Can an independent, stubborn human beta make room in his life and heart for a hard-headed Alpha?
Julio Reyes has had a hard life. Orphaned at fourteen, he ran away from a group home to avoid rape but wound up being an independent prostitute in NYC. He has a life plan—go to school, become a stylist and open his own salon.
Etienne Daurensbourg is one-hundred and thirty-nine years old and fears he’ll never find his Mate until his friend Alexei introduces him to Julio. Julio is Etienne’s Mate but before he has a chance to court Julio, who is a human high beta and therefore stubborn and independent, Julio gets knifed and is forced to let Etienne provide him with a home and help to recover. Pack problems arise that may force Etienne into the pit. Will Julio be able to love Etienne despite the fact he is a loup garou?
💕 About the Book
Werewolves of Manhattan Book 6
Author Name: A.C. Katt
Book Name: Julio’s Wolf
Can be read as a stand alone
Release Date: September 30, 2016
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine
Pages or Words: 203 pages
Categories: Paranormal, Contemporary, Urban Wolf Shifter, Gay
💕 Book Trailer
The City of Oswego, NY
The Reyes Household Nine Years Ago, Late April “Julio, don’t you want to go out on the boat to fish with Dad and me?” His mom slapped mayo on a tuna salad sandwich and packed it in the cooler.
Julio stood in the kitchen with his hands on his hips. “I don’t like fishing, it’s yucky. I want to go to Richard’s house and play his new video game.”
“It’s the last day of Dad’s vacation. He wants to spend some time with you before he has to go back to work tomorrow.”
He rolled his eyes. Julio knew his mother was trying to use guilt so he would go fishing with them. “I’ve spent time with you and Dad for the whole week of spring break. Why do I have to go today? I’ll see Dad tonight when he comes home and every night after that.
Richard’s only going to be here two more weeks.”
“Julio, you’re fourteen years old, don’t you think it’s time youstopped whining? All right, you can go to Richard’s house and play the new game. Come kiss me good-bye. Dad’s in the garage. Say good-bye to him, and we’ll pick you up at Richard’s house at four.”
His mother continued to make sandwiches.
“Thanks, Mom, you’re the best.”
She wiped her hands on a kitchen towel. “Does Richard’s mother know you’re coming?” she asked over her shoulder as she put a container of her homemade potato salad into the cooler with the sandwiches.
“Yes, she’s making lunch.” He ran over to the counter.
“Okay, dear.” Julio gave his mother a kiss and a hug and ran out to the garage.
Julio stood in front of his dad with his hands in the pockets of his jeans. “I’m going to Richard’s. Mom said it was okay.”
His father smiled. “I can’t say I’m not disappointed, but I know I can’t compete against Tomb Raider.” His father was straightening the tackle and packing the fi shing rods in the rear of the Highlander.
Julio kissed his dad and jogged around the corner to Richard’s.
Richard Kerrigan was Julio’s best friend and the only other gay kid in their school. Naturally, they had gravitated toward one another.
Julio and Richard were best buddies. Once, they tried to kiss but they decided that they weren’t that kind of friends. Richard was moving from Oswego to Chicago in two weeks. Julio would lose his best friend. It was the most traumatic event in his young life and made his stomach hurt. After Richard left, Richard promised to call and e-mail. They might connect for a while, but their own lives would get in the way, and their long-distance friendship would disappear. Julio shrugged—What is, is was his motto. But he’d miss Richard. It was going to be lonely being the only gay kid at school. A lot of bullying might come his way.
Julio walked up the path to the yellow house with green shutters and knocked on the door. Mrs. Kerrigan answered, her hair hung partially out of her ponytail, her face appeared flushed, and a sheen
of perspiration dripped from her forehead. She wiped her forearm across her brow. “I hope you’re not expecting more than PB&J for lunch today. I’m packing.”
“No, Mrs. Kerrigan, PB&J is fi ne. I want to see Richard. We don’t have much time left.” She swept her hand over her forehead again, to brush her red bangs out of her eyes.
“We’ll have you out to Chicago, and Richard can come back tovisit.” She kept glancing at the boxes in the kitchen. She didn’t have time to talk to him.
“In the den. I’ll make sandwiches at noon. Julio walked down the stairs to the lower floor of the split- level. Richard remained focused on the TV screen, playing Tomb Raider.
“Hey, Julio, check this out.”
Mrs. Kerrigan served their PB&J and a glass of cold milk in the kitchen. Richard waited for his mom to go back to her packing and whispered to Julio, “If we were at your house, we could play Tomb
Raider while we ate.”
“It’s nicer eating at a table. And this way you don’t spill milk on the game controller.” Julio teased Richard about last year’s mishap.
By the end of the afternoon Richard won seven times and he had come close only once. “Score,” Richard said as Julio went down for the last time.
“Richard, you’re such a geek.” Julio pouted.
Richard looked up at Julio and said, “Yep.”
