DARK WOLF – Kate Douglas
The Spirit Wild Series, Book 1
Kensington Aphrodisia
ISBN-13: 978-0-78822-8518-9
May 2013
Erotic Paranormal Romance

San Francisco, California; Kalispell, Montana – Present Day

Sebastian Xenakis is the son of Aldo Xenakis, a very rich and powerful wizard.  Hidden from Aldo by his mother, it was only after she died a year ago that Sebastian found his birth certificate and discovered who his father was.  Just learning his own power, Sebastian still can't find any aura around his father like everyone else has, but he has one advantage over his father; he can shape shift.  Unlike most shape shifters, Sebastian must draw the energy to shift from nature, and especially trees.  Lately his father has been acting differently, and Sebastian wonders whether it has something to do with the murder and rape of young women in San Francisco and Montana, both areas where the Chanku shape shifters live.  Just recently people have started to accept the Chankus, and with the murdered women's necks being torn out like a wolf would do, people might begin to think the Chankus are behind it, especially with his father going public and inciting people against them.  Sebastian can't figure out why Aldo insists he go to a reception honoring the CEO of the largest import business in San Francisco, Anton Cheval.  Aldo insists Sebastian go in his stead and meet Anton's daughter Lily, who is representing her father at the reception.  He's not sure why, but when he first sees Lily, it seems he enters her mind, until he feels a sharp pain go through his head, straight to Lily, and immediately causes her to collapse.  What a way to meet!

Lily Cheval is CEO of Cheval International, one of the businesses of Chanku Global Industries, started by her father Anton.  Lily and her family are Chanku shape shifters, and while most prefer the wolf shape, they are also able to shift into any other shape.  The only thing that gets Lily a little cranky is when her father tries to talk to her through her mind, and if she doesn't let him in it gives her a headache.  That night, there is a reception for her father where she will be representing him as he is away in their stronghold in Kalispell, Montana.  As she enters the reception she locks eyes with a particular man, and then a blinding bolt of power causes her to collapse.  When she meets Sebastian Xenakis, she is immediately attracted to him and decides he must come home with her that night.  He then leaves early in the morning before she wakes up, and everyone soon finds out another woman was murdered and raped early that morning…could it have been Sebastian?

Lily goes back to Montana to see who could be behind these murders and whether it is a Chanku who is responsible, but Lily had gone to one of the murder sites as a wolf, and now knows well the scent of the murderers, and knows it's not one of her group.  Sebastian also is worried that whatever is going on with his father, he could be behind some of the murders.  But most importantly, Sebastian wants to apologize for leaving Lily that morning, and to meet her father and let them both know he is serious about Lily and what he feels for her.  Lily's friend and sometime lover Alex is important to her, and the Chanku lifestyle includes other couples and romantic connections that strengthen the group.  Sebastian and Lily and the entire group must protect themselves from what is happening, and will eventually use all their abilities to save their lives and protect themselves from those who mean them harm.

Secondary characters are all members of the Chanku group, especially Alex Aragat, Lily's special friend since birth who lives in Kalispell and is Pack liaison with law enforcement about the recent murders.  Annie is a member of the pack that had spent years in Europe, and she's just recently came back to visit her parents.  She loved Alex from afar all her life, and now it seems even Alex is aware of the vibes between them.  And the evil man who might be behind the cruel murders and rapes is Aldo Xenakis, Sebastian's father and wizard.  Anton Cheval is head of the Cheval Clan and is trying to find out who is committing the murders and rapes before one of his group is accused or all the humans rise up against all the Chankus.

DARK WOLF is the first book in the Spirit Wild series.  There are other stories of the Chankus, and while I have not read them, I could easily step into their world without feeling as if something was left out.  The murders are solved, but I feel there are many more stories waiting for the Chankus and their group of shape shifters and those who love them.  These are totally different shape shifters from others I have read about and will show you a different side of their world.  Take a ride on the wild side and grab DARK WOLF and immerse yourself in Lily and Sebastian's story.

Cece Johns