Author: Vivi Anna
Series: Billionaires After Dark, #1
Release Date: December 4, 2014
Reviewed by: Sheri
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The Werewolf Liaison: part one – After a terrible accident in the ambulance, EMT Olivia Jordan didn’t expect to wake up chained to a bed. The tall dark sexy man holding her prisoner is not what she expected either. But Garrick Blackthorn’s not your everyday kidnapper, no, there’s something extraordinary about him. Something that attracts Olivia. Something dark and secret.
(originally published as Bad to the Bone: Blackthorn Wolves, #1, 2005, 2011)
After reading the synopsis, I couldn’t wait to get started. I enjoy a good paranormal romance, and who doesn’t like being chained to a bed by a tall, dark sexy man? Having read and loved many of Vivi Anna’s stories from Harlequin’s Nocturne series, I was looking forward to the first novella in her Blackthorn Wolves Series. Unfortunately, the two main characters never had a chance to grow in such a short story. Olivia and Garrick were likeable, but there wasn’t enough development for me to really connect to them.
The opening scene was at a McDonald’s restaurant. There was a reference to Olivia’s bad eating habits and her pants … which I didn’t get. Maybe it was an attempt at a joke. I’m unsure why it was referred to in the first place.
Then, faster than the blink of an eye, Olivia’s world turned upside down. She’s taken against her will, woke up chained to a wall in a basement, presumably by a psycho-killer, yet in the next paragraph she’s all hot and bothered for him. Really??? This story was labeled romance, not erotica, so Olivia’s nonchalant response to her dire situation didn’t seem like a reasonable reaction.
But then they have a heart to heart talk, where Garrick confesses that he is a Werewolf. She accepts this unknown world, and everything that he says, way too easily. Less than 24 hours and she is prepared to make life-changing decisions and become a werewolf. Ugh…. Maybe it would have been more believable if there was some kind of mating magnetism that drew them together, some world building or long-forgotten paranormal memories so that the puzzle pieces fell into place. As it was, her extreme acceptance without any real thought to the consequences shocked me, especially after her age is revealed. Having Garrick read Olivia’s full date of birth from her driver’s licenses wasn’t necessary. Not only did it age the character, making the book no longer timeless, but also at forty-nine years old, one might think Olivia would be more levelheaded. I pictured a much younger person based on her behavior and the way she talked.
In terms of expectations, this one didn’t match up. I was continually pulled out of the story, wondering why and what was going on or looking back to confirm I didn’t miss any vital information. Then the blurb said she was chained to a bed when in reality she was chained to a wall. The interactions between them felt forced at times and not believable, so I never saw them as a real couple. Which is good since the ending includes an awkward cliffhanger, one that leaves Garrick craving the taste of her blood again, yet not once did he bite her anywhere in the text of this story.
Too much was missing to make this first installment a solid start to The Werewolf Liaison series. Literally, it was just way too quick to make it realistic. She was kidnapped, she was turned on, they had sex, another wolf attacked her, and then Garrick made her go away … the end.
Would I read the next book in the series? Yes, but only if it is longer. It ended so abruptly, and I hate not knowing what happens next. Vivi Anna is a talented full-length novel writer and tells a wonderful story, but in my opinion her gift falls short in novellas.