In Shiver, the first book in the series, werewolf Sam and human Grace finally get to meet and fall in love while Sam is in his human form; they had been watching each other for years while Sam was in his wolf form. They struggled with the mostly certain understanding that when Sam shifted back to a wolf, he would stay that way forever. Now, in Linger, Sam is in human form and they feel sure he’s been cured. But it’s Grace’s turn to cause concern: she is sick, and it has something to do with the wolves.
In the meantime, they are dealing with a new wolf infected by Beck. Cole willingly became a werewolf; he wanted to escape his life, and he figured that being an animal would fix his problems quite tidily. Unfortunately for him, he still is shifting back to being a human, and he would gladly be a wolf all the time. Cole becomes a major character in Linger; his history and personality gradually are revealed, and readers sympathize with him as a character. His story intersects with that of Isabel, the sister of a dead werewolf from Shiver, who is now one of Grace’s close friends, and the only one (aside from Olivia) who knows about the wolves.
The stories and conflicts in Linger play out just as gradually as the stories in Shiver. The characters have room to grow and be revealed more in depth throughout the book, and the conflicts are natural, rather than forced by superficial added tensions. The writing is lovely; poetry, music and song lyrics figure just as heavily in the second book as the first, so the whole book is lyrical and beautifully composed. It’s satisfying to read. The only drawback (aside from the green ink in which it is printed — what is THAT about?) is that readers have to wait for a third book in the series.
Rated: Mild, for some mild and moderate language, though it’s not a lot, and some references to sex that are completely off screen. There is one scene in which two characters come close to having sex but one tells the other that it would make her miserable. Violence is minimal.