This was my second read in the Once Upon a Time series
, my first being The Diamond Secret: A Retelling of "Anastasia", and I wasn't particularly impressed by this one.
Scarlet Moon's premise was promising - a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with werewolves, a bit of magic and a heroine that grows up as a female blacksmith against the grain (set during the Crusades, blacksmithing isn't a woman's job).
Unfortunately, it failed for me in execution. I predicted most of the major plot surprises, and I didn't feel overly connected to the characters.
But, the love story was what really disappointed me. Fairy tales are about that sweep you off your feet type of romance, and it was lacking in Scarlet Moon. I get that it's a retelling and there's a certain amount of creative freedom to be given to the author, but the love story read more like the foreplay of a romance novel than a fairy tale. It went something like this:William: It was love at first sight. But I have to tell you my family secret. I'm a werewolf.
Ruth: OMG you have green eyes, you're the wolf that almost killed me 9 years ago!
William: Yes, I am. But I'm sorry and I love you and I need you.
Ruth: I love you and I need you too, even though you tried to kill me.
William: You're going to marry me.
Ruth: What if I don't want to?
William: I'll make you.
Ruth: I want to anyway.
William: I'm dangerous, we shouldn't be together but I need you.
(William pushes her up against the wall kissing all over the place at this point)
Ruth: I need you too, but I have to go.
William: Yes we must marry first.
I wasn't particular drawn to William as the Prince Charming of the book, I suspect it was intentional due to the werewolf thing, but c'mon... even The Beast becomes cuddly & lovable!