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Review: Shadow of the Wolf by Dana Marie Bell (Heart’s Desire #1)

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Shadow of the Wolf by Dana Marie Bell // VBC ReviewShadow of the Wolf (Heart’s Desire #1)
Dana Marie Bell
Published: Sept. 9, 2012 (Samhain)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Amanda

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Chris Beckett and his brothers are under a curse. Wizards who shift into werewolves, each brother must perform a spell to find their mate, and Chris is first up to the plate. He asks for someone of old magical lineage, someone small and dark haired and strong. When Lana Evans turns up on his property, he knows his spell worked.

Unfortunately, he forgot to specify a wizard mate.

Lana comes from a long line of powerful witches, and she’s wary of getting involved with a wizard on any level, never mind being mated to one. While she struggles to accept the mating spell, Chris is under fire from a rival wizard who’d love to see him dead. Mating with Lana means putting her in the line of fire, but when it comes to the Becketts and their mates, nothing will stop them from claiming them.

I loved the combination of shifters and magic in Shadow of the Wolf. Dana Marie Bell does a fabulous job of explaining the difference in how witches and wizards practice magic in clear, concise terms. The animosity and wariness between the two magical practitioners makes it seem like it would be extremely difficult for the two to get along, and at times it is. Lana’s instinctive approach to casting a spell is at odds with Chris’s need to go step by step, his spellcasting linear and almost dictated by logic. When Cole, Chris’s rival from waaaaay back in the day, starts screwing with Chris, Lana interferes by countering a massive spell, leading to a heated argument between Lana and not just Chris, but Chris and his brothers—she could have been killed because, as a witch, she couldn’t have known the extent of the spell she was dealing with.

Chris and Lana don’t spend a lot of time denying their physical attraction to each other. There’s plenty of fun, dirty sexytimes. Their banter is often snort-laughing funny; Lana particularly loves ragging on Chris for being a wolf and treats him like an overgrown puppy at times.

It’s a subtle and detailed world Bell’s built here, drawing definite and invisible boundaries between wizards, witches, and warlocks. Because of these boundaries, though, I had a little bit of a hard time believing how quickly Chris’s brothers accepted Lana as their future sister-in-law. Chris has found his mate, she accepts the wolf, eh, who cares if she’s a witch. And there wasn’t as much tension as I would have liked in the final show down between Chris and Cole. But she does a great job of setting up the next book, and I’m looking forward to getting to know all of the Beckett brothers.

Sexual Content: Graphic sex

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