Pack of Lies by Charlie Adhara
Monster Hunt #1
August 30, 2022, by Carina Adores
Review by Melinda
Charlie Adhara’s Big Bad Wolf series quickly became one of my favorite PNR series so I was excited for the spin-off of this, Monster Hunt. Pack of Lies is the first book, starring Eli, Park’s ex from Cry Wolf, the last book in the Big Bad Wolf series. He’s now the manager of a retreat in the middle of nowhere, and the pack plans on using it to help rebel pack runaways. The book starts with a bang immediately when Julien arrives looking for answers to his brothers’ mysterious disappearance.
One important question with a spin-off series is if it can stand on its own, and I definitely think this one can. Any reader should be able to pick this one up and have no issues with not knowing the background stories. However, the beginning of the book did leave me a bit confused as I did have an issue separating Eli and Julien from each other – it took a little while for the two to have distinct personalities. I also remember having a similar issue with the first book in the Big Bad Wolf series, which I came to love, so don’t let that issue bother you too much if that happens for you as well.
The main theme of this book is secrets: who is hiding them, who knows where the answers are hidden, who can ask the right questions, and what will happen when they’re uncovered. Eli is desperately trying to keep the existence of wolves hidden, but Julien’s brother was trying to prove that they do; so the juxtaposition of these two things butt heads the whole time while they’re also falling for each other. Romance novel classic plot line! The central plot also revolves around people in the area trying to hunt a mystery beast. So we get many scenes involving Eli scrambling to cover things up so that no one discovers evidence of werewolves and blows their cover.
My favorite thing about this book is the romance, as always. Eli has an acerbic sense of humor and it bounces off Julien’s very well. The author has a knack for creating tension between the characters with glances and not-so-subtle innuendos from Eli. The tension, of course, turns nicely into both romance and some anger, which leads to some angry sex. The mystery was fine, it was there in the background, but what kept me reading was the heat between the two main characters. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these two together.