Blood Howl: Sanguis Noctis Book One by Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell is the first book in a two-part set that tells the story of Jed Walker, a mercenary and Redford Reed, werewolf and hapless object of his pursuit.
The action is almost non-stop as Jed tries to figure just who Fil, his client is and what he wants with Redford. While the two of them flee the clutches of Fil and his minions, the attraction and care for each other builds. Saxon and Kidwell bring together two lonely individuals who never understand the depth of their loneliness until they meet each other. The scenes between these two guys are entertaining and sometimes poignant.
Kidwell and Saxon tell the tale of Blood Howl with wit and humor. Jed, in particular, tries to come off as a wisecracking, gun-wielding tough guy. He doesn’t have a care in the world except where his next job will take him. Redford, on the other hand, is quiet and somewhat reserved. Much of his life focuses on protecting others from his monthly change into a werewolf. Despite their differences, there’s some serious sexual tension between Jed and Redford; it’s immediately clear that they care a great deal for each other.
While, Saxon and Kidwell focus much of the attention of Blood Howl on Jed and Redford, there are a couple of interesting secondary characters. David, a fellow mercenary and information broker and Victor, a professor in obscure history are prominent in the sequel, Blood in the Sand: Sanguis Noctis Book One.
Blood Howl is a fun read with characters that immediately engage. Still, there are a few niggling issues. Saxon and Kidwell devote very little to time explaining how Redford came to be a werewolf or why obtaining him is so important to the villain of the piece, Fil. This is perhaps one of the few weaknesses of the story. Why is Redford hiding in his dead grandmother’s house? Why can’t Fil just retrieve Redford himself? Why does Fil need to hire Jed for such a seemly simple job?
Aside from these plot issues, Blood Howl is an interesting romantic mystery with some shifter flavoring. This is not the usual paranormal shifter romance with alphas and omegas and wolf pack politics. Nevertheless, Jed and Redford’s story is worth reading.