Review: Rome and Jules by Tara Lain

Two werewolf households, both alike in dignity….

Rome Siracusa, youngest son of the alpha of the nouveau-riche Siracusa pack, wants to be a faithful son and pack member, but he’s got two big secrets. One, he’s blessed with enhanced hearing, vision, strength, and the ability to shift at will. Second, he’s gay, a fact he can’t admit to his deadly homophobic father.

Rome crashes a party at the mansion of his pack’s greatest enemy, the ancient, pure-blooded Havillands. Jules, the gay son of the drunkard alpha, is being married off to a rich entrepreneur. Smitten and moved by the beautiful male’s plight, Rome tries to find a way to save Jules—while digging himself deeper into pack politics and navigating his own arranged marriage. Secrets climb out of the caves as the werewolf gods speak through the mouths of their children, and the two great families clash, suffocating the hopes of star-crossed lovers.

I am a self-proclaimed Shakespeare nerd. I own a leather bound edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare with gilded pages of parchment and a silk ribbon for placement marking. My husband first thought it was a bible when I put it on the shelf. I adore Shakespeare and have read Romeo and Juliet so many times I fumed at the Baz Luhrmann version of the movie because there were a few things that shouldn’t have happened and I pointed them out in text to my sister directly after seeing that version. *ahem* DIES. It says so in the text. There is no three second meeting of the eyes and an OH FUCK WHAT DID I DO/WHAT DID YOU DO moment. Sorry. I regress but you get my point, eh?

So when I saw this book, not only a play on Juliet and her Romeo but with two males as the leads and they are shifters? How could I not jump at the chance to read it?

Um… I will say I had to loosen the string on my bonnet to not compare this version to a summer’s day and it made a great difference.

Now, though this doesn’t follow the fated lovers to the letter, it does bring in a good deal of elements from the play and the film versions. I like that Lain plays with the names of characters and not just our main ones. We have a Ty (Tybalt), Merrick (Mercutio), Benedetto (Benvolio) and yes, Jules and Rome.

The way Merrick and Rome sneak into the Havilland party to welcome back their only son was done beautifully to compliment Will’s work while also making it its own story. The ancient paintings of wolves mating… even the male wolves mating with male wolves was a nice addition and really gave us a feel into how closeted Rome is.

I fell quickly into this story truly because of its use of the well-known tragedy while being authentic to its retelling with shifters.

There is a balance with the Dreamspun Beyond series that is hard to manage but here, Lain nails it. We have just the right amount of fluff you’d expect with decent amount of pack politics, action and intrigue to make this paranormal romance one you don’t want to stop reading.

It was interesting that both Rome and Jules has issues of homophobia with their families though Rome does suffer most. He has secrets that young man that aren’t just about his liking of men but his alpha status as well. Poor Jules has a drunk of a father who only wants to marry his son off to pay his debts but what is poor daddy to do when his only son falls for youngest son of his arch rival?

Rome and Jules was a great addition to this series that I thoroughly enjoyed. I feel as if I haven’t said enough about the book but my head is full of these two that I am finding it hard to get exactly what I want out. So I will just end with this quote from the man himself to end this rambling review and sum up my feelings.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. ~Shakespeare


  1. Sara, thank you so much for tiptoeing into my almost sacrilegious venture into werewolf Shakespeare, but when DsP suggested i do a Dreamspun Beyond, the words Two Werewolf Houses Both Alike in Dignity would not leave my head. I'm delighted and honored that you liked it! : )

    1. It was a great story and I loved your take on it. Some try to retell the classics verbatim only changing minor details but you pulled the essence of Shakespeare into a male/male werewolf story. I completely enjoyed it.