At four o’clock, Richard’s mother came downstairs and asked Julio, “Could you wait for your mom out on the step? I have to pick up Richard’s dad from work and then we’re going out to dinner.
Your mom and dad should be here in a few minutes.”
“No problem, Mrs. Kerrigan, my parents will be here any minute.
They’re never late. I have no problem waiting on the step.”
“Well, good-bye, dear, I’m sure we’ll see you tomorrow. Richard will want to play his new game again.”
Julio walked halfway up the stairs and turned shouting down to the den, “See you tomorrow, Richard.” There was no answer.
Richard was immersed in the game.
§ § §
“Of all the things we have to do as a cop, this is the worst,”
Officer Joe Pennetta told his partner, Mike Dolan.
Dolan straightened his holster.
“Yeah. I spoke to the neighbors when we stopped at their house after we tried to make the notifi cation.
The neighbors said there was no other family. He’s at the Kerrigan’s house around the corner. The one in the house on the right told me in confidence that the poor kid is gay. There are no foster homes that want to take gay kids around here so he’s headed for the group home over in Fulton. He won’t even be able to stay in the same town, never mind the same school.” Dolan sighed. “Maybe his friend’s parents will take him in.”
Pennetta turned on to Clover Street. “Maybe…” He doubted that they would get anyone to take the kid except for the County group home. A social worker waited at the stationhouse for Julio. Their job
was to notify the survivor and bring the kid in, that was it. But he hated the looks on the people’s faces when he had to break the news.
Pennetta and Dolan pulled up to Number Twenty-two Clover Street. A kid sat on the step, crying. The offi cers got out of their vehicle and walked toward the concrete steps that led to the house.
Pennetta, as the senior partner took the lead. “I’m looking for Julio Reyes.”
The kid sniffled. “That’s me.”
Had someone else told him about his folks?
“Why are you crying?” Dolan wasn’t the most sensitive of men.
“My parents said they’d come for me at four. The Kerrigans had to leave. I think my parents are mad at me because I didn’t want to go fishing today.” Julio wiped his nose with a tissue.
“Kid, your parents aren’t coming.”
Pennetta kicked Dolan.
“Why? All I did was ask them not to take me fishing. They couldn’t leave me because of that. I kissed them both good-bye.
They didn’t look angry.” Tears poured down Julio’s cheeks.
“Your parents weren’t angry at you.” Pennetta sat down next to him on the step. “There was an accident…”
“Are they okay? When can I see them?”
The kid panicked and now he was about to deliver the killing blow.
“They drowned in Lake Ontario in the wake of a fishing trawler.
We sent pers down, but we couldn’t recover the bodies. Do you have anyone you can stay with?” Dolan asked.
Pennetta kicked Dolan again and hissed, “Give the kid a chance to process what we told him.”
“I should have gone with them. They should have made me go,” Julio shouted in rage, almost hysterical. “Then I’d be with them.”
“Calm down, kid. There’s nothing you could have done. They’re gone. You have to deal.” Dolan turned toward the squad car.
Pennetta scowled at Dolan then turned to the boy. “Your name is Julio, right? We have to take you down to the station house. A social worker will be waiting there, and they’ll help you decide what
to do next. It won’t be too bad.” They walked to the squad car, Julio trailing behind them.
Dolan muttered, “At least I didn’t lie to him. Fulton is going to be awful for a kid like that.” Julio sobbed behind them.
Pennetta elbowed Dolan. “Give the kid a break. At least let him grieve before he knows what’s in store for him.” He shook his head.
“Can I at least pack a bag?” Julio asked amidst his sobs.
“Yeah, we’ll take you over to your house to get some of your things. Social services will help you deal with the rest of it.”
§ § §
Julio got into the patrol car and never saw the Kerrigans again.
By the time they held a service for his mom and dad, Richard was in Chicago with his parents, and he was in a home where the boys referred to him as fresh meat. Had the Kerrigans known where they took him? If so, Richard would have at least called. With both his parents and Richard gone, he had no one.
💕 Review by Elaine White
DISCLAIMER: This is the first book in this series that I’ve read.
This book had some good potential, but it fell seriously short. I can see where it was going, somewhere along the lines of Kelly Clemmons Druid’s Lodge and Liv Olteano’s Leader Murders series. However, it was full of issues that I just couldn’t look past. My three rating is for the potential, but if I was judging based on a one off experience, I’d lower that to 2 stars.
This is the first time I’ve read A.C. Katt and I can’t say I’m inspired to read more. To be honest, it’s a personal clash, which is part of why I gave it 3 stars. Her writing style just isn’t something that works for me.
I was told that this story could be read as a standalone. But, that wasn’t true. I was lost from page one. A whole page mentioned events that I had no clue about, mentioned people I’d never read/heard about and indicated that the MC Julio has had a huge part in someone else’s story. Even the end read as though this was one of those series where you have to follow each book onto the next. There is no way this could be read out of sequence and be understood.
Perhaps because of this, I was unable to connect with the characters or the story the way I should have.
