Maggie Sullivan is back in Wolfe Creek, determined to find out why her best friend vanished one fog-shrouded night a year ago. But it quickly becomes clear that if the folks in the secluded mountain town know what happened to her friend, they aren't talking.
Seasoned sheriff's deputy Koda Wolfe reluctantly agrees to help this beautiful woman, even as he tries to convince her to leave for her own good. Soon he's compelled to protect Maggie from herself, his family's ancient curse, and a killer who could strike again.
The nights heat up in more ways than one as Maggie and Koda begin a fiery relationship. But as they delve deeper into the disappearance, the eerie woods come alive with secrets bound to tear them apart. And someone is watching their every move.
There were a couple of things that drew me into this book. The first was the title. Even though it's WOLFE and not WOLF, I still went into it thinking without that extra E. And since I'd taken this book to be a paranormal, I was thinking shifters. Shifters are my favorite supernatural creatures, so that would have been perfect! Then there was the fact that Koda is a deputy and sounds pretty protective. Those two things alone pushed me into wanting to try out this book.
Now that I HAVE read the book, I have to say that I liked it, but I'm not really impressed. To explain why, I'm going to break it down a bit...
What I Liked:
The characters were well done. Maggie was a sincere woman, determined to unravel the mystery behind her best friend's disappearance. The chick had some guts, and I definitely respect her for that. She was also kind and caring, which swayed me into her favor. Koda was the kind of guy I generally like--strong, protective, gruff, and a big teddy bear despite what he exudes sometimes. I liked that he was so solidly HIM. The deputy who was loyal to the people he was to protect. I found him more and more endearing as I made it farther into the story, and the final verdict is that I do kind of heart the guy.
The mystery was incredibly intriguing, as well. It's introduced right from the start, and builds as the book progresses. Of course, I had my own guess on whodunit. And I was totally wrong. Honestly, I was SO sure I knew who it was. But I was wrong. That mystery, paired with the chunk of the end when STUFF was going down...they played a major part in making this novel work for me.
I was also a fan of the romance around the end, when that STUFF I mentioned before was happening. It made my heart happy in the midst of the events unfolding, and was honestly just so sweet. Considering how much I liked Maggie and Koda, I was glad to see them as a solid couple.
What I Didn't Really Like:
As I said, I was expecting this one to be paranormal. I can't say I was wrong, because I wasn't, but it wasn't nearly as paranormal as I'd have liked it to be, either. I actually ended up just not being too convinced by this aspect. I liked how it was intertwined with town legend, but not enough for it to win me over.
The romance for the beginning and half of the middle of the book fell flat for me. The romance at that point just felt so forced to me. We had Maggie, doing her thing, and we had Koda, doing his thing. While I think they were a great couple, I don't think their relationship and romance worked much for me until later in the book.
And it took me too long to actually get IN to the book. I understand that the beginning was used to introduce everything, but it didn't really hold my attention well. Plus, even when I was IN to the book, I never felt too connected. I would have liked to be invested in the whole thing the whole way through, freaking out over stuff. But that didn't really happen. I was happy for Koda and Maggie and their relationship. And I guessed at the mystery, trying to figure it out. But I didn't feel too invested in it all.
Lone Wolfe Protector ended up being a read that was just okay for me. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. The mystery was well done, the characters were solid, and the tail end of the romance made me happy. But I really would have liked to have been pulled into the story more. That said, I think I WILL probably give the next book in the Wolfe Creek series a shot, so that I can see if the paranormal aspect I wasn't too fond of in this one improves. And who's to say the other issues I had with this one won't be fixed? I'm interested to see.
3 stars - Great mystery and characters, but an okay read overall.