Hope(less) by Melissa Haag

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 315

Series: Judgement of the Six, Book 1

Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifter, Supernatural

Publication date: November 18, 2013


“It won’t be safe,” Sam said, interrupting my thoughts. He looked up from his half-empty cup. “You know it won’t be safe.”

“Sam, I’ll get a dog.” I could see by his expression that he was gearing up for another round in an old debate. Why couldn’t he understand that I’d rather get a dog than be Mated to a werewolf? I hurried around him for the bathroom down the hall.

Chapter 3


Gabby’s brain works like a human fish finder – useful when she wants to avoid people, but not without its own challenges. Like her unnaturally strong pull to men. In her search for answers as to why she’s so special, Gabby discovers a hidden community of werewolves. She immerses herself in their culture and world, until she meets Clay. Unkempt and prone to mood swings, he thinks Gabby is his. It’s up to Gabby to use every trick in her book to convince Clay to go away – and every ounce of willpower to not fall in love with the man underneath the rough exterior.

Judgement has begun…

This was most certainly not my first time reading this story, and it won’t be my last. It might be because I have a thing for werewolves, and it might be because I have an extra soft spot for werewolves named Clay – I’m looking at you, Clayton Danvers, from the mind of the amazing Kelley Armstrong – but I find myself coming back to this story every so often. While the story as a whole isn’t my favourite, I adore Gabby and Clay’s part in it. While I plan to reread the entire series to make reviews on the individual books, I oftentimes find myself just rereading this book or Clay’s companion story.

It also doesn’t hurt that parts of this series take place in Canada and I’m a sucker for stories that take place close to home. While the location of the Compound isn’t explicitly said, I like to think that it’s in Southern Ontario. Living here myself and adoring the pockets of nature that can be found, I love imagining that the compound isn’t too far away from me.

While my first thought is that werewolves can exist closely in fiction but stay away in reality, I wouldn’t mind if these werewolves were the ones that I ran into in real life. In general, these werewolves are compassionate and gentle. They understand that humans can be vicious and cruel, but that’s not all they are. But most importantly, they don’t go around terrorizing or hurting us pesky humans.

Looking at the meat of this story itself, I really enjoyed getting to know Gabby and Clay. Both can be quiet and reserved but also know how to stand their ground to get what they want. I can understand why Gabby didn’t want to Mate with a werewolf, to not want to be tied down when she finally feels free. I can also understand why Clay is willing to do anything – and I do mean anything – in order to keep the hope he sees in Gabby.

As much as I adored reading about Gabby and Clay, I really do like the way this series is written. Each novel follows a different protagonist. While the stories might feel a little disjointed at first, when they come together things fall into place. Each character is unique and stands on their own to the point where the male perspective novels – telling the same story just from a different perspective – read differently and can exist alone.

It also makes it that much more interesting to learn about the world. As the reader you get to explore the world as each person learns more about it and the unique situations going on. Gabby’s fish finder brain allows for a unique look at those around her, but can only take you so far. If you end up picking this story up, look forward to learning more about each female and their uniqueness.

If you’re looking for a cute and mostly lighthearted romance read, and don’t mind a fascinating werewolf spin to it, you might enjoy this story. Whether you feel like just picking up Gabby’s tale – which I’ve gone a couple of times since discovering it – or reading the entire series, it’s a fun read in a well developed world.



*Spoilers ahead*

I adored how hard Gabby tried to deny letting Clay into her life. Finally getting a taste of freedom only to have it ripped away – both at the compound when she finally looked at him, but also when she’d moved out on her own and he showed up to live with her – couldn’t have felt great. Especially for someone like Gabby who’s so set on being her own person and not needing to rely on others.

More than that, I adored watching Clay slowly worm his way into her good graces. She didn’t notice the little things he was doing for her right away, like buying the foods he thought she might like or picking up a movie she’d mention, but it just allowed him to worm his way into her heart. She’s certainly stubborn enough that if Clay hadn’t been that smooth and sneaky she would’ve shoved him out on his ass right away. As it was, giving her the summer to cool off and prepare for college made it even easier for him to show up in his fur to live with her.

Even without reading Clay’s side of the story, it’s clear that he cares deeply about what Gabby thinks about him and his actions. When she allows him to sleep on the end of her bed in his fur, it’s the slightest acceptance of him in her life. When she starts touching him more, getting closer to him in his fur, it’s just a sign that she’s getting comfortable with him in her life. The night she told him no more fur at night, he couldn’t be anything else but thrilled. Slowly but surely she began relying on him to do things for her – both around the house and just as a way for him to be in her life.

Gabby’s fish finder might have been the catalyst to finally get her to Claim him, but there was no way that she was going to be able to give Clay up once she’d finally accepted him in her life. Being with a werewolf might have been a nerve wracking thing for her – especially once she realized they weren’t as indestructible as she once imagined – but that didn’t stop Clay from proving time and time again that he was always going to be there for her.

Of course, it was fascinating to see the different lights in Gabby’s mind. While she might not fully understand what they mean yet, it’s clear that letting the werewolves into her life allowed her to start discovering more of her powers.

Sure she was exhausted every time she sparked another’s mental light, but the exhaustion ended up being worth it. Without this fatigue and pushing the boundaries of what she knew, she never would’ve sent Luke off on his errand or discovered other unique sparks like her.

This novel remains my favourite of the series, but I certainly look forward to finishing this read through. Perhaps I’ll find something in these pages that I missed before, or discover a new favourite moment. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts should you find yourself in this world.



Other reviews in this series:

  1. (Mis)fortune (Book 2)

4 thoughts on “Hope(less) by Melissa Haag

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