For me, there was no chemistry between the MC’s, which was disappointing. They never got to know each other or attempted to understand who they were, and I had trouble with Julio’s dark past, which was often ignored and minimalised within the plot and the impact that it should have had on him. What I can say is that I did eventually grow to semi-like and become interested in Julio’s story. I thought of DNF’ing it at one point around the 20% mark, but after 50% the story took off and began to form something more along the lines of the paranormal world I’d been expecting. That side was a little too thin because it meant there were no physical wolves or transformation.
In the end, nearly the 70% mark, it began to feel more like Julio felt true affection for Etienne, beyond the whole Mate thing. His feelings for Etienne became more obvious, but it still felt so much like Etienne’s only real affection for Julio stemmed from the Mate bond. The fact that we were told that they had been reincarnated countless times to fall in love with each other was more of a “tell” than a “show”. There was no recognition from either of them that these feelings existed between soul to soul.
The editing needed some work. There were numerous issues, from spelling/grammar, plot gaps and issues with continuity and consistency. There are a whole heck of a lot of info dumps. Unfortunately, just because they’re in dialogue form doesn’t negate the fact that they are in fact info dumps. This happened continuously throughout the novel – things that we didn’t need to know were given paragraphs of explanation, things that were important were ignored or glossed over in little more than a sentence and there were several instances of “explanations” being given in paragraph form, with the amount of detail that makes your head spin.
There are multiple POV, which didn’t work because they didn’t really make sense. I understand the importance of having the dual POV of Etienne and Julio – our MC’s – but I don’t understand the need for the two police officers in the Prologue, or in the many POV of various wolves throughout the story. Not even one of them reads as necessary because they don’t tell us anything that we aren’t told in the dialogue anyway.
The writing itself is very choppy. Short, to the point sentences that tell you nothing in any sort of emotive, contemplative, detailed way, in amongst the long, drawn out sentences within the info dumps. It felt so much like the beginning of the story wasn’t important, because the author wanted to get straight into the “I have a mate” part.
There were a lot of issues within the plot, things that made it impossible to understand the story, the characters and the direction the overall series arc was taking. This was mostly because it was impossible to understand what the “world” of these Werewolves of Manhattan were really like, without having experienced the first five books.
The medical aspects were limited and misinformed in places (as I feel I can say, having spent the majority of my life in hospital). Although, I know how the author did their research since I had hyperlinks to WebMD within my book. A lot of the misinformation or wrong information came from the fact that, as Alpha’s, they got special treatment, but it was still frustrating since it wasn’t necessary in the first place.
When it comes to Julio, I found him as our only source of information. Some of that, however, was in the wrong place or already spoiled. The “big secret” that Julio kept for 49% of the story was given away in the blurb. Just…out there, already. It made the final big reveal really disappointing. No one EVER asked for Julio’s opinion, compliance or agreement. Ever. Not when planning a wedding, not about where he was going to college, not on where he lived.
The wolf world didn’t make sense. If wolves don’t have kids naturally, because the majority of them are gay, then that Alpha Bitch – and isn’t that just lovely? – is logically the only one who has kids. Sure, let’s go with that for now. But if that’s true and all she has are girls, then where do all the men come from? How do so many gay male wolves exist? After 36% of everyone being human, we get one sentence of transformation. It just happened in a shimmer and Etienne was a wolf for two seconds! The only other wolf action was a head transformation for less than a page.
Overall, I would have enjoyed the story more if it had been entirely focused on Julio and we were given more of an insight into his life, thoughts, and feelings. He was the only relatable character, though I did feel a small affection for Donal, who was his best friend. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to explore his character further or in more detail, as he was a real star.
I felt like the Mate/Wolf aspect was used to limit the need for a lot of details and explanation. Because the author perhaps thought it was unnecessary, due to it being book 6. Regardless, because I haven’t read those previous 5 books, I was left completely in the dark about a lot of the important details.
The story could have been fantastic – the plot was good, could have gone in a really incredible direction and, with some real attention to the characters, it could have been a tear-jerker, a heart-tugger and a really emotional read that inspired me to care enough to read the next book and go back to read the previous five. Without that detail, there was nothing to make me connect to the characters or the story. For being a werewolf story, we see a wolf once, for two seconds. There is very little real exploration of the “wolf” aspect of the story and I needed more of that.
So although the potential was huge, the multitude of things that frustrated me and were lacking were even greater. I can see other people enjoying this, as I could have with a little more understanding and description provided for both characters and the world building, but I needed that extra connection. I needed detail, romance, and chemistry. I didn’t get that, in the end.
An E-Copy – The Werewolves of Manhattan Series in pdf
💕 Meet A.C. Katt
AC Katt didn’t discover her muse until she was older. She loves to write and now writes constantly. She just moved from New Mexico back to New Jersey with her husband and her naughty cat Bandit, who lives up to his name.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AC-Katt-62628106022/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ackatt @ackatt
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