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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Heart of the Wolf by Terry Spear
Contemporary Paranormal Romance released by Sourcebooks 1 Apr 08

I just happened upon this book, and because I’m a shapeshifter fan, I found I couldn’t resist.  So I picked it up and jumped right in.  I’ve not read Ms. Spear before. I enjoyed most aspects of this book, enough that I will give her another try. She has another shifter book that just released 1 Mar 09, Destiny of the Wolf, so I’ll more than likely be picking that one up too.

I did like the main characters, Devlyn Greystoke and Bella Wilder, though Bella did tend to irritate me just a tad later in the book with her continually doubting Devlyn’s ability to take down the enemy. Other than that, she’s a strong character, worthy of being an alpha wolf’s mate. Devyln and Bella grew up together, even though she’s a red wolf and he’s a gray. She was taken in by his pack when her family was killed in a fire. Reaching her teens, the alpha of the pack, Volan, takes notice of her and is determined to have her. She, however, wants Devlyn but knows that Volan will kill her choice of mates, so she chooses to run instead of seeing Devlyn die.

She’s been on her own for 150 years, living among humans and getting along quite well. There’s been a string of murders of young, red-headed women in the Portland area. When Bella is at her cabin to relax and enjoy the next few days to run free in her wolf form, she comes upon the scent of other red wolves. As she investigates, she’s caught unaware and is tranquilized by a hunter. She ends up in the local zoo as mate for their long-time resident red wolf. As word spreads of the new addition to the zoo, more reds come out of the woodwork to see the female in their midst, but Devlyn also shows up. She’s glad to see him again, but she knows he’s there for her only to take her to Volan.

I enjoyed the scene in the zoo when Bella is listening to a couple of men talk about her and those they’re observing around the wolf enclosure. They keep saying it seems as though she understands them because of her reactions to their words, which, of course, is true though they don’t know it. From this point on there is a lot of action, but it does get weighted down here and there throughout. There’s a lot going on, so you need to be on your toes. The story is two-fold: finding the killer of the area women and also defeating Volan so Devlyn and Bella can be together. The idea behind the murders is interesting and they solve the mystery with savvy investigation and logic.

Fighting the wolf way near the end of the book was actually the best part of the book, along with the love scenes. Devlyn is a large wolf, therefore a large man and a great lover. I wish Bella would have had faith in him much earlier in the book. It’s not until she’s really forced into it that she see what she truly has in him and decides to show him that, finally. The only thing that really kept the grade from going higher is the dialogue in places seemed very stiff and awkward. It’s those places where information needs to be given to the reader and it just doesn’t work very well in a lot of spots.

Other than that, an enjoyable read for shifter fans.

SandyMGrade: B-

While searching for clues of a lupus garou who is killing women in the rainy Portland suburbs, Bella Wilder becomes the hunted. She had run away from the gray pack who had taken her in when she was she young. And she will do so again before the brutish pack leader can have her.
Devlyn Greystoke has a mission—return Bella to the gray pack for safekeeping before she exposes their kind and gets herself killed. But little red wolves are in short supply and high demand and Bella’s determined to be the bait to flush out the killer. Keeping her out of danger is only half the trouble Devlyn encounters as his compulsion to make her his mate grows and she fights being his, fearful the pack leader will kill him.
Volan Smith, the gray alpha leader, claimed Bella when she was young. Now that he has located her, he wants Bella back. And he will stop at nothing to have her.
Read an excerpt. (scroll way down)