Winter Wolf and I had a rather rocky beginning. The blurb is the lengthiest one I've ever seen in my entire years of reading and upon starting I was greeted with slightly funky grammar (and if I noticed, then it's got to pretty damn funky).
It was to my greatest pleasure, however, that this book proved me wrong. Winter Wolf is a lovely breath of fresh mountain air to the M/M Shapeshifter genre. The romance is a tender, slowly building and burning process which never failed to delight or interest me. Axton was endearing in his fragile hesitance and social ineptitude. The submissive undertones -- of his shifter ego, no doubt -- is brilliantly done in its subtle yet defined presence.
Likewise, Leander was a wonderful character who utterly endeared himself to me within moments of his introduction. Being kind, caring yet confident, he skilfully coaxes Axton out of his shell.
Something I truly enjoyed within this book was their chemistry, interaction and, more importantly, their friendship. It's not that often that we read a novel where the characters become good friends with each other before actually entering a romantic relationship. What was really special about Axton and Leander's relationship was that the basis of it was rock solid and not at all focused on the romantic and sexual aspect, but rather, just the way they clicked as two separate entities. Reading about them, their reactions and how they unknowingly compliment and lift each other up was truly gratifying.
To sum it all up (because god knows I won't stop rambling),Winter Wolf isn't your typical shapeshifter novel; you won't find the idiotic cliches of insta-mating and defined and exaggerated top/bottom roles. It's an entertaining and tender ride and one --despite its flaws, though I didn't really mention them, hah-- I would recommend for someone looking for a light and heartwarming read. Real koooot.
Apparently there is going to be a sequel as well! I don't feel that it's particularly necessary, but hey, who doesn't love goodsequels?
Rating: give or take 4 STARS