Reviewed by Ami and Nikyta
Title: Camp H.O.W.L.
Author: Bru Baker
Heroes: Adrian Rothschild/Tate Lewis
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 104 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 1, 2017
Available at: Amazon & Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….
When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.
Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.
A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?
Ami’s Review: Adrian Rothschild missed his first Turn age, and he has lived the past eight years living as a human of an Alpha wolf. When Adrian goes through his first shift, at the ‘ripe’ age of twenty-seven, away from his Pack, the staff from Camp H.O.W.L. takes him to help with the transition.
Among them is Dr. Tate Lewis, one of the guidance counselors, who has his own past and prefers to stay at the Camp. Then both men realized that not only Adrian’s shift is an unusual situation, they are also moonmates, a rare form of bond where two wolves are fated to be together and blessed by the moon.
I like reading shifters in romance, but one of my BIGGEST complaints when it comes to this genre is the instant love due to soulmate trope. I need my wooing – I need my romantic development. Everything instant connection (and excuses for the men to screw each other on any given moment) due the ‘mate’ factor turns me off quickly.
That is why I totally appreciate how Bru Baker approaches the idea of mates in this book or at least how both Adrian and Tate don’t immediately succumb to the idea of perfect soulmates. Adrian has to first adjust himself to the experience and the side effect of shifting while Tate’s past makes him weary and he almost rejects the idea of moonmates. So there is relationship development here… not just instant attraction and love. They don’t kiss before halfway and the physical lovemaking is on the low steam level.
I enjoyed reading Adrian and Tate’s relationship development – and there are tender mentor-vibe moments because Tate helps Adrian during the painful first shift and dealing with the werewolves ‘effect’. Adrian isn’t prepared for it; he has accepted the fact that he is human.
I still have a couple of questions running in my head after the book is over though – like Adrian’s case is not common, so what really happens there? What makes him miss his ‘wolf puberty’ by almost a decade? Also about moonmates – does the bond only relate to feeling, or that deep love / connection? Are there any other ‘side effects’?
Overall, it’s a lovely read. I wouldn’t mind reading more stories in this universe. In fact I would love to read Ryan the troubled wolfling as an adult.
Ami’s Overall Impression: I liked it!
I won’t go into a recap of the story because Ami did a pretty good job of that. What I will say is that I loved the way Ms. Baker handled this one. While Tate and Adrian are moonmates, it’s not an insta-love kinda story. In fact, Tate fights the bond because he doesn’t believe in moonmates so I liked that he wasn’t too all awestruck with Adrian and subsequently turning this into a sex-fest lol. Tate, though, is a sweet slightly broken doctor. He didn’t have the best childhood so he’s still trying to undo everything he grew up learning because they weren’t true, which is why he fights the moonmates bond so much.
As for Adrian, I found it really interesting that he just shifts after eight years especially since he didn’t shift at nineteen like he was supposed to. It was a confusing time for him and while Tate doesn’t want to act on their attraction, he’s still willing to make things easier for Adrian and that means helping him control his shift. I really liked the way their connection was handled and I liked the way nothing was rushed for them. By the end, I truly believed their feelings were because of taking things slow and not because of a chemical reaction from being ‘moonmates’.
I really loved this book and while I do still have the same questions as Ami, I’m okay with the way this one ended. My only issue, and it’s a small one, is I wish Tate wouldn’t have fought his connection to Adrian so much. After a little while, I was ready for him to either move things along with Adrian or move on from Adrian.
In the end, I loved this book. I loved the idea of moonmates and the fact that Adrian finally shifts almost a decade after he was supposed to. I adored the connection between Adrian and Tate and the struggle of trying to find a balance between being moonmates and Adrian controlling his shift. I hope Ms. Baker writes a sequel or another book in this world because I’d love to read more!
Nikyta’s Overall Impression: I loved it!
*We received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for fair and honest reviews.*