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Thursday, September 8, 2011

What This Wolf Wants by Jennifer Dellerman

What This Wolf Wants by Jennifer Dellerman
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (141 pgs)
Other: M/F, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Dr. Jacklyn Chavez has devoted her life to healing, particularly to the shifter community of Woodcliff, CO. When a hurt wolf requires her medical skills she doesn't think much of it, until he transforms. Recognizing the incriminating tattoo on his shoulder, Jacklyn struggles to keep Zan at arm's length even as their animal attraction draws them dangerously closer.

Alexander "Zan" Sutton is a military specialist, riding the edge of addiction to the darkness of his job. When a photo leads him to the last known location of a long searched-for relative, he finds more than his brother - he finds his mate. All his training, stealth, and patience will be pushed to their limits as he woos Jackie, re-engages with his sibling and dodges a past danger that has stalked him for years. And he thought a civilian's life would be boring...

Just when I think there isn’t a fresh take on the predestined mates to be had, an author comes along and proves me wrong. The thing that makes this story stand out from other werewolf paranormals is the fact that even though their sense of smell tells them that the bond is there, by no means is it failsafe. It’s not a guarantee, it’s only a jump off point – the rest is up to the man and woman. They either make it work or they don’t, it’s all up to their personality quirks and foibles. And let me assure readers, the author threw a lot at the hero and heroine making the ride bumpy, exciting and it kept me glued to the pages.

Jackie is quite the intrepid heroine. She’s a doctor and that already makes her character one to respect and take seriously. However, still waters run deep. The author was such a tease! There was this build up of worry, of suspense, of thinking there were horrible things buried in her past. The actual truth had me grinning ear to ear. What a surprise and it certainly made things interesting and complicated for the hero. Not that they weren’t already thorny enough. Jackie is alternately, feminine, competent and aggressive; she even has a wise cracking wit that kept the hero on his toes. I liked how she fought the attraction and I cracked up at her inner dialogue. I also enjoyed the fact that she did what she wanted even though the hero, with his bad alpha attitude, forbade her to do things. Jackie is a class act because I like how she defied him – and yet didn’t do stupid things just to spite him. Everything she did made sense.

Now, Zan is a delicious type of hero. He comes across as an adrenaline junky, commanding and dark. It’s not until he meets the heroine that a reader will see that there is a lot more under the fur than alpha bossiness. Oh, he has it in spades but instead of orchestrating his skills for a tactical offense on a bad guy, he ends up using it to woo and seduce Jackie. And wow, does Zan get lead on a merry chase. I think that was half the fun of the book. Every time he thinks he’s a shoe-in, he messes up and he’s back at square one. He’s also figuring out a few things about himself along the way. Who he really is, and isn’t. What he wants out of life and what he’s willing to do to get it. I think his character makes the most adjustments and growth. I especially enjoyed it when he gets all wolfy and growly. Very sexy and it made for some hot reading.

Speaking of the heat, Ms. Dellerman wrote this book just the way I like it. It wasn’t a story to promote only sex. The sensual buildup and physical explorations of their attraction and lust was sprinkled throughout the story in a perfect balance that I really enjoyed. Every time they had it, there was a build up before, making what happens inevitable yet very potent. I was entertained when he was all rough with Jackie, and though she tried to fight him, she was fighting herself more. Because of that, when they did succumb to their passions, it was explosive and forceful. Nothing tame or timid for these werewolves.

The conflict is both internal and external. I’ve already covered the internal between Jackie and Zan but there is a bad guy and he’s a nasty sort. It overshadows a good portion of the book, driving the hero and heroine to certain actions until the moment it all comes to a head. When the confrontation erupted, there was a lot of action and suspense that kept me flipping the pages. The writing was nice and tight so I could feel the drama and intensity as it unfolded. It’s not particularly gruesome but I was left in no doubt that the good guys can be bad when they need to be.

I have to mention that I noticed some misspellings that made me blink; nothing major and certainly not enough to throw me from the story. However, since a perfect score means perfect editing, I am forced to not give the book as high a mark as I wanted to. I was a bit bummed about that. This book is great in every other aspect.

Secondary characters gave a nice flavor to the book. In fact, Zan’s two soldier buddies made me smile a lot. I liked them and thought they were a good addition. I loved the fact that Zan had a brother and it also alluded to the fact that there is a back story that I was unaware of. The result of which is, I intend to go and find out about Dean because he’s fascinating too. And if there is a book about Dean that means the author did great in making this a standalone read. I never felt anything was left out. This book is all about Zan and Jackie and it was cool.

What This Wolf Wants is sexy, fun and exciting with a wonderful sense of humor to sweeten the ride. I enjoyed getting to know Zan and Jackie and had a great time watching them fall in love. The book never lagged and it always kept my interest. I liked their personalities, their sense of love and contrary courting style and I got the shivers when Zan marked Jackie as his. I love it when they do that. It’s so yummy. If readers are looking for a paranormal romance book that will make time fly and their blood pressure rise in excitement, then What This Wolf Wants is the one to try.

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