May 2, 2013

"Dark Wolf" by Kate Douglas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sebastian Xenakis is still coming into his power as a wizard. He can shapeshift by magical means and runs as a wolf using the power he draws from the elements. But young women are dying—raped by a human and then slaughtered by a wolf. Suspicion falls on the shapeshifting Chanku, but Sebastian wonders if he might somehow be guilty of the crimes. 
Then he meets Lily Cheval, the uncrowned princess of the powerful Chanku, and realizes he will do whatever it takes to clear his name and win her love. But evil walks where Sebastian goes, and there are mysteries neither Lily nor her father, the powerful wizard, Anton Cheval, cannot unravel. Is Sebastian the perfect mate for Lily, or is he instead, one she should fear?
This is the first book I have ever read by Kate Douglas, and I LOVED it! It came as close to being a perfectly written book (by my standards) as possible. There was a strong love story, delicious sex scenes (of several varieties - prudes need not read this book, lol), a murder mystery, and characters I came to care about having to make life changing decisions. I was sucked in immediately and didn't want to put it down until I had read every last syllable.

The characters of Lily and Sebastian are so complex and strong - they seem to just jump off of the page. And not only that, Kate Douglas also spent a fair chunk of time developing the secondary characters in the novel, which was even more of a treat. Enough so that the world I was reading about seemed so real, and I was able to totally immerse myself in it. The relationships between the main characters grew at a steady and believable pace, and concluded in a way that satisfied me as a reader.

Apparently, there are several novels of Douglas' that precede this book that fully explain the history of the Chanku people and the back story of a majority of the characters in Dark Wolf. However, I have not read any of them and I was able to jump right into this world with no problem. So, if you're like me and haven't read any of them, DON'T let that stop you from reading this book. Of course, I loved the Chanku people and this story so much that I am going to go back and read all of her other books.

I sincerely had no criticisms of this book - which for me is rare! I can usually find one thing that I can pick on, but not this time. :) This is one of my favorite books that I have read in 2013, and I recommend it very highly! 

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** I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review - 
and believe me, I don't give 5-star reviews unless they are deserved! **

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