Happens so fast it’s easy to have it stay in Vegas. Werewolf in Las Vegas by Vicki Lewis Thompson is the latest (and perhaps final, based on the letter to the reader in at the end) in the Wild About You series. It was a quick, amusing, sexy little read. But it is set over the course of three days and feels rushed. It feels a little half done. It feels like a companion novel instead of an installment of a series. It felt like if I blinked I would have missed the entire story. Even for this genre, the love story moves at light speed, and that is just a little too fast for my tastes.
The last few novels in this series have made fleeting references to other things from the predecessor novels but really all of my “Other Important Things to Remember for Later” don’t really matter; if you didn’t remember them you wouldn’t be missing anything. There were a few mentions of some of the organizations, events and characters but if you weren’t familiar with them it really wouldn’t have mattered. There wasn’t enough tie in, and there was enough background, that you could read this book first and it wouldn’t matter.
I am not saying that is bad. But if this is the last book in the series, it is a little bit of a disappointment. I hate series that just sort of stop. With no big event, no bang, no climax that leaves me feeling like the series has reached a natural conclusion. To finish off a series with a book like this is so anti-climatic. Unfortunately, it isn’t all that uncommon in this genre, especially with books that fit in the sub-genre that isn’t dealing with an EOW scenario. Other series that have done this include Erin McCarthy’s Vegas Vamps and Ashlyn Chase’s Strange Neighbors. It is truly a shame, however, since these are really great reads.
The scenario presented in this book is similar to the last few: a were who doesn’t believe in were-human matches falling for a human. There were some other ancillary plot lines to provide the backdrop for getting the two protagonists together, but this boils down to that first sentence. Here’s the high level synopsis: Bryce Landry has run away from home, looking to escape his responsibilities as the next Landry alpha. He meets up with Cynthia Dalton, who wants to be a dancer, but her older brother isn’t allowing it. Bryce and Cynthia send siblings Giselle and Luke on a chase to try to convince Luke and Giselle to think differently. Meanwhile Luke and Giselle fall for each other. Cynthia wants to be a dancer and Luke doesn’t want to permit it. Giselle doesn’t believe in were-human mating. Giselle also wants Bryce to go home and be alpha. Luke won a bar in a poker game that used to be a were playground and the Cartwrights would like to get it back (and they do thanks to Giselle, Bryce and Cynthia – mainly Bryce and Cynthia).
So my issues with this installment are four: (1) they totally fall head over heals after one night of sex; (2) this feels very much like a re-hashing of the same plot from the last (at least) two installments; (3) it is a unexciting conclusion to the series (assuming that letter at the end from the author was a forever-goodbye letter); and (4) there was no real conflict.
I talked a little about two of those already. The other, well, it’s not uncommon in this genre to have characters fall totally, madly, head-over-heels for each other after a very brief time. But this too that to a new level. The reader must suspend all belief in reality when taking the romance and course of the relationship into consideration. Although, even then, it felt a little too fast. As a result, it felt rushed. Warp 9 was slow in comparison. The little adventure that the siblings of our main pair set in motion had potential to last at least a few days which could have stretched the events out a little and made it feel a little more realistic. And I think this could have been done without making the book too much longer.
The lack of conflict stems a little from the fact that this feels like the same story as from other books in this series. There was no real fresh plot point. There was no real conflict between the two protagonists. And this is so often where that great sexual tension between characters comes from. To say this existed because Giselle was anti-human puts too much stock in that particular plot point [spoiler alert – highlight to read] since it takes 48 hours for her to get over it and reveal herself. The plot line that moved us through time in the book wasn’t about the main two and so the story felt a little empty. Acceptance came too easily. It was like the author just couldn’t be bothered to put the characters through anything that would be difficult to cause them to come together. This is an element that is, I think, integral to a successful PNR story. And it is missing here. Needlessly, I might add. The whole thing about loosing the Cartwright property could was ripe to be exploited and it was merely an aside, an after thought. I am not asking that they be put through any huge trials or some of the things I have seen that approach the opposite extreme (some stories might as well strand our main characters in Antarctica without a way to get home and ask us to believe in a miraculous event that saves them – like with Scully and Mulder), but something to make the characters work for it would be nice. The conflict here lasted a page and a half. If that. One glass of whiskey and Luke is cool with everything? Too easy. Too lazy. Too boring.
Now the good. And there was quite a bit of good. This is a nice and tastefully sexy little book. The characters are funny. There were a number of moments where I was chuckling because of what was going on. The female character was a well written woman, who wasn’t a push over and she wasn’t a damsel in distress in need of a big strong hero to rescue her. There were some extended steamy scenes too (including a bathroom jaunt that makes the steamy reference a literal one). It had so many of the things that got me interested in this series to begin with. And it was super easy to read.
I just wish that the super fast trip to Vegas isn’t the last we see from the Wild About You series. I would like to visit a few other cities. I mean we even have a pack in England that was referenced we could go visit now…