Review: The Big Bad Wolf’s Ex by Tonya Brooks


May Contain Spoilers

Continuing my sampling of Kindle Unlimited, I grabbed The Big Bad Wolf’s Ex because I love the second chance at romance trope, and because it was short.  I had noticed other books in the series, but since this was about a werewolf, I clicked the borrow button – to mixed results.

I loved the beginning of this novella.  Reece is a douche nozzle. He kicked his mate out four years ago because he thought that she cheated on him.  Why? Because she was pregnant, and he had had a vasectomy, so obviously the love of his life was a lying cheat. Reece is the supreme alpha of the werewolves, so I thought that his sense of smell would have told him, emphatically, that Jolie hadn’t slept with anyone but him, but hey, whatever got her kicked out of his luxury pad and handcuffed in the back of police car works for me.  For four years Reece has suffered the loss of his one true love, all because he would rather assume that Jolie cheated on him than discuss the issue like an adult.

After Jolie is kicked to the curb with nothing but the clothes on her back, she is forced to eke a living by stripping. She has two mouths to feed, no protection, and she can’t get a decent job because everyone is too scared to hire the ex mate of the alpha werewolf. When Reece realizes his mistake and goes to her seedy apartment to convince her to give him a second chance, he is appalled.  As well he should be. He hired PIs to follow her around and dig up dirt on her, and the PIs found nothing. He refused to read their numerous reports, detailing her diminished circumstances, or to even listen to his brother, who knew how tough life was for Jolie and her young son. I wasn’t sure that I could forgive this guy for being so awful.

The angst was nicely built up, but then the reconciliation was too easily won. I was disappointed when Jolie took him back, with little effort on his part. Reece gives her a healthy bank account, and agrees to help her look for a better place to live, but instead of doing that, instead of asserting some independence and making him work for his forgiveness, she just stays in his penthouse apartment. For all of the build up about how awful he had been to Jolie, all because he couldn’t trust her, when she had done nothing to earn his distrust..just wow.  Instead of acting like a mature, rational being and requesting a blood test to determine the father of Jolie’s child, he jumped to the wrong conclusion, threw her out, and subjected his child to a life of poverty. And he kept blaming his mother, which had me tearing out my hair. You are a grown ass man, start acting like one! Take ownership of your own awful behavior,  instead of blaming your admittedly horrible mother. Just put on your big boy pants and act like a man. But, no.

So, while the final resolution didn’t sit that well with me, because I wasn’t convinced Reece wouldn’t dive into the deep end again and blame Jolie for some imagined slight and throw her out again, the beginning was compelling. I will read a few more of these Howls Romances, mainly because they are short and quick.

Grade: 3 stars

Review copy: Kindle Unlimited

About the book:

Reece Lassiter was a ruthless bastard.
He had everything a wolf shifter could want. He even had the perfect mate. Jolie was the only woman he’d ever trusted. The only woman he’d ever loved. She had been his everything. Until the day she had betrayed his trust and eviscerated his soul. Reece had cut her out of his life with a ruthlessness that shocked even him. He had encased his broken heart in ice so thick and glacial that nothing could ever penetrate it again.
And he’d been wrong.
His mate had not betrayed him. He had betrayed her and destroyed them both in the process. Now he’ll stop at nothing to get her and their cub back. But his ex-wife is not the same woman that he remembered. His sunshine girl had been a creature of sweetness and light, not this hissing, vitriol filled she-cat who wanted to claw his eyes out. Reece might be an unstoppable force, but Jolie had become an unmovable object.
Is the big bad wolf strong enough to reclaim her heart?