Friday, January 11, 2013

Dark Wolf Rising by Rhyannon Byrd

Eric Drake, a powerful Dark Wolf, has never trusted himself around human females-preferring to mate only within his pack. That is, until he encounters Chelsea Smart snooping around Silvercrest pack land in search of her missing sister. Secretly, Chelsea thinks Eric is the sexiest man she's ever seen, though she is wary of his potent Alpha energy. Then it's discovered that Chelsea's sister is being held by a pack of vicious Lycans, and Eric heroically leaps into action. Now, Chelsea will risk everything-her body and soul-to surrender to the passion that will mark her as Eric's woman for all eternity...if they survive.
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I'm torn about this book. I love Rhynannon Byrd and I think the intricate worlds that she creates around her Lycan characters are very well done but the way these two characters came together - and what they had to prove to be 'worthy' of each other, wasn't exactly my favorite.

Initially Chelsea is a very broken and mostly incomplete woman. She's been so scarred from her emotionally abusive childhood that the idea of connecting to a man in a relationship is almost impossible. When Eric comes into her life there's a lot of hesitancy about whether he can work his way into her heart, whether he even wants to, and the back and forth of that is very well done. Both of them have reasons for why they're so protective and Byrd takes the time (I've decided not to nitpick about the aphrodisiac induced sexy times) to write in a nice emotional story. I would even say it's incredibly balanced, when it's done alongside the story of the missing sister and the whole Donovan/stripclub mystery. 

Why I'm irked? I hate when the whole relationship is put on the heroine's ability to overcome her past when the hero is never called out for his BS. Yes I agree Chelsea could trust Eric a bit more than she does, but with her background and lack of Lycan induce scent recognition, she doesn't have a whole heck of a lot to go with. But then when she does overcome that hurdle, even dealing with all the angst and anger directed her way by Eric's friends, nobody calls him on the fact that maybe he has some stuff communication wise he could work on too. I'm pretty sure a woman doesn't enjoy being told 'oh hey there, we can totally be together forever now because you fought for me and my wolf recognizes your scent!' out of the blue. What the what? No one takes issue with the fact that perhaps this conversation could have gone differently and in such a way as to respect Chelsea's emotional boundaries. I'm just saying, I like the characters individually enough to say that Chelsea deserved more than all the crap heaped on her because she doesn't jump when Eric's wolf finally decides things are cool. 

I still wanna read the next one though!

Overall Feeling - B-

Series - 1) Last Wolf Standing 2) Last Wolf Hunting 3) Last Wolf Watching 4) Dark Wolf Rising

**Title requested from NetGalley**

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