Clay’s Hope a Companion to Hope(less) by Melissa Haag

I’ve read the entire Judgment of Six series (four books) without coming up for air. Well, except when I had to wait for a new book to be released.

I’m still waiting for Isabelle’s story – and to find out how the six special human girls are going to stop the bad guys. I’m sure their werewolf boyfriends will be involved somehow.

Clay’s Hope tells the same story as Hope(less). I wasn’t sure how I would feel about revisiting the first installment of the Six series – even though it has been my favorite one of the books.

And most of that has to do with Clay – his persistence to win Gabby at any cost. And then to protect her even before she admits she’s falling in love with him.

What I enjoyed

Romance packs a punch when both parties involved offer their perspective. One thing I feel is lacking in the Judgment of Six series is the man’s point of view. Getting inside the guy’s head adds tension and ups the intensity of the passion.

In fact, I liked imagining Gabby’s responses as I read Clay’s story. It was easier for me to do this than it had been to guess at Clay’s feelings while reading Gabby’s story.

Most of what Gabby assumed Clay was thinking and feeling was totally off base. That made me smile more times than I can count.

Clay wears his wolf skin for much of the book. It was interesting to get inside that head. After all, he wasn’t a pet, but Rachel treated him like one. And he didn’t care for that. I wouldn’t either.

I didn’t feel as much sexual tension in this book, which is good since it is marketed as a Young Adult Urban Fantasy. Gabby and Clay have the chastest relationship in this series, so I would recommend it to younger readers.

I’ve had a crush on Clay since reading the first book. He is the epitome of the strong, silent type of man, and it was interesting to really get to know him.

By the way, he isn’t as easy going as you might have first suspected.

It was good to see how he pursued Gabby in those hours when he wore his human skin and worked at the auto shop, went shopping, fixed things and cooked for her. He wanted to be the man she needed – and that’s very romantic.

What I wasn’t so keen about

I know Ms. Haag wants to tell all the boys’ stories using these companion books. I think they are slated to be novellas. I wasn’t all that thrilled to revisit the same story – even though it was from a different perspective.

Romances are best when we see both sides. For that reason, I think she should have sprinkled alternating chapters from the man’s perspective in the Judgment books. When she repeats the story line, I feel like I’m paying for the same story twice (of course, when the companion only costs 99 cents, that’s not a huge burden).

I laughed out loud and devoured this book in mere hours. I truly enjoyed it. It would have been even better if I could have read it alongside Gabby’s story.

My recommendation

If you have read Hope(less), don’t reread it before picking up Clay’s story. I almost did this, and after reading Clay’s Hope in a single day, I’m glad I viewed it through fresh eyes.

I know this sounds like I’m contradicting what I said earlier. The original story would have been more intense if both viewpoints were included. To understand what’s happening in the overall story, you only need to read either Clay’s Hope or Hope(less).

If you are crushing on Clay (like me), you should definitely read this story. It will give you a clearer picture of who he was. However, if you like the mystery man you got to know in Hope(less), he will be replaced by the real Clay after you read this story.

Consider yourself warned.

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.