The Mane Event introduced the group of characters who appear in this book - shapeshifting Wolves, Hyenas and Lions. In The Beast in Him, Smitty (Bobby Ray Smith), business partner of Mace Llewellyn in the previous book, meets up with a childhood friend, wild dog Jessie Ann Ward. He last saw Jessie Ann when he went to join the Navy at 18 years old, trying to once again protect her from bullying from the young female wolves of the Smith Pack.
The Jessica that he meets now, fourteen years later, isn't that shrinking and scared young wild dog but is instead Alpha of her Pack.
Thus follows a chase - Smitty trying to catch Jessie, Jessie holding herself aloof from him at times, at others giving in. Jessie wants him to prove that she is important to him by the standards of his Pack, a rough mating, but Smitty wants to treat Jessie right and not hurt her. Thus the 'misunderstanding' of the plotting, which
is really rather a damp squib. There's a plot line of a potential kidnap and of family disharmony over Smitth and Jessie's relationship, but the vast majority of the story is about Smitty and Jessie's discovery of each other - mostly in a horizontal fashion.
As with the previous book, this one isn't entirely satisfying. The world of the Wolves, Wild Dogs, Cats, etc.
is interesting but rather subordinate to the main story. There is little romance in the relationship between Smitty and
Jessie; they spend a lot of the time misunderstanding each other. They also have little in common, and in some ways that part of the relationship works well, but overall it's a disappointing read. The roll-call of characters from the previous book becomes confusing occasionally, and at times the story meanders around in a directionless manner. It's a reasonable read, but nothing particularly special.