Audiobook Review: Once Upon A Wolf (Wayward Wolves #1) by Rhys Ford

Gibson Keller's days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother, stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It's a simple life made up of long runs on two legs - or four - and quiet evenings...until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson's life forever.

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough - right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water, then walks into Zach's heart as if he owns it.

Loving a werewolf - loving Gibson with all his secrets - has its challenges, but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big, bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

Narrated by: Derrick McClain
Listening Length: 3 hours and 49 minutes

I quite enjoyed this understated foray into the shifter world by Rhys Ford. It’s not a light your pants on fire type of romance, nor filled to the brim with her descriptive prose, but it's still a decent start to a new series.

As per the blurb, Zach inadvertently runs across a huge wolf and straight into the arms of said wolf’s human brother Gibson. It wouldn’t be a Ford story if there wasn’t at least insta-lust and this was no different. However, it takes some time for Zach to wrap his brain around the existence of werewolves despite the strong mutual attraction. It doesn’t hurt at all that he greatly admires Gibson’s steadfast devotion towards his wolfy brother Ellis, who’s stuck in his animal form as a coping mechanism to past war trauma.

Narrated by Derrick McClain, I know he’s a favorite and with good reason. He’s got a great baritone, emotes well, and varies his voices expertly. However, for some unknown reason, there’s just one little quirk of his that drives me batty. It’s not as strong as it has been in some of his other works, but it was there enough to be distracting. If not for this one thing, he’d be in my top 5 for sure. As I always say, audios are a personal thing, just like one’s reading experience and unfortunately, McClain is not an automatic win for me.

Regardless, if you like shifters, if you like a slow burn, this is for you! Many have mentioned that half the focus is on Gibson’s brother Ellis and his painful steps towards healing, and that’s true. However, I didn’t feel it detracted much from Gibson and Zach. I like to think that this was nice segue towards Ellis’s story, and I look forward to more of everyone in the sequel! Overall, this was sweet, interesting, and of course sexy, and it's quite doubtful fans of Ford won't enjoy her new endeavor into the world of werewolves!

Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review

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