Today is novella day here at A Kiss at Midnight Reviews. First, I have a little novella by Danielle Hardgrave titled To Trust a Wolf. It is the first piece in the Unnatural Alliance series.
Heat Level: ♥♥♥
Overall Rating: 3/6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Helen is a harried museum worker who seems to despise the Viking artifacts that have currently come in her gallery. She hates the man who is interested in them, even more. Rune, a rich and handsome benefactor, grates on Helen’s nerves for seemingly meaningless reasons and, sucks for her, she’s been ordered to give him a grand tour.
The pair is pushed together by Helen’s boss, Don, who wants to keep the wealthy benefactor happy. Their “work dinner” is cut short when Don calls about some suspicious missing security tapes and Helen fears that the priceless Viking hoard is in danger.
There is some sexual tension that seems almost forced. Maybe it’s the briskness that a novella brings, but the relationship between Helen and Rune is confusing. I know there’s a thin line between love and hate, but I’m not sure if this is what Hardgrave was going for. Either way, the real meat of the story comes much later in a disjointed way that can be difficult to follow. Even after murder, a museum theft, a violent attack, and the appearance of some legendary creatures, Helen is mostly concerned about Rune spoiling a donor’s gala.
As a historian, I was a little disappointed by the lack of information about the museum, the artifacts featured, and the historian character we were given. It was sold to me as a paranormal/viking/romance and that was a stretch. It also would have been nice to see Helen as a true history buff in writing that knew her stuff, and knew how to hold her own.
I wish To Trust a Wolf was longer, as it had the capability to be a great paranormal romance book. I hope that Hardgrave considers expanding it to a full novel length in the future. I know that the point of a novella is to tell a short story, but there was just too much information for the size. It had a lot of interesting parts that were made confusing and muddled by it’s brevity. It was a whole lot of build up then a whole lot on info in the last few pages that was hurried over. I think the potential of this book is great and if it’s ever expanded to a full-length piece, I’ll be the first one on Amazon.
As it is the first in the series, there is room for expansion and clarification in the next books, which I assume will clear up all the confusion you are left with after reading.