Review of Hot Wolf, by Ellie Valentina

I received an audible code for a copy of Ellie Valentina’s Hot Wolf, a compilation of the first three books in the Werewolves on Heat series: The Hot Wolf, The Red Wolf, and The Fire Wolf. As listening to them all crossed the 2019-2020, divide I posted a review of The Hot Wolf when I finished it. I’ll re-post it here, simply to keep them together.


I’ll make a few comments on the series as a whole, before posting my individual reviews. None of these stories was particularly deep. 2 of the 3 are too similar for comfort. It was like reading the same story twice. They all culminate in a marriage and baby as the happily ever after. None of the titles make any sense to the stories in them and none of them have the tension or passion to pull off the heat, hot, red and fire descriptors. And lastly,there seems to be no consistency in the series, when I sense it’s supposed to be an interconnected world, as opposed to a collection of unrelated werewolf stories.


Description of The Hot Wolf (which has the same cover as the compilation):

Ava Sparks was a paranormal assassin tasked with eradicating werewolves from existence. 

Her latest target was gorgeous billionaire Chase Elliot. Intelligence suggested he was hiding a secret life as a werewolf and because of that he was to be erased from existence. 

However, once Ava became close to the charming Chase she made a stunning realization that changed everything. 

Now, instead of killing the werewolf, she was to find herself making love to him and life as everyone knew it would never be the same again… 

Review:

First, I think both the title and the cover of this book are misleading. The title makes you think it’s erotica, but it’s not at all. There is VERY LITTLE heat in it. What’s more, the werewolf in question is very cool and collected. He may be attractive, but hot isn’t an adequate description of him as a whole. He’s a politician, not a soldier or anything else that would have him hulking ripped on the cover either. All in all, you are simply given there wrong first impression of this book (and probably series). 

This is exacerbated by the fact that werewolves are basically extraneous to the plot. The characters could be from opposing political factions, or ninja clans or corporate spies. None of it would change the plot one iota. I was disappointed by this fact.

Getting past all that, I though it was still only so-so (not bad, but not good either). The ‘parents’ seem to make decisions based on who knows what that make the heroine go off and make ill-thought plans and take poorly executed actions. (She’s awfully inept for an experienced assassin.) She seems to have several personality shifts throughout the book. And the happily-ever-after is just too pat to stomach easily. 


Description of The Red Wolf:

When Josephine Lancaster first caught a glimpse of the handsome, muscle bound Edward Jake Hunter she knew she would be unable to resist his charms. 

A steamy night of passion between the two was inevitable and it was the best night of her life. 

However, Edward was a man with many secrets. 

Not only was Edward a werewolf but he was a werewolf on HEAT. And this meant one thing and one thing only. 

Josephine would soon be carrying the werewolf’s baby… 

Review:

Not great, in fact, I’d go so far as to say flat out bad. First, it’s too similar to book one—shitty, over dominating parents, a woman trying to get away and running to the male lead, who happens to be a werewolf, etc. The werewolf aspect was extraneous to the plot too. Jake could have just been an ex-SEAL and the book could be 100% the same. 

Second, there are a ton of inconsistencies. Things like telling Jake about the baby the night before an ultrasound and then him speaking to his mother ‘the week before’ about the pregnancy, or a man demeaning her for being pregnant and then her inner narrative saying she can’t let him know she’s pregnant, etc, etc. 

The plot is just paper thin, not well explained or developed, and repetitive at that. And there is a SUPER convenient event that allows the hero to rescue the heroine that made me roll my eyes so hard I almost saw my brain. All-in-all, I simply didn’t enjoy it. The narrator did a fine job, but I didn’t much care for her style here.

Lastly, the blurb specifically says, “Not only was Edward a werewolf but he was a werewolf on HEAT. And this meant one thing and one thing only.” But this is never addressed or explained. He doesn’t go into heat, nor is his passion so hot as to be called heated, not is he driven to find or identify his mate. This sentence in the blurb that supposedly sets the tone for the book is literally unrelated to the book. Maybe it’s meant to be hyperbole. But I feel like a blurb isn’t the place for ambiguousness in such things.


Description of The Fire Wolf:

Ranger Nick Greyson was a werewolf on heat. 

When he caught the scent of 20 year old Sarah Benson he knew he had caught the scent of his fated mate. After all, the nose never lies. 

However, Sarah’s scent made Nick so wild with desire that he did the one thing he knew he should have never done. 

He bit her. 

And now young Sarah is set to also become a werewolf on heat..

Review:

To sum it all up, this book isn’t very good. To elaborate, I’ll start with an irritant, the plot literally has nothing to do with fire. Nothing. Why give a book a title that has nothing to do with the plot?

What plot it does have is very thin. And the whole thing just feels ickily sexist. There are so many small examples, but they add up to a whole heck of a lot of (probably) internalized misogyny. Things like the fact that all the women except the main characters are basically just sex toys. The main female characters all stay home and be protected while the men go out and do things (even the man who’s been a werewolf for a matter of days and the woman who has been one since childhood). All decisions are made by the men, even in situations in which you’d expect a different power balance (like when speaking to your mother in her home). And worst of all the man who tries to essentially kidnap and rape the main female characters is befriended by her brother and shown to be a hotheaded, but well-interventioned guy. Nothing in the narrative condemns his attempted kidnapping and rape. It literally is just passed off as unworthy of mention in it’s appropriateness.

I am so glad to be done with this series.

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