I am finding that I like Ms. Wynn's regular, straight contemporary romances more than I like her paranormals.
The set up is that Von Washington has long been the girlfriend of Derrick (she is his fiancee as the story begins). At Derek's behest when he was in the army and deployed overseas, Von would send along letters to Derek's friend and fellow soldier, Sean, at the same time she wrote to Derek because Sean had no family and Derek felt that Sean needed friendly letters from home too . Long after Derek returns home, Von continues to correspond with Sean. Derek has no idea that the two have been continuing their letters.
Sean is captured in a op gone awry and when he returns he decides that he is going to try to get Von for himself, cutting Derek out of the loop.
Initially, as a reader I had no problem with this. Von and Sean had only been corresponding, and even though it isn't completely innocent (it is clear they have a deeper bond & connection than they realize) it isn't over the line. The two have never even met face-to-face. And if Sean figures out he is in love with Von and plans to try to woo her away from Derek, that is fine too.
But the story starts to lose me with the characterization of Derek. Yes, I know the author needs to make is palatable to the reader for the heroine to dump her fiancee for another guy, but I thought the villainization of Derek was too transparent and too broad. There was no place for nuance there. Maybe the length of the story just doesn't allow for it? But rather than giving Von the easy out of being forced to leave her abusive, controlling
fiance, I would have preferred for her to have to struggle with her feelings for Sean more. I would have preferred for him to really win her, and not just by default.
There is one thing that knocks an entire 2-stars off this book for me:Von (a virgin) goes to her Derek's house in a trenchcoat and nothing else in an attempt to seduce him. He freaks out, hits her in the face, knocks her down and then stomps away to his bedroom. Sean who happens to have been there and witnesses the whole thing comforts Von to the point that the two of them within in minutes of this happening have sex right there in Derek dining-room. In his dining room with him in the next room.
I was also scratching my head as to why Sean had to be a werewolf. If there is such a thing as wall-paper paranormal, this is it. If you had removed him being a wolf, nothing about the story would have been different. Him being a werewolf had nothing to do with anything.