Hungry Like the Wolf

Name: Aidan of Awe, brawny 15th-century Highlander who’s half deamhan (demon?), half immortal Master (savior of Innocence); haunted by his small dead son, he’s a dark, tormented, and merciless warrior feared as the Wolf of Awe.

dark em

Falls For:  Self-described plain and geeky data-whiz Brianna Rose, who has her own paranormal thing going on; as an empath “Brie” is somehow both enthralled with Aidan and brought low by his intense negative emotions.

Story Recounted By: Brenda Joyce, in Dark Embrace, a Masters of Time novel, book one of the Rose Trilogy

Hangs Out In: Cold Scottish castles, packs of wolves, Brianna’s dreams.

Likes:  Lasses with nicknames of French cheese.

Dislikes: Ghosts.

(too) Frequently Described As:   Hot.  We get it, he’s hot.  He would have benefited from a big dose of Showing Not Telling, perhaps via some better dialogue and some perceptible rapport with Brie.

Might Look Like:  I could not get a good mental image of this guy — at least not his face.  As a reader, I find it frustrating, and very telling, when the hero feels so generic to me that I can’t picture a face.  Like the book cover itself, in my mind Aidan was Faceless Bonny Braw Big Shoulder Hero in Kilt.

To Read Or Not To Read?  Too many big questions loomed annoyingly throughout the read.  Why/how is Aidan a shapeshifter, and why a wolf?  Why is this love story so one-sided? (It’s impossible to tell why or how he has feelings for her, but we’re told every couple of pages that she is in love with him).  Why is time travel, and living in centuries not one’s own, so widely practiced and no one is thought odd for wearing designer jeans in medieval Scotland?  I realize this is part of a series, and I mistook the fact that it’s book one of a trilogy, but there are few answers to be had, and apparently any world-building that might have answered at least some of these questions, has happened in an earlier Masters of Time book.  The action and emotion throughout this tale are fever-pitched, yet the real problem is the lack of connection between Aidan and Brianna.  Constant dread, constant lust-think, constant anguish.

Tangentially Related … and Possibly Diverting:  This song just kept popping into my head as I was reading!

Pamela Poll: Do you ever find yourself associating a song with a book as you’re reading it, almost like a mental soundtrack (with or without the accompanying mental image)?  Leave a comment and tell me about it!

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7 thoughts on “Hungry Like the Wolf

  1. chpa says:

    Loved Brenda Joyce’s early work (80s and 90s), but didn’t care for the direction she went in her latest novels.

    • pamela1740 says:

      Trying to remember if I read her back then. Did she write westerns? It may be that the Masters of Time is just not my thing. I think paranormals have to be outstanding to really work for me.

  2. chpa says:

    She did a lot of historicals, Regency-type stuff. Very hot. Her deWarenne series is a great example. Plenty of emotionally damaged savage heros that suck you right in.

  3. MacPudel says:

    Were romance has become an alarming genre of its own thanks to the popularity of Twilight. The author no longer needs to explain how or why, it’s just “Bob is a werewolf with a problem – no date to the prom. And the prom is during the full moon!”.

    • pamela1740 says:

      You are definitely right about this phenomenon… it makes for novels that just feel too thin and insubstantial. When there isn’t enough world-building, I don’t get immersed, and then I’m doubly critical of problems with characterization, dialogue, etc. Thanks so much for the comment – it also cracked me up to think about poor Bob having to go “stag” (ha ha) to the prom!

  4. Nicola O. says:

    I tried Brenda Joyce back in the day and she made my “not for me list,” for reasons I can no longer remember. So many books, so little time…

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