Book Reviews

Rome and Jules (Dreamspun Beyond) by Tara Lain at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 06-March-2018

Book Blurb

Two werewolf households, both alike in dignity….


Rome Siracusa, youngest son of the alpha of the nouveau-riche Siracusa pack, wants to be a faithful son and pack member, but he’s got two big secrets. One, he’s blessed with enhanced hearing, vision, strength, and the ability to shift at will. Second, he’s gay, a fact he can’t admit to his deadly homophobic father.


Rome crashes a party at the mansion of his pack’s greatest enemy, the ancient, pure-blooded Havillands. Jules, the gay son of the drunkard alpha, is being married off to a rich entrepreneur. Smitten and moved by the beautiful male’s plight, Rome tries to find a way to save Jules—while digging himself deeper into pack politics and navigating his own arranged marriage. Secrets climb out of the caves as the werewolf gods speak through the mouths of their children, and the two great families clash, suffocating the hopes of star-crossed lovers.


Book Review

“I knew you from the first second I saw you. My soul recognized yours. I belong with you Jules. We're made to go together.” ~ Rome, Tara Lain ('Rome and Jules')

For a long time, Rome has been compelled to hide his alpha qualities from everyone, especially his father, who is homophobic and dictatorial, but he has another, even larger secret that he's been hiding; Rome is gay. He is terrified to come out for fear of the consequences, but when he meets Jules, son of the rival pack, he is so taken with him that Rome begins to rethink his stand on staying in the closet.

Rome first meets Jules when he sneaks into a Havillands pack's costume ball. Disguises make this possible since they make everyone unrecognizable. The party's big event turns out to be an engagement announcement for Jules and his fiancé, Anderson. Rome doesn't think that he's ever seen such an unhappy groom-to-be and immediately feels a strong empathy towards Jules. It's the first time in anyone has seen Jules in years, because his father, embarrassed about his son being gay, sent him to New York. Mostly due to his alcoholism, his father has wasted the resources of the pack's community to the point that he's deeply in debt, with little hope of ever getting out of it. Anderson, who is essentially the big, bad wolf of werewolves, promises to bail him out if he can marry his son, Jules. Being the only son of the Alpha pack, Jules has no choice but to accept his fate. It breaks Rome's heart to see someone in the position that he may find himself in someday, and he hatches a dangerous plot to tell Jules face-to-face how bad he feels for him.

The men quickly learn to dispel the false notions their pack have put into their heads and become intimate. Even though Rome and Jules haven't known each other long, they both feel a strong attraction to each other and, even though it seems impossible, they yearn to be together. Life becomes excruciatingly difficult for these seemingly star-crossed lovers but they refuse to give up. Matters become more complicated when it appears that Anderson is not only going to marry Jules but take over his pack as well. Rome's father decides that he needs to marry a female from the Havillands pack, whether or not he wants to, in order to forge a fake alliance between the two. Torn between duty and love, Rome agonizes about what to do. If he can't save himself from a loveless marriage, perhaps he can save Jules. With the money the alliance will bring to the Havillands pack, there will be no reason for him to have to marry Anderson.  

Tara has written a unique version of 'Romeo and Juliet' that is reminiscent of the original in some ways and vastly different in others. To name a few, there are feuding families (the Siracusa and Havillands werewolf packs), political intrigue, a masquerade ball, and even a balcony scene, Friar Laurence (Grandfather Laurence) and star-crossed lovers, Rome and Jules. On the other hand, these star-crossed lovers are two gay men who have feuding families, but they have immensely different issues that are solved in uniquely different ways from the original. In essence, Tara turns a tragedy into a comedy with a happy ending. If you enjoy a familiar, yet not the same story with two sexy werewolves, angst, action, and paranormal happenings, then this may be a book you will enjoy. Thanks, Tara, for a wonderful twist on the 'Romeo and Juliet' story and for giving Rome and Jules the happy ending they deserve.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 242 pages/58880 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-March-2018
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle
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