BLACK GOLD – Vivian Arend
Tahini Wolves , Book 1
Samhain Publishing -
ISBN: 978-1-60928-709-2
August 2012
Erotic Paranormal Romance

Whitehorse, Alaska – Present Day

Shaun Stevens is working as a bouncer at the Moonshine Pub and enjoying every opportunity he can to get into a fight.  His main job is as a guide and pilot for trips around Alaska, but as a werewolf, his Alpha, Evan, doesn't believe in people not pulling their weight.  As Alpha of the Tahini Pack and owner of the Moonshine Pub, Evan not only tries to keep his pack in line but fight off all the women who would love to become his wife or hang all over him.  When Evan takes Shaun to his office to discuss why Shaun isn't living up to his potential and gives him some “shine”, after a few shots it seems to hit him hard, and Evan ends up taking him to a spare bedroom over the bar and puts him to bed.  All Evan really found out from Shaun is that he is lonely and is waiting for his mate to appear some day.

Gemmita Jacobs has lived a privileged life in Georgia in a close knit pack community where they only shift on special occasions, and her wealthy father wants to keep her out of any trouble and protect her from any problems.  Gem feels like she needs to get away and try to do something by herself far from his influence.  What better place to do her environmental assessment on the Porcupine Caribou herd birthing grounds than in Alaska?  As she flies into Whitehorse, the cabbie taking her to the Moonshine Inn reminds her that she must introduce herself to the Alpha in the area.  Evan runs the Moonshine Pub at the Inn, and when she goes into his office to meet him, she smells something that lets her know that she must be smelling her mate.  After kissing Evan and checking him out, Gem decides he is not her mate, and Evan knows that the only other were that was in his office was Shaun, who is presently sleeping it off upstairs.  When Gem smells that scent again in her room, she opens the connecting door and meets her mate, and wolf instinct takes its course.

The next morning Shaun has no idea what happened the night before, but the beautiful woman in bed with him smells like his mate and calls to all his long-buried instincts.  Life now has a purpose, except this headstrong woman insists on spending a month in the wilderness studying caribou.  When it even seems as if he's trying to tell her what to do, Gem takes offense, and Shaun is constantly walking on pins and needles trying not to make waves…and hoping she never asks him about their first night together.

Meanwhile, Evan as the Alpha is used to women hanging all over him, and Caroline, a human who works at the Moonshine Inn, suggests that she move in with him and pretend to be his girlfriend to keep the women away from him.  Evan knows Caroline is not his mate, and warns her that the wolves can smell whether they are sleeping together or not, and sex must be part of the deal.

I must say Vivian Arend has completely enthralled me with her stories of the shape-shifters in Alaska in Granite Lake Wolves and now Tahini Wolves .  She has a way of making every story interesting, the characters distinct and fascinating, and makes you want to know all about the shifters and their society. Ms. Arend always writes her stories with humor and dialogue that seems effortless.  Told from Gem's and Shaun's points of view, we learn Gem was raised in a very closed environment and is trying to spread her wings and experience life without daddy's help.  Meeting her mate was not in her plans, and she learns she can't now count on living her life as she expected with a mate to consider.  Shaun has felt the yearning in himself for a mate and walks on pins and needles as he gradually realizes Gem wants him to go back to Georgia with him.  He can't imagine leaving his job and his life in Alaska, but having a mate means more than anything to him.

The secondary characters are all special and engaging.  Evan is the Tahini Pack Alpha, and he and Caroline also have a side story that is just as fascinating as Gem's and Shaun's.  Gem's father and her life back in Georgia also play a part in how she sees her life after her project in Alaska.

BLACK GOLD continues the story of the werewolves in Alaska in the Tahini Pack , and totally rocks as you read about each character's story and how they fit in to their pack.  Book 2 in the Tahini Wolves , SILVER MINE, comes out in September 2012, and features another type of shape shifter and is sure to continue the pleasure to be found from this delightful writer.  The Tahini Wolves are definitely habit forming.

CeCe Johns