Monday, October 31, 2011

Dreaming of the Wolf (Heart of the Wolf 8) by Terry Spear

Terry Spear's debut Heart of the Wolf was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.
Known for her research into how wolves live in nature, Spear writes her werewolves as they would behave realistically, including pack dynamics, mating behavior, and hierarchies.

Werewolf pack leader Jake Silver is an acclaimed photographer. He sees a beautiful woman at the art gallery where his photos are on display, and his intrigue turns into wolfish protectiveness. Alicia Greiston has never met anyone like Jake–he's sexy, alpha, and totally irresistible, and he calls to something primal in her soul.

Reviewer: Fashionta
The Heart of the Wolf is the eighth book in an ongoing werewolf saga by Terry Spear. The good news is it can be read completely as a stand-alone. The various pack and family members make an appearance but you don’t have to know them to understand what’s going on. So, good for you if you’ve read previous books and have a particular fondness for some of the heroes, and good for you if you haven’t. The bad news is, well…

Let’s start with the plot. Alicia the heroine is a bounty hunter, she apprehends bail skippers and handles them back to the police for a living. Her last mark, not incidentally, are the men she suspects to be responsible for her mother’s death. The hero, Jake Silver, is the brother of the pack leader and second-in-command in a werewolf-controlled town of Silver. They meet, have fabulous-this-must-be-love sex, Alicia has a couple of run-ins with the bad guys, Jake repeatedly saves her, they mate and have the first wedding in werewolf history, werewolves being not big on human ceremonies. So far so good, I’ve read dozens of similar paranormal romances and enjoyed them.

The problem lies with the characters who, especially the main couple, display an irritating tendency to read each others’ minds, not even because they are supernaturally geared like that, but just… I don’t know why. Maybe it was supposed to be romantic – it’s not, it’s just dead boring. This is what’s going on all the time, and often in convoluted sentences as that one:
"He suggestively waggled his brows, noting that she was having a hard time keeping her gaze focused on his, her eyes considering his physique as if she was amused he was having trouble keeping his bodily reactions under control".
Things pick up when the heroine goes off to tackle the mafia bail jumpers on her own (yes, she’s the TSTL kind) and the fast-paced action begins. It’s quite enjoyable until the lovers reunite and continue their mind tricks, aided by the pack members who also display similar abilities. Made me almost like the bad guys, because, firstly, they missed out on the telepathy, and secondly, their appearance usually heralded the beginning of a new action scene.

But the author’s forte definitely is describing the werewolf nature, what it means for a human mind to have all those additional animal senses at its disposal, how it enriches and at the same time complicates one’s life. This aspect is often glossed over in paranormals, the characters are nominally part-animals but you never get to see it, except in overblown “mine, mine” episodes. Here you have your chance to experience what it feels like to be in werewolf’s skin. Unfortunately, these episodes are few and far between and the biggest part of the book is a dull and bland romance with insta-bonding and no development between uninteresting characters, one of whom – the heroine - is not very bright too boot.

But I’d be definitely interested if the author ever decides to write a book with an action based plot, a lot of werewolf psychology and slight romantic line thrown in. 2.5 stars

Expected Publishing Date: Dec. 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

See the original review on goodreads


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