Howling for It: Anthologies Make Strange “Bookfellows”

Howl for It

HOWL FOR IT coverAuthors: Shelly Laurenston, Cynthia Eden
Narrated by: Kasha Kensington

Published by: Tantor Media
Publication date: Jan 30, 2018
Running time 11 hrs


I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


They hunger for your pleasure. They growl for your touch. And in these sizzling stories by New York Times bestselling authors Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden, these sexy wolf shapeshifters are lust at first bite . . .

Like a Wolf with a Bone by Shelly Laurenston

Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn’t be happier when the most-feared member of the South’s rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there’s nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts—and have her surrender however and whenever she wants . . .

Wed or Dead by Cynthia Eden

Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem—Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla’s secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game . . .

Contains mature themes.


My Take Oblong Shaped

Like a Wolf with a Bone by Shelly Laurenston

I was surprised at first by the mention of the Viet Cong in this alternate world where, it seems, at least the government knows about shifters and other supes.  I wondered if this were a different world in history or time as well as in knowledge of the supernatural?

There’s a “Dukes of Hazzard” feel to this story where the hot male shifters from one family seem impossibly attracted to hot female shifters of another.  In this case the love story is between Darla and Eggy. Darla , an innocent-ish pastry chef, is also a pacifist and a feminist at a time when neither were all that popular.  Darla’s mother is a woman of America’s South circa 1950, Eggy’s mother is more a “Ma Kettle” type. Eggy is a military assassin who likes his work and considers himself good at killing things. Pretty much everyone is terrified of Eggy, and he has problems with self-esteem.  Here we can immediately see a bunch of conflicts that can and will arise.  Add to it shifter clan wars and a mob-type involvement and you get a volatile and violent landscape.

While there is a lot of violence there’s also a lot of tender moments within the relationship between Darla and Eggy.  He is able to give her space but helps ground her. She appreciates his need to do his job in the military and to protect her. 

In a sense this could be written as a non-paranormal romance if the characters were members of two crime families with a third causing trouble. But, the psychology of the characters, and the conflicts that arise are truly best served in the human and animal landscape of Laurentson’s shifter world-building.  I had a hard time keeping tract of some of the many shifter characters who impacted the story and the outcome.  Shifters with similar naming schemes and who appear only a few times can be hard to track in this format.

Wed or Dead by Cynthia Eden

Eden’s shifter Las Vegas story is darker, edgier and more contemporary than Laurentson’s. Both work with the morallity behind the shifters’ realities but while Laurentson gives us Donna Reed meets the Hillbilly Ma Kettle, Laurentson brings together the X-Files and The Sopranos.  Kayla has a truly horrific past, but that she and none of her colleagues see the truth about an important member of their team is a little hard to believe. 

This story has a little less sheet time and a little more killing in it’s pages. Shifter worlds are often violent and this one is pretty bloody. I found a lot of the imagery as horrific as it would probably be in real life.  When world-building conflicts like, “why can the wolf smell fear but not deceit?” arose for me, Eden provided an explanation except for use of silver versus regular bullets since neither seemed particularly fatal. I thought the whole thing was a little drawn out.

I was amused by what felt like an epilogue to the epilogue.  If you like shifter romances and gritty, dark shfiter worlds this could be a good choice for you.  I waas able to keep track of who the characters were throughout the story, but there were a limited number of primary and secondary characters in it which, in the audio-format is really helpful.

On the Anthology:

Both stories  involve shifters, at least one somewhat psychopathic character, and have a link to governments knowing about them, but  rather than feeling thematic, these variables felt coincidental or highly probable for the genre.  This puzzled me since it makes the two books feel less like an anthology and more like a convenient way to deliver novellas.

Kasha does a great job with the stories and the characters.  Her stylings of the main characters, and even some of the more secondaries, were distinct and believable.


More of a two-in-one package than a themed-anthology, this was a fun, and steamy read a little more violence than I like.  But, the “good-parts” make up for the blood baths. 


Links Blue Horizontal


Shelly Laurentson:

Cynthia Eden: