“‘Emily, may I kiss you?’ he asked the question and her lips slightly parted, he took that as a yes and leaned down, softly pressing his lips against hers. His silent wolf began to howl in pleasure and Carl whimpered at the sheer pleasure of feeling her against him…His sense where all over the place as he devoured her sumptuous mouth. Her taste alone nearly undid him. Carl had to force himself to break the magic as he breathed hard.” (Loving Luna-Emily, Chapter Two)
“…Carl hesitated. He had been trying to force Jenny out of his mind and heart ever since that morning his mother had confirmed that he was in fact still in love with Jenny. His mother had been right. He was still in love with Jenny and his emotions were torn. He may not be in love with Emily, but he did love her. She was his mate and he felt their connections daily.” (Loving Luna-Emily, Chapter Eight)
Emily has been engaged to a wolf from a neighboring pack and she is sad to leave her family. She has never met her betrothed, a beta named Carl, and she worries that he may not find her attractive. When Emily arrives in the Blue Moon village, she is greeted with kindness and acceptance. Meeting Carl, she is overwhelmed with emotion and realizes that he is her mate, a lucky coincidence in their arranged marriage. Emily doesn’t know that Carl has been dating she-wolf Jennifer for years, though he never claimed her as his mate, despite the encouragement of his mother. Carl’s emotions are now warring between the innate desire for his mate and his lingering affections for Jenny.
Emily is assigned to replace Jenny as the beta to the pack’s Luna, much to the anger of Carl’s former lover. Emily and Carl spend more time together, falling more in love as each day passes. Jenny attempts to seduce Carl, but his inner wolf rejects her advances. As Emily attempts to adjust to her new home, someone in the castle is spreading malicious rumors, accusing Emily of hurting Carl in order to weaken him and the pack. When Emily discovers Carl’s lingering feelings for Jenny, she runs from the only man she has ever loved, though her escape may expose her to a dangerous world of fearsome wolf packs and heartbreaking betrayal.
While this work is not unoriginal, its stilted and awkward writing make it annoying to read at times. The writing does not remove the reader too far from the plot, but it is not always enjoyable or smooth to read. An editor could correct some of the incorrect word usage to vastly improve Loving Luna-Emily. Though not a deal breaker, the language of the work could be refined.
One of the sons of the pack Alpha and Luna brings home a human girl as his mate. I found this a really nice addition to the story, as it creates interesting layers in the world of the novel. The human girl knows that they are werewolves, but is taking these remarkable revelations in stride. This makes me wonder about human/werewolf relationships in this world. Are humans only told about the existence of werewolves if they are mated with one, or is there a community of humans that is aware of the magic and wonder that lives alongside them?
The reader may sometimes forget that the characters in this story are werewolves; I found this to be a mark in the novel’s favor. Though they often discuss their mates, the inner wolves of the characters rarely make an appearance. In the first ten chapters, the transformation from human to wolf only takes place twice. I dislike when a paranormal novel has to code everything in werewolf language (pack house, wolf sense, wolf kitchen, wolf bowl, etc.). This novel balances romance and drama with the paranormal. That said, these werewolves very rarely take wolf form. While I am so grateful that I am not given werewolf qualifiers in every sentence, it hardly seems like a paranormal romance when you see very little of the abnormal.
Loving Luna-Emily does provide a good amount of tension and drama in its plot. Jenny is clearly a troublemaker, as is Carl’s mother. While it may appear that Jenny is fearful of losing her love, it becomes apparent that her actions are motivated by more than simple emotion. The rumors that swirl around Emily and Carl create strain within the wolf pack, making for a more interesting story. The drama in this novel does not feel forced because it plays into the natural tensions of a new marriage and hierarchical society.
This is a very fast-paced, short work. With only twenty-five chapters, the plot rapidly moves forward in a rush to the finish line. This could be a solid novel if it took its time instead of skipping over plot and character development. Scenes that could take up several chapters are reduced to a few sentences, much to the detriment of the work on a whole. If you want a story that can be savored and enjoyed over a long period of time, Loving Luna-Emily will not fulfill that wish.
Altogether, this was an inoffensive paranormal romance that checks all the boxes without creating something particularly new or exciting. Loving Luna-Emily is incredibly short and will not satisfy the reader looking for a long-haul novel. For fans of paranormal romances, this novel will suffice, especially for readers who enjoy plot tension and questions surrounding the world in which the characters live.