As a whole, paranormals are not my drug of choice, usually because I find the world-building tedious or unbelievable, or the premise silly. So I’m choosy when I decide to give one a try. In the case of Moonglow, my gamble paid off. The characters and engaging, and the conflict is interesting. And the world building? Totally manageable for a newbie.
Daisy Craigmore is a widow who has been looking forward to enjoying sex for a change. But her first encounter ends with her would-be paramour and a friend mauled by a werewolf. Well, that’s what it obviously is, but Daisy is afraid if she uses that name everyone will think she’s crazy.
Ian Ranulf, Marquis of Northup, is a Lycan who happens upon the scene. Lycans are werewolf-esque, but their changes are controllable rather than governed by the full moon. The nature of man and wolf exists inside them, and they are immortal. But their wolfish form is mostly characterized by claws, sharp teeth, and enhanced strength. If they give into their full wolf nature, they become werewolves. Ian helps rescue Daisy and soon finds himself involved in her problems. A werewolf is loose, and logic dictates that it is probably someone known to him. Ian has a strained relationship with his pack; he was exiled after refusing to fight his brother for power. But as werewolf attacks continue, he may have to go to them for answers.
After Ian discovers that the werewolf is attacking women who wear Daisy’s perfume, he insists on protecting her. She puts up some resistance, but generally agrees that it’s a good idea. They do have a previous acquaintance; Daisy’s sister Miranda (heroine of the first book, Firelight) is married to Ian’s former friend. At one time, Ian made an ass of himself while pursuing Miranda.
Despite this somewhat rocky history, they actually fall in love with each other like normal people. Well, like a normal person and a lycan. Their conflict is mostly external, and they treat each other like adults. Both are sexually experienced and attracted to each other, and deeper feelings of love arise from that attraction as they spend time together. They aren’t without baggage; Ian lost a wife and son to mortality, and Daisy’s first husband was verbally and physically abusive. They work through their problems and fall in love while they are figuring out the whole werewolf in London situation.
I found much to like here. Daisy and Ian are well-drawn and interesting. Daisy has paranormal abilities of her own that take her by surprise and play a part in the story. I enjoyed their interactions and the maturity of their relationship. The sex scenes were at times a little over-the-top for my taste (mostly in the purple prose-y sense), but they are definitely hot. Thankfully, they never veer off into the ridiculous.
I haven’t read the first book, but I didn’t find that to be a huge problem. I mostly understood what was going on (though I was less sure why Ian and Miranda’s husband had fallen out, and that wasn’t really explained). The paranormal world was explained to my satisfaction, and I found that it was one I could enjoy – probably because it lacked some of the popular conventions (lifemates, for example) that get on my nerves. Oh, and no one had a stupid, italicised name with oddly placed apostrophes.
Will Moonglow work for you? Well I’m not sure if you should listen to me because I liked it and rarely read paranormals, or totally disregard my opinion for precisely the same reason. I know I never pay attention when someone starts a sentence with, “I hardly ever read, but I loved ________!” Many paranormals I try end up reminding me of the Lego Bionicle movies my sons used to watch, where all the characters say ridiculous sounding things in very somber voices (“Prepare yourself to face the mighty wrath of Lord Blahbity Blah!”). I had to leave the room sometimes so I wouldn’t offend them with my laughter. Moonglow wasn’t silly; it was an entertaining historical paranormal with smart, engaging characters I could relate to. I think it’s worth a look.