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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review: Wolf Fever by Terry Spear

Wolf FeverWolf Fever, the sixth book in Terry Spear's Werewolf Series, did nothing but exceed my already high expectations.

Carol Woods is a nurse, who was inadvertently bit by a werewolf and turned into a lupus garou.  Not only does she NOT want to be a lupus garou, but she fights the urge to shift by distracting herself with visions of the future she has had since a child.  Her visions generally foretell a nearing disaster, so when she sees other lupus garou unable to shift from their wolf form, she knows something terrible is coming.  And as if that isn't enough to be dealing with, her pack leader is putting on the pressure by telling Carol that she needs to find a mate... and soon!

Ryan McKinley has come to the area to ask Carol a few questions about her "visions" after having solved a case he was working on with her help.  Carol feels an attraction to Ryan, BUT he is the alpha leader of another pack.  While he is there, Ryan becomes involved in Carol's pack when a red wolf is found in the area and it is believed one or more rogue red wolves may be trying to take Carol or Lelandi, the pack leader's mate.  Ryan becomes Carol's bodyguard and begins to question his doubt in the validity of her visions as they become reality and some pack members are unable to shift back to their human forms.

The story becomes a race against time to solve the question of who is coming after Carol, what they want, and how to stop the "Wolf Fever" that is all too real. 

I'm always so amazed at how well she writes her characters and the depth she gives them.  This book took the normal "pack" dynamics Ms. Spear writes so well and added more to it by adding to the complexity and involving many very strong characters.  Not only were there many things going on within the story, all of which were well-written making it easy to follow, but even the bad guys were written in a way as to make the reader question how bad they really were.  And finding a possible mate for Carol - Wow - she had many possibilities, and there were three that I was really torn between... I loved being kept on edge by so many aspects of the story!

The book touches on characters from previous books, but reads great as a stand-alone.  If you've already read other books from the series, you'll want to get this one, and if you haven't... well, give this one a shot!  I'll bet you'll be running out to find the other books in the series!  And even better?  The series is slated for at least four more books, two coming in 2011, and two following those.

Wolf Fever  (Werewolf Series, Book 6)
by Terry Spear

Sourcebooks Casablanca (December 1, 2010) ~ 416 pages
Fiction / Romance / Werewolf

Edition Reviewed: ARC - Review copy received courtesy of the publisher, many thanks to both the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

About the Book:
She may be his destiny, but she's not his first choice...

Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he's the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her.

Why is he playing so hard to get?

The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders...
Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn't want anything to do with Carol unless she's willing to embrace her wolf nature-no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he's been not to seize the moment with the woman he's come to love. And now, it may be too late...

Excerpt (from the author's website):
Disgruntled with himself for slinking through Darien’s forest as a wolf so he could watch the house for any sign of Carol Wood, Chester Ryan McKinley hated his obsession. Even now when his P.I. practice had taken a back burner to his position as mayor and pack leader of Green Valley, he couldn’t give up thinking about Carol, whom he’d met five months earlier while investigating a murder case involving Darien’s pack. Ryan had found a lot of evidence against the murderer, but Carol’s testimony had solicited the confession and the truth of the matter.

Long-legged and stacked, with hair the color of the golden sun and eyes as deep and mysterious as a shadowed blue lake, she had often worn a troubled expression during the investigation. Most likely due to the mess she’d gotten herself into as a human. The fact she’d managed to get herself into such a predicament bothered him more than he liked to consider. As was his rescuing nature, he’d wanted to save her from her plight, ensure she didn’t become one of his kind, and shield her from what they were.

But how could he have? She’d recognized his kind were lupus garous through strange visions, or so she had said. There had been no way to change events. During an ensuing fight between gray and red lupus garou packs, a red had bitten her and turned her. Ryan sure the hell wished he’d been protecting her.

Carol had been an innocent, unprepared for what would happen and unable to fight back. He imagined she’d never before witnessed wolf combat, which for a human had to have been extremely unnerving. Although every ounce of logic he possessed told him that people couldn’t foresee the future, something about her—maybe her sincerity, the fear she’d exhibited, or the notion that she couldn’t have learned all that she had through any other means—chiseled away at his wall of doubt.

Most of all, he admired her for her fortitude and dependability. She hadn’t panicked or fought against her fate. Now he was sure Darien would be pushing for her to take a mate. For life… that’s how they mated. That she would need one bothered him more than he liked to admit. Those who were born lupus garous could do with or without having a mate. Their choice. But a newly turned lupus garou? Allowing a new werewolf too much freedom was too dangerous.

The drapes suddenly were thrust aside in the guestroom Lelandi had once used. And there, standing in the window in a diaphanous gown of pale blue silk, the blonde pondered the woods. Almost as if she knew he was there watching for her. Which sent an unexpected surge of feral desire through his bloodstream. What was wrong with him that she had such an effect on him?

Her appearance in the gown at this early evening hour surprised him. Had she worked a long shift at the hospital?

The lovely rounded form of her breasts and nipples, peaked in anticipation of a lover’s touch in the nearly see-through gown, became the focus of his attention. Hell. Not intending to enjoy the sight of her as a voyeur would nor to give into his wolfish yearnings, he stepped forward so she could witness she was not alone. He meant to encourage her to close the drapes and return to bed, to warn her that the wolves in these woods were much more than just wolves. They were also men, like any of his kind, with earthly desires that needed to be sated.

