Saturday, January 4, 2020

Wolf Gone Wild (Stay A Spell, #1) by Juliette Cross

Synopsis (via Goodreads): What's the worst thing that can happen to a werewolf? Unable to shift for three months, Mateo Cruz knows all too well. His wolf has taken up residence in his head, taunting him night and day with vividly violent and carnal thoughts. Convinced he's cursed, he needs the help of a powerful witch before he literally goes insane.

​Evie Savoie has always obeyed the house rules of her coven--no werewolves. They're known for being moody and volatile. So, when a distempered, dangerous werewolf strolls into the bar and almost strangles one of her late-night customers, she's ready to bounce him through the door. But the desperation in his eyes when he begs her to help him softens her heart and convinces her to bend the rules.

​What Evie doesn't know is that Mateo's wolf has a mind of his own. And now that she's in his sights, he wants only one thing. Her.


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

The cover of Wolf Gone Wild is what initially drew my attention, but it was the characters that kept me turning the pages. I felt a connection with Evie, and was sympathetic towards Mateo. About halfway through, I just wanted to know who'd cursed Mateo and why (honestly this part was a little underwhelming). Additionally, Evie and Mateo were well into adulthood (he's in his 100's and she's in her 30's), but there was still something childlike about their personalities. Sometimes it was sweet and endearing, and other times it was eye-rolly and mushy.

I did have a few issues with this one, and a big frustration was the book's backstory. The evil plot never thickened, and there was very little action and adventure. I would've liked seeing the two of them play detective together, instead of making googly eyes and having lusty thoughts. I wanted to know more about Mateo and where he came from (his family in particular), how the curse had impacted his day-to-day life in the months leading up to Evie, and what his plans for the future were.

Evie is a girl after my own heart. She loves Star Wars, reads comics, and gushes about her love for Reylo and Wolverine. I could relate to this side of her, but her enthusiasm was a little over-the-top for me at times. It was like she was screaming, "Hey! Look at me! I'm into nerdy things!" I wish that aspect of her personality had been less of a focal point, since it kept us from really getting to know Evie as a person. Her character development felt stunted in some ways.

The story itself was pleasant, but maybe a little too convenient. Evie and her sisters were presented with a problem (in the form of Mateo and his caged wolf), and that's what they focus on the entire book. Everything slowly clicked into place, and I didn't feel like the characters had to fight for their ending. It was almost too easy the way things worked out. I'm not saying being unable to shift was enjoyable for Mateo, but once Evie started hanging around (and sharing her skin-to-skin contact), Alpha was no longer a constant issue. He wasn't really all that threatening, to be honest. It was clear he wanted Evie from the start (lust at first sight), and he saw her as "theirs" long before Mateo acknowledged his feelings for her.

Alpha's way was purely predatory and physical, but Evie didn't complain. If you're not into rough sex, or women being touched without their permission, this book might not be for you. Evie says she "understands" Alpha's needs and methods, but that doesn't make her body any less hers. She both likes and dislikes Alpha's aggressiveness, and mentally debates whether that's a good thing or not. A guy grabbing you without your permission, regardless of how or why they do it, is not okay. I know he's a werewolf, but that doesn't excuse his roaming hands or objectifying thoughts. "He wouldn’t stop yammering about her smell, her skin, her pretty ponytail that he’d like to grip while he took her from behind." (This is a very mild example.)

Possessiveness is not adorable, and I hated that Evie let him get away with it because of what he was. She should have cared more about who he was. "'I don’t think your boyfriend would like that.' 'My boyfriend?' I glanced at JJ again, then tossed my head back and laughed. 'He’s not my boyfriend.' Mateo’s scowl softened only slightly as he glared toward the bar. 'I think he wants to be.' That was it. He was adorable. And all my anxiety vanished like morning mist."

Then there's the language. It took some getting used to, but that might just be my age showing. People say "hella" now, right? Evie is in her 30's, but she spoke and acted like a hormonal teenager. "But…hot, melty, lickalicious sex with Mateo?" Her thoughts were often dirty when he was around, and ironically mimicked Alpha's desires. She thought her immediate attraction was ridiculous, and they both spent a large portion of the book believing their feelings were one-sided. Comments and gestures were often taken the wrong way, because they weren't communicating (ugh).

Lastly, there are things that happen -- very important things -- that Evie chooses to keep to herself. If you're trying to break a curse, and something weird happens, please tell someone. "...and I wasn’t going to worry them for nothing." That's a big bookish pet peeve of mine. Don't try to do everything yourself! Talk to the other characters in the book!

Overall, Wolf Gone Wild was a quick read that I found mostly entertaining. A few tweaks and I would have enjoyed it more, but that's me. I want women to be treated with respect and  have hot sex. I also think this book would have benefited from having stronger secondary characters, and ones that played a larger role within the story. However, if you're in the mood for a rough and furry romance, this might just be the book for you! πŸΊπŸ˜‰ (★★★⋆☆)


  1. I have this book and still need to read it. Sounds good though for the most part.

    1. I thought I saw an update on Goodreads that said you were reading it! Maybe it said you'd added the book? I hope you enjoy it! :)

  2. Okay, now I'm sorta confused, too, because I thought this was YA for some reason. But reading your review I see the characters are adults. But is also seems like they act like teenagers. See... so confused. LOL Still, overall it seems like a fun and enjoyable read. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it!

    1. This is NOT YA! I thought it was at first, but quickly realized how WRONG I was, haha. Mateo is in his 100's and Evie is in her 30's. They will both live longer due to their magic and what they are. However, they do still act like crazy hormonal teenagers, but maybe that's just the werewolf in Mateo and the witch in Evie? I am curious about the other sisters, and I'd be interested in reading their stories! She sets up some pretty interesting couples in the first book. ;) It WAS mostly fun and enjoyable! Just a few quibbles, nbd. <3

  3. Hello after a long time! Past couple months have been crazy and I couldn't find the time to blog :( So glad to be back :)

    Okay wait this book isn't YA? I assumed it was YA. huh. Sounds like it could have been a great read with some changes!


    1. HEY! It's been ages! How are you?? I know the feeling...sometimes there is no time. I'm happy you're back! I'll stop by and visit soon.

      Noooo… definitely NOT YA. It was an enjoyable book overall! :)


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