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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shadow of the Wolf by Dana Marie Bell

Shadow of the Wolf by Dana Marie Bell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (262 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Strike a match, light the candle…and fall into the spell.

Heart’s Desire, Book 1

Christopher Beckett is from an ancient line of wizards, but with one aspect that sets him apart. His wolf. Right now that wolf is howling for a mate. Knowing it’s only a matter of time before the wolf’s needs override everything else in his life, Chris casts the spell all the Becketts have used to call their mates to them.

His wish list is short: She must be of a lineage at least as old as his own. And she must accept his wolf. When his mate appears, he realizes his list should have been one item longer.

Alannah Evans, a powerful witch of the Evans Coven, has no problem with Chris’s wolf. It’s the wizard part that sticks in her magical craw. Witches and wizards have always been at odds, so by rights, she and Chris shouldn’t be striking sparks of attraction this bright. But Chris will not be denied, and gradually she finds herself trusting him—then falling into the fire of desire.

When it becomes clear an old enemy has targeted them both for death, Chris charges into a duel that could cost him his life. Or worse: Lana.

When casting spells, wizards should always be as specific as possible. Christopher Beckett learns this the hard way, when he casts the spell generations of wizards in his family have used to bring their mates to them. Because Chris is more than just a wizard, he is also wolf. His spell asked for a mate from a lineage as old as his, and a woman who can accept his wolf. What he got was Alannah Evans, a witch from a powerful coven. Alannah didn’t have any problems with Chris’s wolf at all. But his being a wizard, that could be a problem, because wizards and witches generally didn’t get along. When Chris, in his wolf form, saves Alannah from a killer, she has to decide whether to follow him to safety or run. As she gets to know him, she first begins to trust him, and then to care for him. But when an old enemy targets them both for death, can they survive to be together? When secrets are exposed, can these two magical beings adapt? Can Lana and Chris have a happy ever after in spite of it all?

Shadow of the Wolf is the first book in a new series from Dana Marie Bell, and it is a terrific beginning to what looks like a lot of fun. There is Ms. Bell’s usual mix of wry humor, magical danger and hot sex, gathered together with some intriguing twists and turns in the plot. The world of this one is well built, with characters that could live next door…well if your next door neighbors could shift into wolves or cast magical spells, that is. This book grabbed me from the first page, and I just couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Alannah ‘Lana’ Evans is from a powerful family of witches, thoroughly modern and talented. She is strong, courageous and determined to live life her way. I enjoyed the verbal sparring between Lana and Chris, and the fact that she was never intimidated by either facet of Chris-his magic or his wolf. I loved her spontaneity, and her ability to adapt when necessary in order to protect and defend what is hers. I liked that she was able to accept that Chris was hers, as much as she was his.

Chris is such a strong character, lonely at first, and delighted with the turn of events as he finally meets his mate. I loved that, because of one little oversight, he gets something he didn’t bargain for in Lana. I enjoyed watching him slowly work his way into her heart, not with grand gestures, but by being himself, and showing her his true feelings. He is determined to stop Cole from harming his family and his mate, and his protective streak is plain to see. I loved that he was able to let Lana be who and what she was meant to be, and never really tried to keep her from being the independent and strong mate he needed.

There are several really surprising twists to this story, like the way the brothers accept things, and the typical sibling rivalry that gets silly at times. Then there is the turn with Gareth and his future, and Zach and his very shocking development. I adored the secondary characters in this book, and can’t wait for more in this world. I look forward to more about Gareth, Daniel and especially Zachary Beckett in the future. This one is for all of those readers who love some magic with their romance and like their stories hot. It may be autumn, but you’ll need to keep the fan on high for this one.

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