Instead of closing the curtains, she challenged him with those eyes of hers. What had caught his attention about the woman, even during the investigation, were her classically attractive facial features—the high cheekbones and the perfect skin, framed by golden hair, and the large, striking blue eyes that could swallow a man whole.

When she had spoken, full kissable lips had captured his attention more than once. She wasn’t movie-star gorgeous, having instead the wholesome, girl-next-door look, but that appealed to him even more.

She frowned at him and then yanked the drapes closed. Good. She’d finally come to her senses. He couldn’t let go of the notion that the nurse thought she had the ability to make psychic predictions. It was the principle of the thing, he told himself. He intended to prove to himself, and to her, that she had come by her information about the murder through means other than some form of sixth sense. Either she had subconsciously learned the truth, or she had meddled in the investigation and was unwilling to tell about it.

Yet something deeper plagued him about the woman. Some elusive feeling that she could be in trouble. She could be trouble—that was more like it. Any newly turned wolf certainly could be that. He tried to tell himself his being here wasn’t about anything other than resolving the doubts that plagued him; although… something else bothered him, and he just couldn’t put his finger on what.

Ears perked, he sat on his haunches, unable to take his gaze off her window and thinking of her returning to bed and then buried under her blankets. The unsolicited wish that he could be with her, snuggling and heating her up, flashed through his brain. Hell, he didn’t need to be sidetracked anymore than he already was.

Despite the case having been solved, and him having no real reason to come back to Silver Town, Ryan was attending the spring festival the next morning to learn more about Darien’s celebrations. Like he’d done before, Ryan would take the information back to his own people who wanted something of what Darien and his people had—a town run by the werewolf kind.

But Darien had only reluctantly allowed Ryan to investigate as an outsider to discover the murderer in the pack. He was sure Darien wouldn’t favor seeing him again under the circumstances, not when Ryan intended to question Carol further about her visions. Darien sure wouldn’t approve of Ryan lurking about his woodland estate early in the evening. Especially when Ryan didn’t have one good reason for being near Darien’s house like this, no matter how much he tried to convince himself he did.

A click on a backdoor lock got Ryan’s attention, and he quickly rose and backed into the woods to keep Darien or his people from seeing him. The door opened.

Ryan’s jaw dropped.

Little Miss Nightingale stepped out of the house onto the flagstone patio, peering in his direction. Not dressed warmly enough for the out-of-doors this evening, she wore a robin’s egg blue tam that was perched on top of her head, a matching fluffy sweater that caressed her perky round breasts, pale blue jeans that showcased her shapely legs, and a pair of fuzzy blue slippers that made her feet look twice their size.

He raised his brows. Hell. She had no business coming out into the night looking the way she did—soft and cuddly and vulnerable—with no way to defend herself in the event someone dangerous was lurking about.

What had she intended to do? Search for him? Ask him his business?

At first, she stood stock-still, just staring into the woods. At the very place from which he watched her through a grove of Douglas firs. But he didn’t think she could see him.

And then? She rubbed her hands together as if she were on a wolf-hunting mission and stalked toward the woods, headed straight for him! The notion that she’d hunt him down appealed on a strictly primal level. Her hell-bent determination wreaked havoc with his need to keep this on a purely professional basis. Willful is how he’d describe her actions. What if he’d been bad news?

But he wasn’t, although right now he had the strongest urge to circle around her through the woods and stalk her right back. A game between wolves. A competition. And more. Which made him wonder if she’d understand their wolf ways, not having grown up learning them. He also was curious just how far she’d go to discover who he was.

Instead of tracking her down, he moved deeper into the woods, as if luring her into his trap, and listened to her steady footsteps. They were more hurried now as she tried to reach the forest before he disappeared for good, he figured. Or maybe the fact he wasn’t in plain sight gave her more courage.

She stopped only a few feet away, the gray-green leaves of a Douglas fir brushing her arm, her eyes searching the dark woods as he watched her. His heart beat harder—the urge to hunt in his blood. Then she lifted her nose in a wolf’s way, trying to catch his scent.

Seeing her react the way his kind would—smelling for scents, tilting her head as she listened more carefully, attempting to track him down like a wolf on the hunt—he felt a new wave of respect for her wash over him. He hadn’t seen this side of her before. It suited her.

Quickly, she turned her head, and when she saw him, her eyes widened. Luminescent. Huge. Bewitching.

Unable to help himself when he should have been annoyed with her impulsivity at leaving the house without protection, he gave her a slight smile. The woman would be his undoing.

What now? He wanted to force her to return to the house. On the other hand, he’d probably never get another chance to question her in private like this. He laughed at himself. Yeah, he’d shift, stand here naked in the cold as a human, and question her as if she was a suspect in one of his cases. He’d make such an impressive and frightening inquisitor that she’d quickly spill her story.

(c) Terry Spear, 2009

About the Author: (from the author's site)
Award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Heart of the Wolf named in Publishers Weekly's BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses.

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate


Beth F said...

I'm popping in to wish you a happy new year.

Aisle B said...

Going to have to look up this series. This one is completely new to me and after reading your review... that's it got to HAVE IT!

Julie said...

Thanks for the review, although if I had this book, I'd probably keep closing it to look at that cover! Hot! LOL!

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