Touch A Dark Wolf by Jennifer St. Giles

Touch A Dark Wolf 2Title:  Touch A Dark Wolf
Series:  Shadowmen
Author:  Jennifer St. Giles
Genre:  Paranormal
Published:  Original September 1, 2006 Reissue:   August 28, 2014
Source:  personal collection owned

Cover Blurb:

Jennifer St. Giles begins a dazzling new series that takes you into a world of seductive shape shifters and mystical beings, and into the hearts of a band of heroic warriors known as The Shadowmen. . . .

Yesterday, Erin Morgan worked for a pioneering Manhattan medical center. Today, she’s on the run, witness to a chilling conspiracy. Fleeing for her life in the Tennessee mountains, she is run off the road by a mysterious beast . . . and things only get stranger when she wakes the next day to find a naked Adonis sprawled on the hood of her car.

For centuries, Jared has been a shape shifter, sworn to protect mortals like Erin. But in saving her, Jared has damned himself, for the poison from his battle wound stirs a terrible blood lust. Determined to protect Erin, Jared stays by her side and discovers a sensual rapture beyond imagining . . . and a love that can change his fate. But can Jared overcome his savage thirst and protect Erin from the beast within?

Read on for my thoughts on Touch A Dark Wolf.

Touch A Dark Wolf is the first novel review for my Free Monday Pick feature.  (pick up a free ebook novel the previous Monday then have the review up the following Monday – then repeat)

My Thoughts On This Week’s Pick

Erin’s day was shot to hell.  As a nurse at the Sno-Med facilities, it was her duty to oversee the blood transfusions to the ultra-rich that would hold back their cancer for three months.

Today she’d seen something that she never should have.  In an extremely secret lab deep within the Sno-Med complex, she had discovered four bodies.  Not injured, not victims of a horrific accident,  just four people who carried the special protein in their blood that made miracles happen for cancer patients.  Strapped to gurneys, completely drained of their precious blood,  these two adults and two children had their lives taken from them so that the insanely rich could live for three more months.

Erin had believed Dr. Cinatas when he claimed that people came into the lab and voluntarily gave of their blood to help others, just as she did.  Now the truth was lying right in front of her.  Drained of every last droplet of blood.

After a confrontation with Dr. Cinatas, Erin runs for her life.  Driving through the darkness of a foggy Tennessee mountain pass, already terrified and running on pure survival instincts, Erin is stunned when a creature lands on the hood of her car with enough force to send spider cracks through her windshield.  The dark, almost black creature terrified her as it tried to get through the glass, its fang-like teeth glistening in the headlight’s reflection.

She was shaken from her fear-frozen state when a second crash assaulted the hood of her car.  A silver-grey wolf with startling blue eyes had landed on the back of the creature.  Before Erin’s stunned eyes, a battle broke out between the dark creature and the silver-grey wolf.  When she heard a fierce, wounded howl from the silver-grey wolf, her heart seemed to stop beating.  Her frightened glance seemed to be held by the wolf, it was as though he spoke to her mind telling her to “Leave Now”.

Erin threw the car into reverse and drove off into the foggy darkness.  Careening around curves, unable to see the road through the fog she felt the car leave the road as she flew through space.  The last thing she remembered was the silver-grey wolf’s blue eyes.

Okay, let’s stop right there.  That’s enough of a tease.

From this point onward, we will discover what Jared (the silver-grey wolf) really is.  Why the dark creature attacked Erin’s car.  And why Jared was there so quickly to defend her.  We will discover some of the reasons behind Sno-Med and the truly evil Dr Cinatas.  Other characters will be introduced and the groundwork for this series will begin to be laid out for us.

Erin and Jared’s love story will unfold in a sensuous, satisfying way.  There is a legend involved in the overall story – and we will also discover if the legend becomes true or is completely myth.

I really enjoyed Touch A Dark Wolf and will search out the remaining novels in the series – because I now want to know the rest of the story.  I believe that anyone who loves paranormal love stories would enjoy this novel.  Yes, it is the first of the series and leaves as many questions as it gives answers.  But I’m not surprised by that, and it won’t keep me from reading the other novels.

Touch A Dark Wolf gets a 3 outta 5 on my rating scale.  I expect the next book to be a higher rating because the world building is mostly past and we will get into the story faster.  (my opinion)

Additional Thoughts

When you read this novel (and it is free right now so why wouldn’t you go download it *book lover grin*) please, oh please pay attention to the author’s notes in the very beginning.  At times, we the readers, have no idea what goes on behind the scenes of a book’s publishing and how, more often than not, it is not the author’s decision as to how the novel becomes a finished product – but it is the publisher’s final decision based on projected sales or the tone of the readership at the time of publication.

In the reissue of Touch A Dark Wolf, this becomes very obvious as Ms. St. Giles intended the special blood of some characters to make them of the Chosen (not the Elan) – with a fascinating background on why they were Chosen (again read the author’s intro) – it makes so many parts of the novel and the series make much more sense.  Why must publishers mess with an author’s creation?  How many novels have we read, never knowing what the original story could have been?  It is frustrating to me as a reader and a buyer.

There are times when a reader just has to let the first book in a series be the world builder.  This is where we start to piece together the parts of the author’s world into a land that we will come to know and understand better over time.  At last check there are four (4) novels in The Shadowmen series, so expect characters to show up on the fringes, for the story to not be as full as a stand alone novel would be and give the series time to just develop.

That is my best advice when starting Touch A Dark Wolf.  It does leave a lot of questions unanswered… but, this is the first novel in a series.  I expect there to be things left to follow up in the coming novels.  Why would it be a series if there wasn’t more to the overall story?

(can you tell I get extremely frustrated with reviewers who trash a book or give it the insult of a one star review when they haven’t taken into consideration that it is the FIRST BOOK IN A SERIES?)

Available for the Kindle at Amazon