Dark Wolf (Spirit Wolf #1)
Author: Kate Douglas
Publisher: Kensington Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
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?
Well, right off the bat, let me say that there is sex in this book. Yeah, probably not a big shocker for anyone who’s a fan of Ms. Douglas’ work. As I had never read anything by this author before, and had no idea what sort of sex she put in her books, I was … stunned. Not only do we have man/woman sex, but we have woman/woman, man/man, a foursome and plenty of repeats of the combinations. Oh, and let’s not forget the wolf/wolf sex. Yes. She writes at least two sex scenes where both participants are in their wolf forms. Referencing Lily’s wet wolfen slit. And his hard knot.
::head desk:: Oy. Yeah. That was a major shocker for me. I like to read. Reading about wolves having sex … not so much.
So, now that I’ve gotten that off, I will say once my prudish side got shunted to the back of my head, I found the story itself good. There’s a fabulous world built by Ms. Douglas that apparently builds on a series she wrote call the Wolf Tales or some such. If there had been a tad (translation: a ton) less of the more adventurous sex (or at least a warning about the multiple partners thing), I would have put tracking down that first series toward the top of my to be read pile.
The plot itself is big and a certain appeal to it. There’s evil afoot in the world and Lily and Sebastian are caught up in it. There was some great momentum, but I would think if you are a long-time reader of this series, you might have gotten bored with the constant references to events that (I assume, at least) took place in the first series. I got bored with them, and hearing about the events that brought the Chanku out of the metaphorical closet, and I haven’t even read the series.
The growing attraction between Lily and Sebastian was good as well, though I felt a little put off by the fact that Lily on one level didn’t quite trust him yet, but didn’t hesitate to hop into bed, or the shower, etc. at every opportunity. I felt sorry for Sebastian and what he went through with his arse of a father.
The ending … disappointed me. It just seemed a little too contrived, and too deus ex machina for my taste. It’s entirely possible other readers will have an entirely different take on the ending, and the book as a whole. I just simply couldn’t get into it. I might give Ms. Douglas one more chance, maybe go back and read the first Wolf Tale book, but that may well be it.
For me, this book is a 2.5/5.
Book provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.