In the realm of paranormal books, my favorite being, creature, whatever you want to call it, is the werewolf. While I wasn’t #TeamJacob (I was #TeamJasper, not sorry) back in the day, I’ve always found pack culture and hierarchy incredibly exciting to read. Color me excited when I literally stumbled my way into this series by Charlie Adhara. While scrolling through a list of “might also like,” I hastily one-clicked on a book, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, without thoroughly reading the description and went right into reading. I was immediately sucked into the idea of this book. First off, it’s a human, were pairing, and secondly, it’s a male/male relationship. Little did I know it’s also the fourth book in the Big Bad Wolf series. This little nugget of detail did not deter me in the slightest! I devoured this book in one sitting and regret nothing! Adhara’s unique and interesting take on alpha hierarchy intrigued me from the very beginning. Needless to say, upon completion of book #4, I went back to the beginning as fast as my one-clicking finger could take me! Let’s start there!
The Wolf at the Door kicks things off and truly hits the ground running, literally! One of our main characters, FBI agent Cooper Dayton, is chasing down a bad guy suspect when he ends up on the wrong end of some mystical claws that basically disembowel him. Yep, in one second, he’s chasing down a perp, and then in the next, his guts are strewn about the sidewalk. Luckily, our Agent Dayton survives, but as you can imagine, he has a million and one questions, the least of which is “where the heck did those claws come from?” His strength to keep up with a werewolf (unbeknownst to him at the time) and his ability to heal from such a catastrophic blow lands him in the Bureau of Special Investigations – a top-secret, need to know only, section of the FBI. On the first day of his new assignment, Cooper learns all about the supernatural world, at least the werewolf part. I mean, who knew this stuff even existed? Our decidedly human Cooper gets paired up with Oliver Park, an agent of The Trust and a key member of one of the oldest and most powerful wolf packs in the world. The Trust is an oversight agency organized by powerful werewolves to ease tensions between wolves and humans since the wolves were forced to come out to a select few humans. Times are a’changing, and new technology has made it increasingly difficult for werewolves to stay hidden amongst the public at large. They have zero desire to come clean to the whole world, but reality dictates a need to expose themselves at least a little. Otherwise, urban sprawl will have a whole lot of indecent exposure convictions when these shifters shed their fur after a good run.
The Cooper/Park pairing begins when people start vanishing and turning up dead. As the body count grows, Cooper and Park have to figure out how to work together. They need to trust each other even though they both have deep-seated reasons not to trust the different species and, let’s not forget that bubbling undercurrent of incredible sexual attraction. Whoa boy, it’s hot!
Book two is The Wolf at the Bay. This one takes us to Cooper’s hometown. He gets guilted into returning home, and he’s not happy about it one bit. Some memories are better left tucked away in a box in the attic or under the gazebo. However, this isn’t just a visit home, Cooper also has his new partner, Park with him. They are both trying to figure out what “new partner” means. Is this is a “meet the family” sort of visit, or an arrest the family on the job, thing? A cold case rears its ugly head, and Cooper realizes wolves have been wondering the old neighborhood, undiscovered, his entire life. Watching these two solve the cold case while figuring out exactly what they mean to each other outside the purview of the BSI is nothing short of glorious. This one is a real page-turner as so much tea gets spilled and secrets see the bright light of day.
Moving along to book three, Thrown to the Wolves is as precise as the title implies. Agent Cooper is meeting the boyfriend’s family, and by family, I mean, the most powerful pack in all the land. Unfortunately, Park walked away from his family, and his inability to come to terms with his problems with them means it leaves Cooper woefully unprepared, thrown to the literal wolves if you will. This family is for real, yo! The patriarch is dead, so grandma is in charge – don’t think for one second that being a woman makes her weak, oh no, she can have you on your knees with a simple side-eye glance. This is really where Adhara’s interesting turn on who and how alpha’s work really shines. The way they interact and the incredible power they wield is exceptionally well written. Of course, this pack has its typical family drama, wealthy, and powerful family drama just to add an extra layer of interest, and deceit! Someone is out to take Park’s family down, one wolf at a time, and scarily enough, the call might be coming from inside the house! Oh yeah, Cooper was really not prepared for this level of skullduggery! Park truly has to figure his own crap out so he can be all in with Cooper. It’s a sexy struggle that will leave you breathless more than once. Again, I can’t emphasize how exceptional Adhara’s writing is in this series – I’m blown away by her creativity and skill in this debut series.
As I alluded to at the beginning, the fourth book, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, has our couple fully committed and working together on the case of a missing former alpha. Our guys, Cooper and Park, have to go undercover at a picturesque couples resort for werewolves. Werewolf couples have troubles too, and sometimes they just need to go for a good long run in the wilderness. Something wicked and nefarious is going on at this resort. Cooper and Park have to get to the bottom of it without turning up dead along the way. Bad guys gonna bad! And bad wolves are lethal. Going back to the alpha hierarchy, we get a look at the science behind what makes an alpha so strong. We already know Park is one of the most feared and revered alphas in all of the land, but what is it about him that makes him that way? What’s in his personality that makes him so dominant? And how does that translate when he and Cooper are living their lives – from the mundane of picking out a house to call home together, to smoking up the sheets?
Charlie Adhara is a breath of fresh air in the paranormal world. Her creative take on werewolves is honestly one of my all-time favorites. He knack at writing complex stories, ripe with emotional upheavals, and logistical nightmare scenarios is a step above. To say I enjoyed this series and can’t wait for more would be the biggest understatement of the year. Her stories race through your mind like you’re watching a movie, the suspense is edge of your seat, the danger feels real, and the chemistry is so palpable it practically leaps from the page. Her world-building is so unique, it should feel complicated, but it reads so easily you’ll be swept away. I can not wait to see what comes next from her creative brain.