Reviewed by Heather C.
TITLE: Denying Yourself
AUTHOR: Silvia Violet
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 205 pages
BLURB: Matt and Shane both have secrets. Matt never believed he was anything but straight, yet he’s increasingly attracted to his best friend. Shane is comfortable with being gay, but when he discovers he’s part werewolf, he hides that part of himself, fearing Matt’s reaction. Suffocated by his uptight parents and conservative hometown, Shane begs Matt to run away with him.
But starting over doesn’t help. Matt still denies his desires, and Shane abuses alcohol to dampen his wolfish urges. When Matt breaks down and kisses Shane, the pent-up passion proves too much for Shane’s self-control, and his wolf gets free. Horrified, Shane flees—into deeper trouble. Before they can hope to accept each other, Shane and Matt must accept themselves.
It hasn’t been easy for Shane being the openly gay, new kid in a conservative, southern high school. The bullies and the jocks have been pushing him around and roughing him up…that is until one of the jocks, Matt, stands up for him and quickly becomes his best friend. Soon, Shane begins to notice that he is changing: becoming stronger and out of control, struggling with his desires for his “not gay” best friend. He chooses alcohol to suppress his urges and keep himself deep in denial about what is happening to him. Then one night after graduation, during a heated argument with his parents, Shane suddenly shifts into his werewolf form. Rejected and feeling alone, he convinces Matt to run away with him, but is still too afraid to admit to Matt what he really is. The two friends quickly find jobs and a cheap apartment, and everything seems to be going great. Then, an unexpected kiss from Matt pushes Shane into a dark, downward spiral of more alcohol and self abuse. Before Matt and Shane can ever be together, they both need to accept themselves for what they are.
I will be the first one to admit that I’m not a big fan of shifter books; I think shifters are one of those story-lines that have been well overdone in this genre. Over and over. But this was different from any other shifter book I’ve ever read. First of all, I know I’ve never read about an alcoholic werewolf! But, I am a softie for gay-for-you and friends-to-lovers, so the blurb and the sexy cover tempted me enough to ignore my hesitancies and give this one a try. And I’m so glad I did! Once I started reading it, I could not tear myself away from it until I was finished. I actually stayed up ’til almost 4 am on a work night! I really, really enjoyed it.
This was honestly and truly an angst fest. Shane just broke my heart. His love for Matt was so strong, and every time he was faced with rejection, my heart hurt for him. Yes, I hated what he was doing to himself, but I understood why he was doing it…trying to cope with the duel stigmas of being gay and a shifter, lusting after and loving his best friend, while attempting to deny his animal within. Some people may consider him selfish and immature, but I saw him is young and broken. He needed Matt, but he needed himself more. I don’t want to spoiler anyone as to where this story goes, but it is not an easy journey to the HEA.
The story was told in first person from Shane’s POV, so I never really got to see what Matt was feeling. I know he was struggling with admitting to himself that he was gay and in love with his best friend, but how did he come to accept it? I don’t know why, but there is a part of me that just wants to be able to see Shane through Matt’s eyes…just once.
On the smexy level, this one rated pretty high for me. While it’s not full of page after page of sex, there was some really nice sexual tension followed by some satisfyingly hot and sexy scenes. There was no cheating, but I must warn that there was somewhat of an orgy!! Shifters need a lot of physical contact and are typically sexually open, so I was perfectly okay with it…I even found it very hot!
I think the only thing lacking from this story was some of the paranormal world building. I know that the humans know about shifters, but how did that come to be? Where did shifters come from? And how is Shane a half-shifter? I learned a bit about pack dynamics and shifter urges, but I still have a lot of questions. So, I think a sequel would be nice. A sequel about Carl would be even better. I know I didn’t mention Carl previously in my review, but I refuse to spoiler. 😉
In the end, Shane and Matt do find their happy ever after. It was a tough trip, but very worth the travels.
I recommend this to anyone who is interested in a shifter story with a twist and a bit of angst.
Heather C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.
To read all her reviews, click the link: HEATHER’S REVIEWS
Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)