Title: Good Bones
Author: Kim Fielding
Cover: Christine Griffin
Buy Link: Good Bones
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance / Werewolves
Length: 200 pages
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Excellent, believable romance in which urban werewolf architect relocates to rural seclusion for safety’s sake, meets unusual redneck neighbour for home improvements, good meals, a little danger and a lot of tenderness.
Blurb: Skinny, quiet hipster Dylan Warner was the kind of guy other men barely glanced at until an evening’s indiscretion with a handsome stranger turned him into a werewolf. Now, despite a slightly hairy handicap, he just wants to live an ordinary—if lonely—life as an architect. He tries to keep his wild impulses in check, but after one too many close calls, Dylan gives up his urban life and moves to the country, where he will be less likely to harm someone else. His new home is a dilapidated but promising house that comes with a former Christmas tree farm and a solitary neighbor: sexy, rustic Chris Nock.
Dylan hires Chris to help him renovate the farmhouse and quickly discovers his assumptions about his neighbor are inaccurate—and that he’d very much like Chris to become a permanent fixture in his life as well as his home. Between proving himself to his boss, coping with the seductive lure of his dangerous ex-lover, and his limited romantic experience, Dylan finds it hard enough to express himself—how can he bring up his monthly urge to howl at the moon?
Good Bones is one of the most satisfying werewolf books I’ve read recently. I really liked the way we shared Dylan’s everyday routine of coping with the werewolf gene and trying to maintain as a normal a life as possible. His pragmatic approach to his situation gives a thoughtful and grounded real life flavour to the story. By the way, it is always amazing when good writing can make even buying bathroom fittings, tiles or trucks completely hold my attention. Generally, the writing flowed really well to gradually encompass, without any clumsy overload of information all the cohesive particulars of Dylan’s history, his present problems and possible solutions.
Dylan’s habit of referencing sensory details, in particular scent and taste gives us a real intimacy with how he experiences his hybrid world. As when he is looking over a prospective country property, and noticing a half collapsed chicken coop …… wondered whether it was annoying to eat through feather. Dylan and his wolf are both quite susceptible to thoughts of food; lots of meals, cooked and raw here.
The relationship between Dylan and Chris has a gorgeously slow build up after an interesting and very visual first encounter. This came with……. thank you so much Kim Fielding…… no portentous forebodings, no formulaic mutterings of, ‘ my mate, my mate ,’ just Dylan’s simple appreciation of his new neighbour’s spectacularly nice ass. There is some funny exploration of urban and country stereotypes in very natural dialogue that works really well as they get to know each other. I completely believed in this relationship as two very different men grew towards each other with some little social misunderstandings but real tenderness. The Saturday night at the bar was a great scene showing elements of both of their personal problems, but with no melodrama just instinctive behaviour.
I found both main characters so interesting. Dylan as the introspective but funny, sensitive and slightly damaged by his condition, professional man was more of a recognisable character. Yet I also loved Chris and found his quirky rural redneck but intelligent laid back individualism more of an unusual pleasure. For all of this vivid description of his body confidence,
Like a cowboy who’d just captured the cattle rustlers, rescued the stagecoach, and foiled the bank robbery, Chris swaggered to the door.
He has his own real insecurities.
While the story has a continued emphasis on everyday life; work, house renovations, Dylan’s werewolf alter ego still adds a convincing edge of danger with a believable call of the wild element. We really get under the skin of his wolf……fur in the teeth and all. The underlying threat of discovery and violence gave the story some credible tension. I also enjoyed the human manifestation of Dylan’s new found animal magnetism- from being a socially unsure geek suddenly all eyes follow him. In particular his sensual instinct is an unexpected added attraction in the delightfully detailed sex scenes, which combine intimacy with nice touches of bedroom reality.
Other characters in the book from Dylan’s atypically supportive family, to his work colleagues and even the Realtor are all well and often amusingly drawn. My only quibble was that I wasn’t sure about the lack of information Dylan was originally given with which to design his client’s dream house, it seemed a little contrived……..I feel mean even mentioning it, but it made me think twice.
Nevertheless, I found this a perfectly enjoyable, intelligent and convincing werewolf story written with thoughtful charm and humour.