All right folks… I recently had the privilege of receiving not only one, but two books from Dani Harper’s Changeling series for review, and let me tell you… after all the buzz I’d heard about these ones, I was pretty excited. However, don’t get ahead of yourself—there’s good and bad here, so I’m going to combine the reviews on these and put them together in this one post.
That way, when you hit the bookstore, you’ll know which one to pick up and which one to leave behind (see what I did there??? it’s like a spoiler alert for my own review post… aww yeah…).
Got your wishlist handy? A’ight, here we go:
by Dani Harper
Release Date: May 2011
He roams the moonlit wilderness, his every sense and instinct on high alert. Changeling wolf Connor Macleod and his Pack have never feared anything — until the night human Zoey Tyler barely escapes a rogue werewolf’s vicious attack.
As the full moon approaches, Zoey has no idea of the changes that are coming, and only Connor can show her what she is, and help her master the wildness inside. With her initiation into the Pack just days away and a terrifying predator on the loose, the tentative bonds of trust and tenderness are their only weapons against a force red in tooth, claw . . . and ultimate evil.
I liked this one! Plain and simple. It took me a little while to get into the writing—Harper has a very distinct cadence that didn’t feel quite natural at first—but I ended up being drawn into the story and characters. Even if the word “wolf” shows up on every page. You know when you were five years old and decided to repeat the same word a hundred times in a row and eventually it didn’t even sound like a word anymore? Yeah. That. Wolf. Wolf wolfy wolf. Wolferoo.
But, WOLF aside WOLF from that (wolf), I really liked the main character of Zoey. She was strong, determined, and yet had enough flaws to make her vulnerable—and therefore relatable. The love interest was manly and capable, and readers are able to see moments of weakness that allow us to really cheer him on. I wanted the main characters to be together—the spark between them was clear from their first meeting, and the journey from meeting to full fledged romance is interesting and sweet without being tedious.
If you’ve read my reviews before, you know I have a low tolerance for cheesy romance. Thankfully, there was enough meat to the story and plot (and the characters themselves) that I was able to enjoy the story along with the natural progression of the romance. I didn’t care for the sex scenes, but thankfully they were few (and not unexpected, considering the genre).
So, naturally, when I found out there was another book in the series, I eagerly picked it up to begin reading. However…
by Dani Harper
Release Date: June 2011
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.
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.
…yeah… plot? Not so much. Enjoyable characters? Not exactly. Story before sex? Heck no.
James Macleod is incredibly broody… Jillian Descharme is ridiculously dense when it comes to men and apparently has absolutely no sense of self-preservation (which doesn’t make logical sense considering her tragic past). This book meanders along without a real villain or sense of direction until the “climax” at the end (though there are plenty of “climaxes” throughout, if you know what I mean… sigh) which seems tacked on, like “oh yeah, we need to have something bad happen and some kind of resolution… okay, here’s a gun and an angry dude, *ta-da*!”
And if you didn’t get my not-subtle-in-any-way hint in the previous paragraph, the book just seems to glide from sex scene to sex scene, without particular concern for story. It was frustrating, and I felt like I was reading a different book from a different author. Not to mention my disappointment that we’d switched main characters from the first book. I wanted more Zoey and Connor!!!
Ultimately, I don’t know if I’ll read the third book. I might page through it in hopes that it’s more like the first, but I’ll put it down quickly if it doesn’t go anywhere. But I would definitely recommend Changeling Moon to fans of paranormal romance, if you can get used to Harper’s writing style and accept the fact that you’ll never read the word ‘wolf’ again without wanting to gouge your eyes out.
Verdict: Read book one, leave book two on the shelf.
About the Author
Dani Harper, author of Changeling Moon, writes paranormal romance, blogs about the paranormal, watches paranormal TV and movies, and reads paranormal books of almost any kind. So it’s only natural that werewolves, faeries, ghosts and other supernatural creatures populate her stories. She lives on an island in Southeast Alaska with her fisherman husband. Her stories get written on land or at sea with the help of her executive secretary, Fiona the Pug.