Sooo. This story was an unusual one. At least for me.
It’s an M/M shifter story, which isn’t the unusual part, but it’s actually a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet. Meaning it’s an enemies-to-lovers, secret marriage, and rival families kind of story, all wrapped up in some … fur.
Synopsis: This is the story of Rome and Jules, both sons to their respective pack’s Alphas. Rome is the golden boy, his father’s hope for a worthy heir. He’s also secretly gay, hiding that fact because of the bigotry of his pack. Jules, on the other hand is out. And about to be married off to an unsavory character in exchange for a huge “dowry” the poor pack desperately needs. Then, when Rome crashes Jules engagement party cum masquerade ball, he instantly falls for the beautiful Jules. And the angst begins…
This is the first time I’ve read a re-telling of a famous story, and I’m not convinced it’s actually a good idea. But I did think it started out alright, I like gay werewolfs after all (try saying that out loud with a straight face! ;)). And since it’s not the flowery, insta-love of little kids (Juliet was like, what? Thirteen or something in the original story?), there’s a plus right there. And there were other things I liked as well. Rome and Jules met up several times, getting to know each other at least a little bit, before they secretly married. And there’s a HEA. Naturally.
However, in my opinion, the downsides to the read were too many to be disregarded. First, there was the angst and continuous re-hashing of the “I want him but he’s my enemy” and “oh no, he’s about to be married to another, but there’s nothing I can do”. I got the gist of it the first time. And the second was an unnecessary reminder. The following gazillion times didn’t bring anything to the story and was just plain irritating. Then, there was the sexytimes, however that’s really a misnomer. There was nothing sexy about it. The first time they got it on was downright cringe-worthy. I won’t go into details, I’ll spare you the discomfort. But trust me when I say it’s just-let-the-ground-swallow-me-up kind of embarrassing.
But generally, I thought this story felt very disjointed and lacking in the overall composition. In one way, there’s a huge difference between Rome and Jules from the original story. But in the other, it’s the exact same story-setup where the entire thing is a never ending sequence of clandestine meetings. But what works for a 16th century play actually needs to be updated in more ways than making the MCs male and werewolf in order to adapt it to a modern, non stage-intended story.
Maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe I’m picky. Or maybe this story just wasn’t meant for me and there are lots of people who’ll love it. Either way, my rating is a 2-star.