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Monday, October 26, 2009

Got Wolf? Volume One by Helen Hardt and Ria Ellis

Got Wolf? Volume One by Helen Hardt and Ria Ellis
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (298 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fern

Blood Wolf:
When mysterious Damian MacGowan saves Suzanne Wood from a gang of thugs in a small Scotland town, she's beyond grateful. But his possessive need to be near her troubles her. Damian doesn’t understand why he’s drawn to Suzanne. He knows only that he must have her, or he will die. As the two get to know each other, love blossoms. But Damian has a secret, and an enemy, that may keep him from Suzanne forever.

My Lord Werewolf:
A dark tale resides in the heart of England, the Cotswolds. Lord Connor Wolfe, Earl of Wolfhaven, lives in solitude within his ancestral home. Connor, the last of the bloodline, has vowed never to marry and produce an heir, for the earl holds a dark curse. He is a creature of the full moon—a werewolf.

Cassandra Hollingsworth is a twenty-five-year-old spinster who has earned the title of “The Cursed One”. On a journey to uncover the mystery of her brother’s disappearance in the Cotswolds, Cassandra never imagined her life would parallel her favorite pastime--A gothic novel!

As a werewolf nut, I squealed and danced around like a loon when I was given the opportunity to review the Got Wolf Anthology, Volume 1. Two stories about men that change into misunderstood beasts? Be still my heart!

Up first is Blood Wolf by Helen Hardt-- a dark, sensual, and fascinating take on the werewolf genre. The hero, Damian, does more than howl at the moon. His bite can kill both humans and vampires without breaking the skin. Orphaned as a bairn and raised by the man that found him, he is confused by the wolf that exists under his skin. Internet research has yielded a few answers, but the information isn’t nearly enough when he meets Suzanne. She’s his. He doesn’t know how he knows, he simply does. And now that he’s found her, he’ll never let her go.

Suzanne travels with her cousin to Scotland to lay claim to a small castle left after Ashley’s grandmother passed away. She needs the time to regroup and focus. Her fiance recently ended their engagement after falling for another woman. Little does she know that the caretaker’s son, Damian, will end any lingering effects following a broken heart. She’s fascinated by this man that behaves as if he belongs to her, and more alarmingly, that she belongs to him.

If you’re a fan of furry critters, fanged vamps, and magic, you’ll love this story. Damian is everything you want in a hero. He’s strong, he’s sexy, and he wants to give Suzanne everything she needs–even if she isn’t aware of what that is yet. Suzanne is spunky and sassy, and refuses to place herself in a position of vulnerability again. Even still, she wants Damian, and common sense doesn’t always prevail when a man goes out of his way to woo and court you.

Strongly written, fast paced, and a joy to read, you’ll love Blood Wolf. (As reference, this story is hot.)

The second story is My Lord Werewolf by Ria Ellis, a gothic style werewolf romance. A family curse by a vengeful gypsy has forced Lord Connor Wolfe to remain detached from the world around him. He can never love, having learned a hard lesson when he murdered his first love after the change. When he attacks a carriage one night while in his beastly form, he is shocked that he rescues the lovely Cassandra Hollingsworth instead of killing her. But all is not what it seems, including his past. And he’s about to discover he’s not the beast he once believed.

Cassandra has long believed her brother William is dead. After receiving word that not only is he alive, but he is in danger of some kind, she travels to locate him. While on her journey, her carriage is attacked by a wild beast, and she loses consciousness. She awakes in the home of the mysterious Lord Connor. Confused and intrigued, she is determined to uncover how she has arrived to his castle, as well as what secret has forced her host into exile.

While the writing is beautiful, the mystery and intrigue in My Lord Werewolf is slow in the delivery. The suspense and back story, though clever, goes on for far too long. As a result, the flourishing attraction between Lord Connor and Cassandra is stunted. I would have liked to have had more page time between the protagonists. With that said, Ria Ellis does give the audience a glimpse at her talent for crafting regency romance. The dialogue, description, and atmosphere are spot-on. You will become immersed by the history of Wolfhaven Castle and its ghostly inhabitants.

If you want a gothic tale that is reminiscent of the wolf-man, My Lord Werewolf is just what the doctor ordered. (As reference, this story is sensual.)

Got Wolf, Volume 1 is absolutely worth checking out. I can’t wait for the next installment.