Review: Shifting Desires by Lola Wilder

Shifting Desires: Taming a Cowboy Shifter (BBW, Cowboy, Shifter, Werewolf Paranormal Romance) - Lola Wilder

BOOK BLURB:

Ava can’t wait to tell her boyfriend her exciting news: she's pregnant. What she isn't ready for is his reaction or an attack on her life by two rogue wolves. She is rescued by Chris, a lone rancher, shifter and former alpha of his pack.


Five years ago, Chris lost his wife and daughter to a rival pack, and with that his ability to love…or so he thought. As he nurses Ava back to health, he finds feelings for her that he thought he could never have again.


Both Chris and Ava have their own wounds and together their love has the possibility to heal them in ways they never thought possible.

 

REVIEW:

The story was okay but could have been better. It has what I call the novella syndrome. It could have been a much better story if it had been longer to give more time to flesh out the characters, the world, and the plot. Nate, the bad guy, appears at the beginning of the story and then disappears after the attack. His character pulls a complete 180 in his behavior and I was like, "WTF? Where did that come from?" If there had been more time spent on Nate's character then his actions might have been more believable. What happens with Nate is never resolved in any way, shape, or form. Then there is the whole issue with Cris's missing son that was barely explored. It looks like there is supposed to be a second book and so I assume the story will continue, which makes it feel more like a serial rather than a series. This is the other problem that I have with many novellas. Just write a whole book and tell the whole story instead of unnecessarily dragging it out into several smaller incomplete books. I do read short stories and novellas as well as novels; however, I do expect them to be a complete resolved story outside of any overarching series story arc (unless it is an actual serial and then it should be labeled correctly).

 

There is one sex scene at the end of the book. Though it's an open door scene, it is fairly brief and not enough to classify this book as erotic. A little spicy but not erotic. Even though there is somewhat of an HEA at the end I have a hard time calling this a "romance" given that the story is not complete and the ending is more like a pre-HEA. At least it is not a cliffhanger. I'll give it that. However, I didn't really buy the ending epilogue where Ava is explaining to the police what happened to her. Her excuse for why she has no evidence of the attack, such as bruising, scars, etc. is that she heals fast and the police just accept that. C'mon now. She wasn't gone that long and even if she healed fast she would still have scars.

 

I also didn't get any sense while reading that it was supposed to be a BBW story as noted in the keyword stuffed title. I don't really recall any reference to the heroine's size. Simply throwing BBW in the title doesn't make it a BBW story. Nor did I get the cowboy aspect of the story. When I think of cowboys, I think of the western part of the US, not the outskirts of Ann Arbor, Michigan. I dunno, is that cowboy country? Also, Cris owning a couple of horses and throwing around a couple of bales of hay does not a cowboy make. So, the characterization of Ava as a BBW and Cris as a cowboy needed work.

 

The other major problem is the book needed more proofing and editing. I found quite a few typos and other issues. At least 22 instances and I'm sure I missed some. That is quite a bit for a novella. These include misspellings, extra words, missing words, continuity issues, incorrect use of plurals/possessives, tense issues, some awkward sentences, and I just noticed that the name in the blurb is spelled Chris but in the book it is spelled Cris.

 

So overall, I enjoyed the story enough to finish it but was disappointed in the incompleteness of the story and characters, and that it was a "to be continued" type of story. In addition, I felt that the proofing/editing issues became a distraction.