Title: Scent of a Wolf
Author: Draven St. James
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Link: Amazon.com Second Edition
Genre: Paanormal M/M/
Length: 34K words/115 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Review Summary: I wish that the dream sequences were much longer as I thought they were better than the rest of the book, but I did like the concept of a different race of weres.
Jace Shaw is one of the few survivors of an extraordinary, rare wolf pack. He spends his days on the run and his nights in another world with a man he’s only dreamed about. To sleep is to feel his dream man’s hands on his body and hear his wicked whispered words. But when the sun rises reality crashes in: the evil that destroyed his birth pack hunts his kind down in search of a way to control their power.
Merek Wahya is an alpha dealing with all the issues of being newly appointed, but they all fall away when he closes his eyes at night. Then, a man with moonlit hair and mercury eyes crawls into bed with him. When he wakes it’s to a painful arousal no one can satisfy. When Merek’s wolf catches Jace’s scent he knows he’s found his mate, and he soon learns their nocturnal meetings were only foreplay. The joy of this discovery is shadowed by the trouble that follows Jace. Merek’s mate is embroiled in a battle between two ancient packs, a war Merek must now fight. If he fails he could lose Jace forever.
I’m making the assumption that this book is the start of a new series because there were many loose ends and unresolved issues. I’m also giving the author a pass on the minimal world building even though I expected a more detailed and expanded world and was disappointed that it wasn’t what the blurb promised, especially about “the battle between two ancient packs.” I thought hat the battle would have been extended over at least a day or two and involve more than just a few wolves, but the “war” ended almost as soon as it began and was a bit anti climatic.
I love stories with dream sequences. In Scent of a Wolf the MCs had been meeting regularly for years to have sex while they were asleep.The protagonists are Jace, one of the few survivors of a magical and unique race of weres who lived in hiding because a crazed wolf named Erikson would stop at nothing, including murder, to get his hands on their secret. Marek, the other protagonist, had recently become Alpha of the Northwest Pack and as was the norm in the werewolf world, his leadership was challenged within the pack. I liked both Jace and Marek but wished that at least one of them was flawed and not as beautiful because flawed and complex characters are more interesting and make me invested in the story. I could find no major flaws in either character so they weren’t quite three dimensional. Jace’s twin Jacob, on the other hand, was quite complicated so I hope that his story will be next.
This is the usual story of a werewolf (Marek) finding his mate (Jace) but there were differences as Jace had a few special powers which I won’t reveal because they would be spoilers, but I have to give the author points for being imaginative and creative. When Jace and Marek met after years of dreaming about each other, the circumstances were violent as Jace was critically injured in a fight with other weres who were trying to capture him, but in good old werewolf fashion he is rescued by his mate near death. He is magically healed by his grandmother, Emma, who just happened to be the healer for Marek’s tribe. What can I say? This is a fantasy, after all.
My major disappointment is the confrontation with Erickson who turned out to be little more than a sociopath, blow hard and bully, although a dangerous one, as he experimented on other weres, tortured and starved them, and many had died horrible deaths to prevent him from gaining access to their secret so he could make himself a powerful and dangerous alpha with supernatural powers. Some of the secondary characters were more interesting than the MCs, for example another were named Cory who was rescued by Marek and turned out to be related to Jace. Cory had suffered terribly under Erickson, but he refused to let fear rule his life and was determined to go back and help rescue his family and everyone else still held by that madman. I also thought that Emma, Jace’s and Jacob’s grandmother was well drawn and I look forward to reading more about her history and seeing how her life evolves. There were many other secondary characters who I thought were three dimensional but one of them, Pricilla, who fancied herself as Marek’s mate, was given the usual treatment meted out to females in these books however she did redeem herself in the end.
To summarize: The plot is imaginative and creative as one of the MCs and some of the secondary characters were unusual, but I wish both protagonists had a few flaws to make the story more interesting because at times they came off as flat to me, despite being so beautiful and in love that anyone would envy them. I hope if this is a series that the author will expand Jace’s and Jacob’s world and give us more than the glimpse we have been able to see so far. Also it would be helpful if there were some real emotional conflicts between the new MCs to heighten the tension and make the story a must read.. Unfortunately the dream sequences which were great ended too soon and reality was not as exciting, but I like the writing and think that with experience (I believe this is only the author’s second book) she will be an author whose stories I look forward to reading.
If you like great looking MCs and unusual paranormal stories that are not too violent you will love Scent of a Wolf.