Tag Team Review: Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker

Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….

When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.

Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.

A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?

Sara - 4 Hearts

Adrian Rothschild turned twenty-seven yesterday. Before last night, he had never exhibited any signs of the Turn. His Pack had accepted the fact that he was human— until now.
This was a fun and refreshing take on the werewolf trope.

We meet Adrian on his 27th birthday that he is being forced to celebrate. For Adrian, it’s a pretty melancholy day as it’s a reminder that he never had his Turn - into a wolf - during his second puberty on his 19th birthday. With his mother being not only the Alpha of his pack but a highly respected Alpha who sits on the Werewolf Tribunal, Adrian is an embarrassment to his pack though they still love him because he’s family. When Adrian goes out of town for business the night of the full moon, he begins to exhibit symptoms of heightened awareness he thinks are illness related until he passes out because his body is preparing for the Turn.

Tate Lewis is a psychologist who works at Camp H.O.W.L , a “camp” designed to help new wolflings not only through their first Turn but how to control the shift from wolf to human and not do so out in public. Werewolves are still a kept secret in polite society in this book and these wolfings need guidance to know what could lead to a possible outing of their kind and a downfall of epic proportions. When Tate is called in by his boss to retrieve an adult that is about to experience his first Turn, he is ready and willing to do whatever he needs to help but Tate gets much more than he bargained for or wants.

On paper, Camp H.O.W.L. was a private juvenile detention and rehabilitation center for troubled teens.
Which was actually true, after a fashion. They were just troubled by a furry change instead of legal or emotional problems. Even the camp name had a human cover story. The acronym stood for Honor, Obligation, Willpower, and Loyalty. All traits that would serve a miscreant human teenager and a werewolf equally well.

When Tate and Adrian meet the chemistry is obvious. Both men are attracted but Tate is determined to do his job and help Adrian through his Turn. When Tate realized that he and Adrian share a Turn Bond, he is wary because there is a physical attraction the men share and though most Turn  Bonds remain platonic, there’s has a chance to become more.

I liked the take on the Turn Bond with this story. It was something new to me and I like that a bond can be formed that is just a bond during this emotional and tough time with two people. I am a suck for the fated mate trope so when the Bond doesn’t go away in a matter of days like it should, Tate, Adrian and the other staff member at Camp H.O.W.L realize this Turn Bond is of the mythical variety called Moonmates. Ahh Moonmates, basically fated mates with a sort of Romeo and Juliet twist as Moonmates are usually from rival Packs. Well, that kind of make sense when we learn that Tate is Packless and why.

“Everything else is important because it’s part of your story, but it’s not our story. Our story started with the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen walking into a hospital room when I was scraped up, dirty, and wearing an assless gown. And he looked at me and found something he hadn’t known he was missing.”

Tate didn’t have a happy childhood. His dad/Alpha was and still is an asshole to those under him and he is also a polygamist to boost. I was shocked to read all that his dad did and then I was kinda also shocked it was in the blurb because it hit me hard when Tate talks about it and why all his father had done affects how he views pack and really his thoughts on Moonmates. But Moonmates are supposed to be the perfect compliment to what you are missing and Tate and Adrian have been missing each other.

I liked that the story took time with these two as well though I find nothing wrong with fated mates claiming one another instantly. It’s what makes the trope hot. But this wasn’t about two wolves, this was about a wolf and a wolfling who has resigned himself to being nothing but a human among wolves who now has to learn everything from scratch. It made sense for them to take it slow as Adrian learned how to control his wolf though I like his wolves senses, even if what he hears through the walls is wrong.

Oh but the UST with Adrian and Tate was delicious. With that wolf sense of smell and how they react to one another I was in heaven. I knew the payoff of the waiting would be worth it and I wasn’t wrong. The couple is amazing and truly adorable as only Moonmates can be.

An added plus is the author writes the men in shifted form to be so CUTE! Sorry, it took me a long time to even read a shifter story but now I love it when they are in their shift and playful as their animal but still them. I adored that Tate didn't’ see himself in wolf form as something special and then seeing him through Adrian’s eyes… le sigh.

The only thing that makes this not a five heart read for me is that quick ending shifting to the epilogue. I thought we’d get a bit more about them deciding on their life together and I would have loved to read Tate meeting Adrian’s mom. That epilogue was really rushed though I get they were happy Maybe it’s just me wanting more of the story but with all the building toward them truly becoming Moonmates with accepting all that it means, I feel a little let down by the end.

But this was still fun and sweet and sexy. It had a few laugh out loud moments for me as well as some swoony one and ones that had me cringing with embarrassment. Most of all, it was a lovely romance built on the idea that there is the perfect person out there for you and you’ll find them when you least expect it.

SheReadsALot - 3.5 Hearts

Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker is a perfect addition to the Dreamspun Beyond line. It's sweet, low angst and gentle in the romance department.

In this world, werewolves are hidden in plain sight from humans. Werewolves can shift into wolves once they've reached their second puberty at 19 years old and will Turn into a werewolf. There are a few genetic anomalies that can't shift once they've reached their 19th birthday; they are essentially human. Such is the case for Adrian Rothschild. He's the son of the Portland Alpha and is the only non-shifter in his tight-knit werewolf family.

Well...that is until his 27th birthday, while he's traveling for work in Indianapolis.

Werewolf down!

You know what sucks worse then having to relive your second puberty eight years too late? Having to do it away from your pack.

Thankfully, Dr. Tate Lewis, a counselor and psychologist from nearby werewolf Turning camp for teens, Camp H.O.W.L. is on the rescue. Werewolves can't not be known at all costs, so once Tate bursts into Adrian's hospital room, it was moonmates at first sight.

Moonmates are a take on the classic fated mates trope, where moonmates are perfectly compatible and each others' ideal mate. Adrian doesn't know how to werewolf or read the signs. but he does know there is something special about tate. He calms him in his now hormone addled world.

Adrian becomes the newest Camp H.O.W.L. resident and also the oldest camper. But the story doesn't focus on that. Though it could have been super funny if it did. Instead, it focuses on Tate trying to deny biology and his mate.

(I know, I know. Doesn't he know you can't fight fated mates?)

Tate had a horrible childhood of living in a cult. We learn bits and pieces about it from other close friends of Tate and Tate himself. The reader doesn't get to flashback at any pivotal or crucial scenes to get a glimpse at the horrible childhood. Tate is doesn't want a moonmate. He just wants to continue being a loner. But his body is attuned to Adrian...so his struggle is real.

The story spans weeks as campers camp until they learn to control their shifts. Adrian and Tate help each other with Adrian's late bloom Turning during those weeks and get closer. The story doesn't rock the boat and evenly paced. There isn't big plot twists. The intimate times are minimal. And smutsters, this won't be a book for you as there isn't any penetration.

Fluffsters, however? This is recommended for you.

A lot of communication, sweet slow feels with some paranormal shifting on the side!

I would have liked some more showing why the moonmates reaction is so crucial and special. We get told it is but I've read fated mates where the reader gets to discover the difference right along with the protagonist. some more of Adrian's meddling pack would have been nice too just to see why they're so special to Adrian and how Tate will fit after meeting them.

I did like the epilogue, it was the step in the right direction for these two.

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