Brandon Wolfe is the single father of two little boys. He’s a very proud, stubborn, and determined man who has started up a llama ranch and single handedly raised the boys since his wife’s death. He’s more at home with nature than civilization and often comes off as abrasive.
After Brandon attempts to shop for Robbie and John at the mall and balks at the high prices, one of the snooty clerks suggests he try Kids’ Kloset. Brandon’s male pride balks at the idea of his kids wearing castoffs but the need for clothing at reasonable prices drives him into the shop where Corey is more than willing to help. Brandon accepts her help up until he feels that she undermines his parenting skills. Once he’s paid for his purchases, Brandon finds it impossible to resist Corey’s allure and invites her to come out to the fair the following day to see what he does. When Corey shows up, everything goes wonderfully and she’s intrigued by the beautiful creatures. She makes a couple of suggestions that Brandon feels oversteps boundaries he’s already set with his boys, and he reacts like a wounded animal, bellowing at her until she flees the fair in tears. Because Brandon lives in a different town, Corey’s surprised when she looks out her kitchen window and sees John sitting alone outside the school waiting for his father to pick him up. John should have been in a different school district but Brandon didn't feel that their local school was adequate and drives him to Boise to attend school. Corey wants to bring John into her warm home but the thought of Brandon’s reaction has her questioning her good intentions. It turns out Brandon truck had broken down so he is thrilled that Corey had been there to take care of John. However, he also feels that her good deed leaves him in her debt. When he asks John and Robbie what they should do to repay her for helping, their suggestion is to invite her to the ranch to see the llamas and eat beanie weenies with them. An invitation she accepts despite Brandon’s obvious displeasure.
BIG BAD WOLFE is an endearing tale that will capture your heart. Brandon is a very impressive man. He’s proud, unbending, and determined to raise the boys without any help from anyone as well as run his llama ranch. It would be extremely easy to dislike him, except for the hint of vulnerability you see throughout the book. His love for his children shines through the pages and you just know there is nothing this man wouldn’t do for his boys. Corey’s divorce left her with a need to do things for others, especially children. She’s drawn to Brandon and the boys despite Brandon’s outbursts. Corey sees them as the kind of family she’s always wanted for herself. Linda Wallace does a beautiful job drawing the reader into the hopes, dreams, and even the fears of the characters. I am intrigued by the llamas. The grace and gentleness of the animals is impressive. Ms. Wallace incorporates them into the story in a way that enhances the reader’s enjoyment as well as educating about an animal we don’t normally hear a lot about.