Tom Davidson learns the hard way how being a big fish in a small pond does not translate to being a big fish in a large pond. Tom left podunk Waycroft Falls as quickly as he could so that he could make it big in New York. After a few years of not making it, even if his sister thought he did, he returns home at her request to help her out. Tail tucked between his legs, he keeps wanting to confess to his sister how much he failed. Lucky for Tom, the opportunity never comes.
This story is unexpected for me. It takes a sensitive topic in a plausible manner, that is if being a werewolf was real, and creates a lovely solution. There are a few conflicts in this story and all but one are resolved in a manner I found satisfactory. First, Tom is trying to decide if he can really continue being a failure in New York. Even of Waycroft is in the middle of nowhere, his talent can shine here and he can bring more revenue and education to this little town. Second, Tom's sister, is fighting to save not only her livelihood but preserve a historical building. In today's age where strip malls and on-line mega book stores are the business du jour, her little store is a dying breed quickly meeting extinction. Third, ms. Ladnier attacks the social stigma of being different and how education can make a difference. This point is the one which makes me enjoy the story and perhaps rate it higher than I would normally do.
From a character perspective, none of them really pulled me in. Most of them were annoying. I did feel pity for Frank who is a werewolf. In this world, it is a recessive genetic curse that is a luck of the draw if both parents carry the recessive gene. Frank does and when his mother dies and father remarries to a pure bred human, he's kicked out. He becomes persona non gratas which just kills me. My heart broke for Frank. What the town does through a reinterpretation of Beauty and the Beast with Frank as the featured Beast, is beautiful. How this play is used to educate people on this medical condition really made me smile. Whilst I appreciate Ms. Ladnier's bittersweet ending for Frank, it does leave me a bit miffed at Frank's asshat family.
This paranormal romance is recommended for m/m readers who enjoy angst with a bit of fairy tale ending.