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Review: Dark Wolf by Kate Douglas

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Dark Wolf
Author: Kate Douglas  
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Spirit Wild #1
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia
ISBN: 978-0758288189
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic
Format(s): paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: NetGalley
About the book:
It is a new beginning for the Chanku. For so long they kept their shapeshifting ability secret, but now they have assimilated into the world in ways they once never thought possible. Still there are those who want to destroy them, with dark powers of their own…
A Bold New Beginning
The CEO of Cheval International, Lily Cheval chooses to live alone, but a series of rapes and murders leave her wary and worried for her fellow Chanku. Then she meets Sebastian Xenakis and the connection is intense and immediate. The son of a charismatic cult leader, Sebastian is a mysteriously sensual man who uses magic to shift into wolf form. He and Lily come together in a moment of supreme ecstasy, succumbing to a primal passion that leaves Lily shaken but utterly alive. Is Sebastian her lifetime mate or is he her worst enemy?
What VampBards talking about:
Kate Douglas’s Sprit Wild series is a promising beginning to what could potentially be one of the most beautifully written and smokin’ hot series debuting this year.  Dark Wolf was erotic, tender, and intimate.  Yet, it was exhilarating, and provided the reader with an adrenaline rush at the apex of the plot arc.  HEAT INDEX:  4.75 out of 5… Um.  Wow!
What I found most intriguing about Ms. Douglas’s writing was the fact that instead of focusing on the ‘main couple’ as most traditional romances do, she had two couples.  Along with both couples, there was some definitely interesting sexual escapades!  Keep in mind, the Chanku are pack animals.  Primarily shifting to a wolven form, Lily, Alex and Annie had been pack mates – Lily and Alex from birth – and they ‘knew’ and loved one another.  Just learning about his magically shifting side was Sebastian, who proved to be a fantastic hero for this story.  
Set in San Francisco and Montana, the descriptiveness of the settings was breathtaking.  Especially the Chanku ‘home base’ in Montana.  The compound in which Lily’s family, as well as Alex’s parents, lived truly came alive for me.  Practically every room in which the characters spent time was described so the reader felt as though they were a voyeur, intruding on a private conversation or intimate moment.  
As far as the smokin’ hot sexy time, um.  Yeah.  I think this book contained pretty much every combo.  M/M, F/F, M/F, M/M/F…even one scene bordering on M/F/M/F that felt a little like tag-team wrestling.  Even though there were multiple partners, there was definitely backstory that prepared the reader for this plot device.  And these characters truly cared for one another.  They were respectful of one another, and love and pleasure were the driving force behind the couplings/groupings.  
The main conflict in the title involved the rape and murder of several women.  The details aren’t explicit, but I still felt as though I was connected to the events.  I’m going to try to remain spoiler-free here…. While the events point to one person as the culprit, I vehemently fought against this conclusion.  The only reason I can’t give this beautifully written book five stars is because I thought that the conflict could have been developed a bit more; giving the reader more clues as to who the villain truly was.  I felt as though the ultimate reveal was predictable, and could have easily had an extra twist or two that would have broken the title out of this pattern.  But… not enough to detract from the over-all story for me.
Wolfies and leopards and mages – Oh my!  Dark Wolf, debut title in the Spirit Wild series by Kate Douglas is definitely a hot read for paranormal fans!  I’m definitely looking forward to the next title in the series, Dark Moon.  Those that fall in love with the world of the Chanku can, fortunately, pick up Ms. Douglas’s backlist Wolf Tales titles to keep themselves occupied until the next release in this spin-off series.  
VampBards Rating:
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)





Purchase Info:
Dark Wolf

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