Reviewed by Tori
Andrea Lockhart doesn’t want to be in Woodbine, South Carolina investigating a werewolf sightings but when her ex boyfriend/editor demands an exclusive, she does what she is told. Upon arrival she finds herself hanging upside down from a trap and looking into the eyes of a former collage journalism rival. She never expected to see the delish Sean Hunter in this out of the way burg and is even more surprised when he decides that they need to work together to find out if the town’s werewolf is fact or fiction.
Sean regrets the way he treated Andrea when they were in collage. He thought she had potential but needed to toughen up if she wanted to make it as a journalist. So his campaign consisted of snide remarks and esteem crushing comments. He is pleasantly surprised when she arrives in town; especially as she has gone from the frumpy girl to a beautiful polished woman. Sean begins a steady campaign to get closer to Andrea (and in her bed) by involving himself in her story-he’ll help her research the werewolf if she’ll let him write a story on her. As these two spend time together investigating and interviewing, Sean realizes that he doesn’t want Andrea to leave when the article is done but is unsure how he can convince her that Woodbine and he are the perfect ending for her story.
Cry Wolf is a lightweight paranormal romance with a hint of mystery and intrigue as our heroine, Andrea Lockhart, battles matters of the heart and the unknown in a small town split between wanting notoriety and being left alone. Personable characters and humorous dialogue makes for a steady paced story that keeps the reader engaged. The story does start out slow in the beginning as the storylines are set up. Ms. Campbell creates a fine balance between the romance and the plot that works well. Neither over powering the other and enough back story is given so that you don’t feel like your missing out on any important details.
Andrea is a well rounded character. An intelligent go-getter, she knows her news and it shows. She jumps into investigating the story with aplomb but not in an annoying way. Her dialogue is witty and I enjoyed hearing her thoughts as she humorously snarks about the town, her life, and Sean. I really like how she keeps Sean at an arms length through most of the book. While she admits to being attracted to him, his pretty face and pretty words don’t make up for the pain he caused her in collage. Plus, she shows insight when she tells him that her face may be different (she had plastic surgery after a terrible accident) but she is still the same inside and he sure wasn’t that interested back in collage.
Sean was a harder character for me to connect with. His entire make up felt superficial. Good looking, good natured, considered a great catch; Ms. Campbell was never able to really convince me that his attraction for Andrea ever went more than skin deep. He felt like the requisite hero built up as the perfect man with no real emotional stakes involved.Towards the end I warmed up to him more as he begins to exhibit real emotions (jealousy and insecurity) rather than the continuous good natured ‘good old boy’ we were shown throughout. I felt he would have benefited more by not waiting so long to be honest about his feelings and needs with Andrea and his family. It was if he couldn’t handle the emotional connection with Andrea. He was okay with casual but once he really fell in love, he became a jerk at times.
Their romance is very slow to develop and Ms. Campbell does good job of working out their difference. Though the sexual tension between them is quite evident I still never was fully convinced that their romance went beyond the physical trappings. Sean allows too many outside influences to affect him.
Our secondary characters were an eccentric bunch who’s adaption into the book adds depth and realism to the storyline. From the teenage intern to Andrea’s pain in the butt ex boyfriend, we are given real reactions to real situations. Our villain is bad but in a over the top way. His reasons for revenge are a tad silly but it’s handled well and I liked his comeuppance in the end.
I really like the combination of light and dark that envelopes the plot. Ms. Campbell could have easily gone cheesy with the werewolf but she instead creates a well written storyline gives you little chill bumps and leaves you guessing till the very end. The ending wraps up the main conflict and ties the subplots together in a satisfactory manner. All in all a good debut that, while their is room for improvement, has a certain attention grabbing potential that should mature as Ms. Campbell hones her craft.
Overall Rating: C