Howling Passion by Renee Jordan is the first book in the Passion Moon series. The main character, Kotie, is like a magnet for bad men. At the beginning of the story, we find her on a bus while she's trying to escape an ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately, she meets a man who is just as bad, Christian. Soon enough she finds a saviour, someone to help her from the unlucky attention. Forrest is the Sheriff of Moonrise, alpha of a wolf shifter pack.
Christian's supposed attraction to Kotie is definitely over the top. It's not properly explained why he's so in love with her so it just makes him seem creepy and stalkery, for no real reason. It just makes her seem a little bit like a Mary-Sue character. All sorts are attracted to her in Moonrise and she gets varying levels of sexuality from them. It's even odder because she doesn't have anything that really seems special about her. To me, she just seems lacklustre and so far she doesn't have any qualities which would make her stand out.
Forrest seems kind of bland as well. He's a stereotypical character. He's strong, powerful and always comes out on top. He falls ridiculously in love with Kotie as soon as he meets her and has no qualms about starting up such a relationship so soon after meeting her. Usually, I'm actually okay with these types of characters, within reason. However, this whole relationship between Kotie and Forrest is forced and I just don't feel that they really go together.
The story is very reminiscent of many other shifter books, like a "paint by numbers" creation. Having said that, it does have a reasonable writing quality. The author knows how to use their words and they describe things well. However, a lot of other aspects need a lot of work. For example, the not-relationship between Christian and Kotie. To be honest, I liked the meeting of Christian and Kotie; it was kind of refreshing to meet someone whilst travelling in such a manner. They were both headed to the same town and, in the beginning, it was kind of like they're learning and going to experience something new together. It's too bad that the author chose to go in a different path. Especially considering that Forrest and Kotie don't really have that spark, plus Christian's motives don't really make sense. It's like he's meant to be some tacky bad guy from a movie. One of the characters even calls them out on it. Another point is that it's a little bit awkward in some portions. For example, the sex scenes. Kotie doesn't want to do certain things, yet Forrest does them anyway with the request that she trusts him. Sure, she finds pleasure in it. However, if a girl says she doesn't want to have sex like that (“You can't. Not there.” / “You can't stick your c*** back there.”), than that's rape. She told him that she didn't consent to it.
Overall, it was an alright story. It was a generic plot with stereotypical characters. None of the relationships have any kind of real or natural feeling. However, the author writes reasonably well. I think they do have the skills to be a good writer, but I think they need to work a lot more on their characters and plot. I might consider reading the next story in the series just to see whether it gets better.
I received a free copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.