Title: Wolf Gone Wild (Stay a Spell 1)
Author: Juliette Cross
Published: May 18, 2021
Publisher: Podium Audio
Narrators: Johanna Fairview and Aiden Snow
Genre: Paranormal Romance
I received a copy of the Wolf Gone Wild audiobook from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
What’s the worst thing that can happen to a werewolf?
Unable to shift for three months, Mateo Cruz knows all too well. His wolf has taken up residence in his head, taunting him night and day with vividly violent and carnal thoughts. Convinced he’s cursed, he needs the help of a powerful witch before he literally goes insane.
Evie Savoie has always obeyed the house rule of her coven: no werewolves. They’re known for being moody and volatile. So, when a distempered, dangerous werewolf strolls into the bar and almost strangles one of her late-night customers, she’s ready to bounce him through the door. But the desperation in his eyes when he begs her to help him softens her heart and convinces her to bend the rules.
What Evie doesn’t know is that Mateo’s wolf has a mind of his own. And now that she’s in his sights, he wants only one thing. Her.
Wolf Gone Wild was one of my favourite paranormal romance books of 2020, and introduced me to the wonderful writing of Juliette Cross. I was very fortunate to receive a full audiobook review copy of the book this last week and I was so excited to revisit all of these characters.
I will preface this review with the information that I do not listen to lots of audiobooks – it’s not a format that works well for me. When I do listen to an audiobook, it’s usually with the physical book (or ebook) with me, which is what I did for this re-read. (It was also just a great excuse for me to go through and add tabs to all my favourite parts of the book!)
Wolf Gone Wild is the first book in the Stay a Spell series, set in New Orleans. We start by following the Savoie sisters, witches who own local businesses in the city. Evie Savoie is a hex-breaker approached by werewolf, Mateo Cruz, who’s inner wolf is trapped inside him. He believes he’s been hexed, but doesn’t know by who or why, and despite not normally doing business with the werewolves, Evie agrees to help him out, alongside her sisters.
There’s so much to love about this book.
Evie and Mateo (and Alpha, who we’ll talk about in a minute) are just such dynamic and fun characters. Their chemistry is off the charts, and narrators Johanna Fairview and Aiden Snow really bring them to life. There’s an element of forced proximity to this story, when Mateo realises that Evie’s presence helps calm his wolf, Alpha, who’s been talking to him non-stop now that he’s stuck inside.
Which brings me to Alpha, who is utterly delightful in his blunt, forthright way. Alpha is the devil on Mateo’s shoulder, who’s constant state fluctuations between fighting and sex, and his inner commentary is just delightful. Aiden Snow brings him to life in an incredible way. Listening to it brought me a ridiculous amount of joy.
While there is the central mystery to solve, regarding Mateo’s mysterious hex, the true story is the development of the romance between Mateo and Evie. Brought together by the curse, they develop a friendship, which turns into a pop culture fest as Evie – a self-confessed Star Wars and comic book fan – sets about converting him to her ways. (I approve!) This equates to plenty of very sweet, sexy scenes between the two of them.
This book is as close to a paranormal romance rom-com as you can get and it’s amazing.
Do yourself a favour and pick up this book/audiobook.