Hungry Wolf with His Queen

“Julie looked down at her own clenched fist.  For the first time, she realized that they’re quite similar. They both pretended to be someone they were not. That woman pretended she was poor and innocent, and Julie pretended she was strong! Because that woman knew that being innocent can get her what she wants, and Julie knew that only when she’s strong like a hedgehog can she protect what she deserves.” (Hungry Wolf with His Queen, Chapter One)

“Thompson’s face turned cold, and he suddenly asked without consideration: ‘Why won’t you marry me?’

Maybe it was the dark night, or his attractive voice, but Julie felt lost. After a moment of silence, she stared back at him and said: ‘You’re a soldier, and you were born in a big family, an you…you just look good…what about me? I have a bad reputation, and I was abandoned by your nephew…I can’t think of a reason why you would want to marry me.’

‘Because they hate you,’ he responded quickly.” (Hungry Wolf with His Queen, Chapter Nine)

Julie has just discovered that her boyfriend of five years, Andrew Parker, has been cheating on her with her sister Jasmine.  After a confrontation with her sister, Julie crashes her vehicle into another car.  The man inside defends her and offers her a position as his companion, promising to care for her for the rest of his life.  Feeling impulsive, Julie lays down her own rules and accepts his offer.  Her luck has clearly changed, as she is later chosen for a pivotal role in an upcoming movie.

Later that evening, Julie and her companion attend Andrew’s engagement party.  It is clear that everything had been planned behind her back; because Jasmine was more likely to inherit her family’s wealth, Andrew’s father had pushed him towards her.  Before blows can be thrown, however, Matthew Parker recognizes the man on Julie’s arm, who introduced himself to her as Lord P. He is actually the uncle of Andrew and introduces Julie to his family as his wife.

As Julie learns more about Lord Thompson, she will discover that they have more in common than she had originally thought.  It is not only Julie who will discover more, as her mysterious “husband” enjoys the company of his new companion.

This is a well-written romance with a story that is both unique and familiar within the romance genre.  Julie is a strong character who realizes the absurdity of the novel’s plot, making it even more entertaining because of its self-awareness. It has a well-rounded cast of characters and slow burn romance that crosses its over five hundred chapters.   I thoroughly enjoyed this novel because it is one that should not be taken too seriously.

The trope of the evil sister and step mother is somewhat reworked in this novel.  Jasmine is a frustrating character, wrapping her parents around her finger and blaming Julie for everything.  Though this cliché has been explored time and time again, I loved how Julie is not a shrinking violet.  Instead of slowly gaining confidence and standing up to her sister, she is confident and brave from the start, throwing some cutting insults from the novel’s first chapter.  Julie’s reaction to Jasmine’s behavior is refreshingly bold, keeping this plot point from appearing boring in its regularity.  Hungry Wolf with His Queen subverts genre expectations with fresh takes on old clichés.

Julie is a realistic and relatable protagonist.  After being cut off by her family, she has learned the skills necessary to repairing a run-down apartment and works hard to live within her means.  After promising a relationship with a man based on three very minor requirements, she laughs at the pretty ridiculous agreement that she has entered after knowing the stranger for a total of two minutes.  She works hard, plays hard, and isn’t afraid to laugh at herself.

I want to learn more about the Parker family’s dynamics and history.  How did Andrew’s uncle become a lord? Why does the Parker family know so little about him, going so far as to not recognize him in person? If Jasmine’s favor in the Finch family was always clear, why didn’t Andrew date her from the start, instead of spending five years with Julie?  Julie seems to recognize Thompson’s dog Pupu, hinting at a past connection between the two, but it is also stated that he has been abroad for a long time.  This novel makes me want to read more, if only to figure out the intrigue of the Parker family.

Readers will appreciate how Thompson respects Julie’s space and wishes.  Though she agreed to be with him on three conditions that he is more than willing to meet (including mind blowing sex), he does not pressure her when she doesn’t want to sleep with him early in their acquaintance. He seems willing to take his time, softening the foolishness of Julie’s hasty decision in the eyes of this reader.  Hungry Wolf and His Queen respects the autonomy of its female protagonist, a feat that not all romances can claim.

This was a very fun and very cute romance.  With a realistic and fun protagonist, the readers of Hungry Wolf with His Queen will enjoy this completed pager turner. With twists on classic romance tropes and clichés, this is a novel that will be enjoyed by those with a love of humor and slow-burn romances.