ARC Past My Defenses by Wendy Sparrow – 4 Stars

Past My Defenses (Taming the Pack, #1)Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book #1 in the Taming of the Pack series, pub date June 23, 2014

I received this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review

Book Synopsis:

Vanessa is the fastest Lycan around. In wolf form, the only threat she can’t outrun is her allergies. After a feline dander-bomb takes her down, she wakes up naked in a cage staring at a hot park ranger who had no idea what he’d trapped. But ooooh, he smells so good. Mine.

Dane hoped to tame the silver wolf in his kennel, but all bets are off with the deliciously sweet Vanessa on two legs. Her temper makes his pulse race, and he can’t escape the feeling they belong together.

They’re hot as a forest fire even before they scent-match, but Glacier Peak’s Alpha considers Dane a danger to the pack. Meanwhile, Lycans are being poached, and Vanessa has been targeted. Dane will have to keep her close to protect her, but with Vanessa in heat and mad to mate, who will protect him


My Review:

I’d like to start off by saying I wish this book had a different cover.  There is something about the cover that didn’t click for me.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I almost didn’t request it over at Net Galley.  Then once I was approved for the title, that cover held me off again from starting it right away and it almost got pushed back in my to-read list.  I double checked the release date and decided I needed to start irregardless of how drawn to it or not.  The synopsis and cover just didn’t match up for me, I think.   The description lead me to believe it was going to be a funny light-hearted read, and the cover was all dark and brooding.

I’m so glad I decided to not judge a book by its cover and requested the title.  It was a blast to read.  Filled with a great mix of humor, witty come backs, great chemistry, a suspenseful mystery to be solved and a killer to be stopped.  For those paranormal romance lovers out there what it wasn’t filled with was lots of sex.  Plenty of teasing, but I don’t think I read one steamy scene in the whole book.  To me that was fine.  I read a lot of books classified as romance and perhaps I am getting tired of the sex scenes. (Gasp!  Say it ain’t so!  Calm down.  I think I just need a break for a while.)  Quite frankly I think the story didn’t need them.  The build up and bringing together of these two was interesting and fun enough.  I didn’t feel gypped by not reading about their time in the sack.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I am definitely going to be checking into more of her titles.  This was a fun ride.  Interesting set up and world she has created.  I am so glad that this is going to be part of a series.  Much of the story centered around Vanessa and Dane, but there was almost but not really a love triangle with Jordan the Alpha.  The story didn’t end so well for him and I would love to see him get his own book.  The chemistry was not only good between the two love birds but with Dan and Jordan.  Sure they were practically at each other’s throats the entire book, but I think there is a budding bromance in their future, especially if Jordan finds his own love.

We don’t learn a lot about the Were world here, like Dane we were kept in the dark a bit.  I hope that in future books we get to explore more of the pack structure and rules.  I don’t need a lot of details, but it would be nice to see behind the curtain a bit more than we did.

Only other complaint that I had was about Vanessa.  I understand it was part of her character to be this way, but I wish she had not doubted herself so much.  It got a bit annoying after a while.  Most of the time she was this tough werewolf with a smart mouth, then she would get all wrapped up in her head and over think everything.  I wish she would have had a bit more confidence at times.  Then again it did give her room to grow, but man sometimes I just wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her to stop over thinking.

This was a great read.  Surprised me quite a bit.  If you are a fan of Patricia Briggs, Molly Harper, Jacqueline Rhoades, Lynsay Sands, or Kerrelyn Sparks you might want to give this one a try too.



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