Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review! Isabel and the Wolf: Part One

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Isabel and the Wolf
 Ariana Hawkes



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She’s looking for a dominant man. He’s looking for a mate. Can they find what they need in each other? 

Isabel Alexander has no idea that werewolves exist. Until now, this hadn't been an issue, but she’s just moved to the only region in the southern states where wolves still roam free. And where there are wolves, there are werewolves. 

Her quest for a dominant man gets the attention of one such specimen – the sexy, mysterious Peter. However, his wolf is so close to the surface that he can barely keep it hidden from a human female. After a storm ruins their first date plans, Isabel is confronted by a man as unsettling as he is captivating. 
At the same time, she can’t shake her attraction for the good-looking stranger. While sense tells her it might be dangerous, stronger emotions lead her to his house, where, for the first time, she learns what alpha really means. 

Isabel and The Wolf: Part One is a 16,000 word novella and the first episode in the new werewolf erotic romance serial by Ariana Hawkes. It contains strong sexual themes and is not intended for readers under the age of 18. 

Often when you pick up the start of a self-published series on Amazon, you don’t expect a lot. If you’re going for romance or erotica especially, expectations of great editing, clear and concise wording, truly interesting characters, and a plot worth following will usually only end in disappointment. That’s not to say I don’t have respect for self-publishing—I absolutely love indie authors, heck, I am one—but we’d all be fooling ourselves if we didn't acknowledge that most of what’s available is kinda awful. At the very least, not very polished.

Ariana Hawkes has none of the negative hallmarks of a self-published author.

Ariana's covers are stunning, her characters are incredibly intriguing, and the story is a total page turner. It’s truly rare to find so much world building in such a short installment, but Book One rings with authenticity and realism. You believe the world we’re in, and even if you don’t agree with the characters, they too ring true as fully developed, interesting people who you want to get to know. It’s easy to become so involved you end up wanting to shout at the characters when you see them doing something no sane person would do—like going to a strange man’s house when you've never even really met him. I kinda wanted to smack Kara for encouraging Isabel to do the hook-up—of course as my sister has always said of me, I’m a paranoid killjoy who would rather spend a night in shouting at fictional people than taking any real risk outside my front door, so maybe I’m over reacting a bit.

And just a bit of a spoiler—he sniffs her. HE SNIFFS HER. Ladies, this is the point where I would giggle like a maniac and leave a Looney Toon dust trail behind me as I fled the scene. 

But he totally makes up for it with that first kiss. The heat between these two is palpable, and Ariana is an expert at crafting sensual prose. By the time this first installment ended, I wasn't near ready to stop reading, and was quick to seek out Book Two. This is a series and an author that will definitely be going on my must read list. If you want wolves, hot romance, and an alpha male as frustrating as he is alluring, this is the series to read. 

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