn’t want to cooperate. Then I caught a glimpse of my foot.
It was covered in fur.
Shit. Wolf bite. Wolves didn’t live in Boston.
Maybe werewolves did. Even though as far as I knew those didn’t exist.
I tried to see my body. Fur, check. Pretty off-white color, or at least I would have thought it was pretty if it didn’t cover me. Snout protruding out far enough to see, check. Four paws with claws sticking out from the end of each… finger? Toe? Didn’t know what to call them. Check, anyway.
At least my head moved the way I wanted it to. I glanced around, trying to gain some sense of place. This time, I spotted two humans crouching nearby. One of them was Tobias. Even as a wolf, I recognized the regret and sadness in his expression.
Tobias was there, and that meant he knew what had happened to me. My brain refused to go any farther than that.
The other human… After a second, I recognized her too. The hair color gave it away, perfectly matching the color of the fur on the wolf that bit me.
Fucking Melia. She eyed me with a contemptuous smirk which vanished quickly when Tobias glanced at her over his shoulder. He turned back to me, and Melia glowered. “He should be dead.”
“Fortunately for you, he isn’t,” Tobias snapped. “I thought you’d learned better control than this, Melia. Clearly I overestimated you.”
Melia bowed her head. “I’ll do better in the future. He could have died.”
As a wolf, tone of voice wasn’t quite as obvious to me as it was when I was human. But something in the way Melia spoke caught my attention. She meant what she’d said. I should have been dead, because that had been her intention. Maybe I was wrong, but the fury and contempt in her eyes confirmed it.
I snarled and tried to stand, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get those four legs under me. Tobias raised his hands and took a couple steps toward me. “Kyle, easy,” he said softly. “We aren’t going to hurt you.”
“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Melia said. “Tobias, I didn’t mean—”
“Shut up, Melia,” Tobias ordered without taking his eyes off me. “You’re here to see the results of your poor control, not to make apologies. I don’t think Kyle will accept your apology easily.”
I managed to move my head in something resembling a nod. Fuck if I’d ever forgive the bitch! It hadn’t been my fault I’d wandered into the path of a frigging werewolf. Like I’d even known there would be a wolf in the garden. It wasn’t the sort of thing people usually considered when going out to pick strawberries. “Oh, I’d better be careful; there might be a werewolf out there.” Right. Not outside horror movies.
Hopefully they’d figure out soon how to change me back so I could get things ready for my dinner with Tobias the next night. I’d be sorely pissed if that had to be put on hold.
The next night. Except I didn’t think it was “next” anymore. I had no clue how long I’d been unconscious. The sunlight streaming through the window beside me pretty clearly told me that it wasn’t night any longer. But if it wasn’t night, why was I still a wolf? Didn’t werewolves only shift when it was dark?
I blinked at Tobias and he caught the question. “It’s your first shift, Kyle. You changed while you were out cold and it’s going to take your body and mind a little while to coordinate so you’ll go back to human. That’s how it works for all of us our first time. And we can shift whenever we want.”
All of us. Now I couldn’t prevent myself from grasping the truth. The truth Tobias and Mrs. Frelich had been so damned determined to keep from me. Tobias was one of the wolves. And he’d probably made sure none of the other neighbors would ever see anything he didn’t want them to. Tobias, the man I lusted after, was a fucking werewolf. I didn’t even know what to think about that.
“You have to eat something, Kyle,” Tobias said. He crouched low to look me in the eye. “You’ve been unconscious for three days, since Melia attacked you. You don’t know how sorry I am about this. I wanted to protect you from it.”
Even in my current form, my heart and a couple other things responded to his words. He did care about me. Maybe at our dinner he would have admitted all this to me. Though I certainly understood why he’d been reluctant. Without seeing it for myself, I probably wouldn’t have believed him.
He might have told me the truth, though, and if I’d believed him, if I hadn’t thrown him out, who knew where things might have ended up? I knew where I would have wanted them to end, whether Tobias was a werewolf or not.
Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.
Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)
Author Website: http://www.karennacolcroft.com
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