Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Heart of the Highland Wolf

Heart of the Highland Wolf (Heart of the Wolf - Book 7) by Terry Spear

Publication Date: June 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: Paperback, 416pp
ISBN-13: 9781402245527

(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

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Synopsis (Book Blurb):


Modern day werewolf laird Ian MacNeill reluctantly allows a film production company to use his castle, but he knows his secretive clan has a big problem when a beautiful red werewolf female who insists she's working on the film keeps showing up in the wrong places...


Julia Wildthorn is not who she says she is - she's sneaking into Argent Castle to steal an ancient relic for her grandfather and to do some research for her next werewolf romance novel. When she catches a glimpse of Ian, she realizes he's the perfect hero...


Terry Spear once again thrills fans with the latest addition to her award-winning Heart of the Wolf series. Heart of the Highland Wolf takes place in Scotland and has everything from werewolves to castles and film crews. Fans of Spear will fall in love with new Highland characters that will expand the series in a new direction. Spears attention to detail and superb research skills give this book an authentic feel. Readers will love the details of wolf pack dynamics and Scottish clan loyalties. A great new paranormal romance!

Highland laird, Ian MacNeil finds himself and his clan up to their ears in debt and taxes after a bad investment scheme has left them nearly bankrupt. The clans ancestral home in the Caledonian Forest, Argent Castle is the perfect place to hide the fact that the clan is actually a gray werewolf pack until a movie production company comes calling. Ian realizes that this may be his only chance to save his home by allowing them to film a movie in the castle, but he doesn't have to like it. Julia Wildthorn, American red werewolf and romance writer has journeyed to Scotland with her friend Maria, a part of the movie crew. She has two motives for coming along for the ride. With deadlines looming she needs new inspiration for her next werewolf romance novel and her grandfather has charged her with finding and returning a family relic that remains hidden in Argent Castle. But when she and Ian collide there worlds will never be the same. How are they tied together by the past? What's in the mysterious box?

Author Terry Spear once again gives readers what they want. Her highly successful Heart of the Wolf series has proven that shape-shifters are characters that readers want to read about, especially werewolves. Spear uses her in depth research into wolf and pack behavior to create an authentic feel to the book that readers will pick up on immediately. She understands the need for readers to believe that this sort of thing is possible and to be able to identify with the characters she has created. I really enjoy the way that Spear injects the pack mentality into everything her werewolf characters do. Another thing I find particularly interesting is the fact that Spear's werewolves can be born or made. She takes a werewolf myth and expands and changes it somewhat, and to me at least, makes it a lot more appealing than most werewolf novels.

In this addition to the series, Spear takes on the Highland clans. Being of Scottish descent myself, I was very happy to see the way this book was going. Apparently Spear has Highland ancestry as well and it comes across in her writing. I found her writing about the inner workings of a clan just as interesting as her writing about pack dynamics. The seemed to intertwine very well in her writing and she was able to give readers a sense of history and wistfulness. It was a very good marrying of two groups. The Laird of the clan being much like the Alpha male in a wolf pack. I always look to see how a writer interprets Highland customs and traditions and the overall attitude of the Scottish people and in my opinion Spear pulls it off with flying colors.

Ian and Julia make a very good couple. He is the strong lead character that is necessary with a werewolf novel. He is the epitome of heroes. Strong and courageous and not afraid to admit when he is wrong. She on the other hand is creative and determined and full of tenacity and grit. Quite a pair. The love scenes are steamy and frequent and readers who enjoy the romance of a book, will swoon a bit over this one. Spear has a real knack for writing steamy love scenes. It adds a lot of spice to the book and the chemistry between them just sizzles off the pages. Very hot!

The whole idea of family secrets and boxes from the past and finding relics is important to the story, but not essential in my opinion. It provided some interesting circumstances in which to find the main characters and gives Julia a one plausible excuse to stow away with the production crew, but I liked the romance writer angle a little better. I love it when a writer makes one of her or his characters a novelist as well. But, that's somewhat difficult to pull off. Readers who are familiar with Spear's other books in the series will remember Julia from previous books and it seems only natural that she gets her own story with this one.

Spear has written each book in the series to function on its own as a stand alone and that makes all the difference with a big series like this one. Readers can just pick up anywhere within the series and not be a big disadvantage, though I think they miss out on some of the nuances of the story if they haven't read them all.

I would recommend this one to paranormal romance fans, werewolf and wolf enthusiasts alike and to anyone who loves a good steamy romance. There is a lot to offer the reader in this book and in the entire series. It certainly not one you want to miss!

Heart of the Highland Wolf is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

This one definitely gets 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag! One of my favorite book series' that I've ever read.

An award-winning author of paranormal and medieval romantic suspense, Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She's a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and has an MBA from Monmouth University. She also creates award-winning teddy bears. Wilde & Woolly Bears, that are personalized and designed to commemorate authors' books. When she's not writing or making bears, she's teaching online writing courses.

Her family has roots in the Highlands of Scotland where her love of all things Scottish came into being. Originally from California, she's lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas.

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