Jan 8 2008
Dear Ms. Thompson,
I regret that I’m writing you this letter posthumously. While I didn’t enjoy your Wild Wulfs of London trilogy as much as I’d hoped, I know many people who did and your loss affected many fans. And when Jayne sent me this book, I found myself sharing their feelings. Not only was it published posthumously, as a reader, I’m saddened by the fact there will be no more books about Lou Kinipski because I fell in love with this werewolf supermodel and her world.
I admit I wasn’t sure what to expect. I started reading with the expectation of a lighter paranormal with a chick lit tone. And while the tone is reminiscent of chick lit, there’s a solid story driving the plot and action of the book. That was a wonderful surprise.
When she was a teenager, Lou Kinipski wasn’t part of the in-crowd. In fact, she was a social outcast. But her world changed when she was taken to her high school prom by the star quarterback, who afterwards attempted to rape her. Lou successfully fought him off — by undergoing her first transformation into a werewolf. Believing she killed her date, Lou fled her small Texas town and eventually ended up in New York City, where a photographer discovered her and launched her modeling career. It turned out her newly discovered werewolf powers had a side effect — when she transformed back into a human, she became drop-dead gorgeous.
Lou has spent the last seven years hiding secrets: her true identity, what happened on prom night, and the fact that she’s a werewolf. Things come to a head when a series of murders hit the city and the victims all bear a striking resemblance to Lou. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that Lou has been having nightmares that predict the murders in accurate detail. Add an attraction to the detective investigating the murders and her suspected involvement, the photographer who both discovered her and loves with her, and the man she’s hired to find her birth mother, and Lou has more than enough trouble on her hands.
I thought the book nicely balancing the murder plot with Lou’s relationship dilemmas. Normally I get annoyed when the main plot is sidelined in favor of the romantic subplot, but I never grew impatient because Lou’s problems were genuine. She doesn’t want to sleep with the promiscuous Stefan because she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship, but she also doesn’t want to hurt his feelings because she’s indebted to him for saving her from ruin. At the same time she wants a relationship with Terry, who wants to keep her at arm’s length because he’s trying to remain objective about the murder investigation. I found it hilarious that Lou chose to claim she was a psychic so she could help with the case, but since Terry had a hard enough time believing that, I can see why she chose to keep the fact she’s also a werewolf a secret.
Another thing I enjoyed was Lou’s friendships with the other models and her best friend, Cindy. They added levity to a story that otherwise could have become very dark. I thought her relationship with Cindy was very realistic in the way it showed her dependence upon her best friend as a crutch. When Cindy finally finds a girlfriend, Lou is jealous and threatened because now Cindy won’t have as much time to help her. It’s a selfish reaction, but it’s accurate and Lou trying to work through it was nice.
I also thought Lou’s constant battle against her werewolf “outbreaks” were entertaining. There’s no doubt that her turning into a werewolf during a photoshoot would be disastrous, and the lengths she goes to prevent that from happening provide some nicely timed humor.
What prevents this from becoming an instant keeper for me is that the person responsible for the murders is no surprise and there’s a lot of set up for what would have been more books in the series. The mystery of Lou’s birth mother and her adopted parents’ disappearances, the secret behind Lou’s werewolf heritage, and the vampire world are all introduced in the second half of the book and at times, that was too much at once. Maybe I would feel different if there were going to be more books in the series but since I know there can’t be, I’m left with a vague feeling of guilty discontent. Nonetheless, I think this is a lovely final send off to you and you will be greatly missed. B-
This book can be purchased in mass market. No ebook format I could find.