The Criminal And The Wolf by Ella Grey

The Criminal And The Wolf by Ella Grey
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (62 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Beth Cooper is a girl in trouble. Temple, the local mob boss, is forcing her to clear a debt left over by her father. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but she didn’t count on meeting her mate or for Kelvin, her assigned partner-in-crime, to shoot Carlos, the elderly security guard.

David Parr is a shifter. He’s back from a job and working in Beth’s town as a security guard before heading back to rejoin his pack. He’s just desperate for time away from pack politics, but he never expected to meet his mate here—or for her to be in a world of trouble.
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A human girl and a werewolf. A forbidden pairing but fated by the stars.

If they survive…

Beth’s life had turned complicated. She’d learned after her father died that he owed the local mob boss a huge amount of money and she was going to be forced to pay it back one way or another. Wanting nothing more than to pay off the debt quickly and leave town for good, Beth reluctantly agrees to the craziest scheme ever – assisting to rob an armoured truck. Only, everything goes wrong and David, a wolf shifter, knows Beth needs his help. Can the two of them survive?

Fast paced and sexy, I found this to be a good, quick read. I connected with both Beth and David’s characters, finding them both modern and relatable. While the situation Beth finds herself in – owing a mob boss fifty thousand dollars carried on from her father’s previous debt – is a little over-the-top, I can understand how things like this do happen and the quick and crazy way her life spirals out of her control is also well-written and logical. I felt really bad for Beth, struggling to take control of her life and doing the best she can.

I found Beth’s lack of freak-out over being told about David’s wolf a little unrealistic – but in the short length of the story I could see how a long, drawn out and slow realization would have over-taken the story and not left room for the plot or much of the romance. I was also a little disappointed that the story seemed to end very suddenly, and while not a cliff-hanger, I was definitely left with a feeling of “wait a minute, what happens next?”. I feel the best advice I can give readers is to grab a drink, sit back and just enjoy the ride – don’t think too hard about it. I honestly found the writing interesting and well-paced, fast enough that I didn’t feel the need to skip pages to hurry the action along, but slow enough that I didn’t feel David and Beth fell into the “insta-love” trap a lot of paranormal stories do where simply knowing they’re mates means logic, reason and chemistry aren’t required.

Overall I thought David and Beth were two rational characters who found themselves in an extra-ordinary circumstance and did the best they could. Best of all they had some sizzling chemistry and despite it being “against the rules” of David’s wolf-shifter pack, they finished with a happy ending.

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