August 30, 2011

Review: Changeling Dream by Dani Harper

The first thing I thought when I finished this books was, now what? Here I am, reading book two in this fantastic new series and I just realized that the next book comes out next year. I probably should have read the book slower to make it last but I couldn’t put it down. I should admit right ahead that I liked Changeling Moon more, but I found this one to be more addictive and the relationship more intense.

Some years ago Jillian Descharme was brutally attacked. That day a white wolf saved her life and ever since the wolf has been her rock. Dreams and memories of the animal helped her go through the recovery process, through therapy, through school, and through every single major event in her life. Now she’s been dreaming almost every night about him and she knows something major is about to change. Just then she gets a phone call from Connor Macleod offering her a job at his veterinary clinic. She decides to accept it because she figures that the dreams must have been some type of sign. What she doesn’t know is that her wolf is actually a werewolf and that she’s about to find him again.

James Macleod lost his wife almost thirty years ago and ever since then he’s been in wolf form. Suddenly he feels compelled to visit and be near Jillian, and even though he doesn’t understand why both wolf and man are so drawn to her, he can’t fight the compulsion. It is obvious that James and Jillian belong together but the road to happiness isn’t easy and in this case they must fight their own internal issues and an old enemy bent on killing.

This is book two in these series about werewolves living in a remote Canadian town. If you have read the first book you know that Dani’s werewolves are a perfect mix between classic and new. Her werewolves can shift at will but the first shift always comes during the full moon. A werewolf in not invincible but if you inject them with silver nitrate he won´t be able to shift anymore. And if a werewolf bites you, you will become one. Dani has managed to reinvent the myth without completely changing it.

I enjoyed reading about Jillian. She is one of my favorite types of heroines, tough and confident but vulnerable as well. What happened to her was terrible but she came through and she wasn’t a victim. She had a deep love for animals and was committed to her job. I always love to see romance heroines that are independent and strong, and Jillian was exactly that.

I’m not so sure about James though. He lost her pregnant wife and almost his life and just ran away. He hid inside his wolf to stop feeling pain but only managed to cause more hurt to his family. I understand that what happened was a tragedy, and I don’t blame him for trying to cope as well as he could, but thirty years was too much. To me his actions were selfish. I think Jillian was stronger than him and that she was able to deal with things much better than he did, even if she also used the wolf as a coping mechanism. Having said that, he was loyal and loving and he just wanted to protect Jillian (and also himself, but I don’t blame him for it). Even though he was exasperating, I was rooting for him the whole time and I was happy to see him find peace and love. And of course, I had a blast seeing him adapt to human life and fighting with his inner wolf.

My favorite thing about these books is that the supernatural aspect is so perfectly incorporated to the story that it’s almost natural. It made me feel like werewolves were real and out and about living their lives among us. This book felt more like a regular romance than a paranormal romance.

There were a couple of things that bothered me though. The first one is that in the first book there’s a lot of emphasis in the mating bond and how the wolf comes out during sex because he needs to brand his mate, but in this book Jillian and James had no problem getting naked and I’m not sure what happened there. The other thing was the “big reveal”, I can’t say much without spoiling it but I was expecting something different, something less rushed and maybe earlier in the book.

I believe this is a book that fans of paranormal romance and contemporary romance would love. The book stands alone well, there are no spoilers for the first book, but like I always say when it comes to series it’s just best to read them in order, besides this is only book two, so there’s not that much catching up to do. This was a great addition to the series and if you haven’t read these books I don’t know what you are waiting for.

Review by Brie
Grade: 4
Sensuality: McSexy

In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her. It's almost as if he's alive...

Thirty years ago James Macleod lost his wife and unborn child to a killer bent on destroying the Changelings. Though he longed for death, his animal instinct fought for survival and James has been a wolf ever since. Yet now a woman has reawakened the man in him, taming wild instincts but arousing still wilder needs. With his ancient enemy hunting the legendary white wolf, James must fight for new life, new hope, new love.

Kensington; July 1, 2011.

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