The Half Wolf, by Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Mate, family, pack, home… can Quinn and Kellan have it all?
Quinn grew up feeling out of place in the small town he calls home. Yearning for something he can’t name, he’s always felt different but never known why.
Kellan is part of a nomadic shifter pack. When they set up camp in the woods near Quinn’s town, the humans are unwelcoming and suspicious of the newcomers. The moment Kellan catches sight—and scent—of Quinn, he knows Quinn is special. But for the first time in his life, Kellan can’t trust his instincts. Quinn is human, and Kellan is a wolf shifter, so how can they ever be mates?
Their bond is instant and exhilarating. It breaks Quinn’s heart to know their relationship can only be temporary. Love isn’t enough when pack law forbids shifters to mate with humans. Tension explodes between pack and humans, and when Quinn discovers a shocking truth about himself that changes everything, he fears he’ll have to choose between the only life he’s ever known and the man he loves.
Content Warning for: Non-Consensual Drug Use
Half Wolf was a paranormal romance with a sweet, new adult vibe, which was somewhat of a nice departure from the OTT alpha vibe that tends to dominate shifter romance.
The story was set in an alternate universe (or possibly the near future?) where wolf shifters exist in the open but live on the fringes of society. The packs seems to be nomadic although it’s debatable whether this is by nature or by necessity, due to rampant prejudice against their kind. In general, I thought the author did a nice job with the worldbuilding and kept it simple but interesting.
Personally I would have liked to have seen more on-page bonding between the heroes. They saw each other every day and night but we see very little of them getting to know each other or learning more about each other’s lives. I get that instalove or instalust is part of the whole “fated mates” thing but I think showing a connection beyond the instinctual never hurt either.
The plot was pretty predictable but it was still an enjoyable read. The writing was good and the quality on par with the author’s contemporary works. At one point though, playing connect the dots with some really obvious plot points got a bit tedious. Nevertheless I really came to feel for the characters, especially Quinn and his aunt Ruth, and I was pretty satisfied with the way everything came together in the end.
I’m not an expert on shifter romance but I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Half Wolf was pretty low heat compared to other shifter books out there. Not that it lacked sex, but rather it lacked the level of… ferocity that seems to be the hallmark of the subgenre. That being said, the sweetness of Quinn and Kellan’s pairing made sense to me seeing as the heroes were still young and neither of them were alphas.
I liked the book well enough but I can’t say I loved it. I would rec it if you’re new to shifter romances or are looking for something different.
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.
One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.
Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.
Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.