This was an interesting take on the shapeshifter sub-genre, and a much darker tale than what I'm used to from this author.
Dr. Nick Sewell is a professor at Cambridge university. He's also a werewolf, bitten and turned by an ex-boyfriend, and still struggling a bit with the wolfy parts of him.
Julian, a new student from Germany, causes an immediate reaction in Nick, even more so when Nick realizes the younger man is also a wolf. Nick is all alpha-wolf, which works well since Julian is more submissive in nature.
Nick is still angry with the ex-boyfriend - he didn't ask to be bitten and turned, and the ex disappeared on him, more or less, so Nick has had to figure out pretty much on his own how to deal with the pull of the moon and the change. And now he's all growly and jealous and finds that he has this urge to be near the new student as much as possible, even though that creeps him out and he knows he sticks out like a sore thumb.
Julian's backstory comes out slowly, and there were moments when what I found out made me so. fucking. mad!
The author did a fine job with her characters - both are complex and flawed, polar opposites at first glance, but in many instances more alike deep down than they realize. The book is told from Nick's POV, switching with Julian's friend Tiffany's POV, which I found unusual and somewhat unfitting, since I really didn't have much interest in Tiffany, but the more I thought about her narrative, the more I realized that she actually brought some depth to Julian's character that may not have been as clear if we'd only heard from Nick.
The thing that bothered me the most was how the situation with Julian's father's Beta turned out - and how his father seemed unapologetic for what he put his child through. Julian's mother seemed very weak, but we only saw her through Nick's eyes, and those were a bit biased. What didn't help was that there was a distinct lack of world-building - the werewolf lore used wasn't really explained, for one, and while Nick learns a bit more about changing into a wolf, he didn't really delve any deeper than what Julian told him.
And it raised additional questions - like, is Crack fully human? And will he get his own book?
It's a rather dark novel, much darker than I expected, but I enjoyed reading it. I am German by birth, and most of the German used in this book was accurate. A few things were, while spelled properly, not exactly how a German would express themselves (at least not one from where I grew up).
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **