First off - I love this cover! I think it had a big influence on buying this book as well as the fact I love naughty re-worked nursery tales. And this book has the bonus of naughty alpha male, hot sex, and yummy baked goods.
Goodreads Description: Maizie Hood struggles to keep her bakery turning a profit, her landlord from evicting her, and her dear Granny in a nursing facility. Wrestling with the decision to sell Gran’s cottage is hard enough. The last thing she needs is her childhood big-bad-wolf nightmares turning into real-life adult fantasies. Sexy businessman Gray Lupo’s sudden interest just makes matters worse. Is he the answer to her problems, or just a wolf in gentleman’s Armani?
Since his wife was killed twenty-one years ago, Gray’s life has been focused on two things: protecting the pack and avoiding the grown daughter of his wife’s killers. When it becomes clear he can’t do one without compromising the other, Gray finds playing “big bad wolf” to Maizie Hood’s “Little Red” is a role he enjoys far more than he expected. A real bad wolf’s attack on Maizie changes everything.
Gray can’t deny the pull she has on his instincts—and his heart. Suddenly he finds himself taking on a role he never thought he’d want, as her protector and mate. Until the truth about his connection to her nightmarish past comes to light…
Lil' Maize Hood has alot on her plate - running her bakery, supporting her Granny in a nursing home, and trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Maize has no time for a man in her life but something about Gray Lupo calls to her naughty side. Gray also feels the stirrings of emotion and heat whenever he sees Maize. Whenever he thinks about Maize he literally can't keep his hands off himself which leads to several very hot fantasy scenes, in his limo, in the shower, and while having naughty dreams. Even before these two get their hot little hands on each other they have alot of steamy fantasies about each other. Maize and Gray also have a connection to a very tragic event in their past that keeps them away from each other at first. But as someone starts trying to trick Maize's Granny into selling her cottage and land in the woods, which Granny loves dearly, Maize has more run-ins with Gray. Gray's land and wildlife preserve is next to Granny's cottage and Granny refers to Gray as "her silver wolf". Granny was my favorite character by far, good sense of humor and she had no issues with teasing Maize about her big bad wolf.
While the sexing is hot in this book, the mystery of who is trying to steal Granny's land is frustrating since the details are revealed to the reader but Maize has to figure it out on her own. More often than not she ends up blaming Gray, at one point you just hope she'll give Gray a break and realize who the real bad real estate tycoon is. Maize and Gray also share a tragic event in their past and Gray blames himself and in part blames Maize for his wife's death over 20 years ago when Maize's parents ran into Gray's wife in wolf form. Gray's guilt really holds him back from being alpha to his pack and from being Maize's mate and he feels this guilt for most of the book. I think if he would of realized that it wasn't his fault and manned-up earlier in the book it would have been a more enjoyable read.
After Maize is turned, the scenes written of her first experiences as a werewolf were very well done. The descriptions of the sounds and scents of the wood were very evocative. You get a very primal feel for her wolf (which is red of course) and the "mating dance" of Gray and Maize was very entertaining. Maize wasn't about to submit to Gray's alpha wolf and she made him work at being her mate. The only point that really took out of my enjoyment of the book was when it looked like inter-species romance was on the table. Thankfully no wolf and woman sex went on but the teased possibility made me cringe a bit. It's just my personal preference that both participants to a interlude of sexing be the same species, I guess I'm kind of traditional, though I do support shape-shifting body parts such as tongues while in human form...
This was a 3 out of 5 stars for me, there was some naughty werewolf action going on but I never felt I really connected with Gray or Maize.