Also in this series: Compromising Positions , Blood Reign
Series: Highland Wolf Pact #1
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on October 6th 2014
Genres: Historical Romance, Scottish Highlands, Medieval Era, Paranormal Romance, Shape Shifting
Narrator: Dave Gillies
Length: 6 Hours and 47 Mins
Sibyl Blackthorne isn't afraid of anything--except maybe being sold into marriage to a man she doesn't love. A man she's never even met. A man who, by reputation, is one of Scotland's cruelest lairds in over a century.
But what choice does she have, with her father dead and her uncle now married to his brother's widow, putting him in charge of not only the Blackthorne fortune, but Sibyl's future as well?
Then her betrothed turns out to actually be far worse than his reputation, so headstrong Sibyl decides life as a peasant, or even death, would be preferable to a future with such a despicable man, and makes plans to run away.
On an organized hunt for wolves--or, as the Scots call them, wulvers--Sybil escapes her fiancé's clutches, only to find she's run into something far more untamed and dangerous in the middle of the woods.
When a big, brawny, long-haired man, who only speaks to her in Gaelic and calls himself Raife, simply picks her up and carries her off with him into the Scottish wild, Sibyl knows she's in trouble.
When he takes her to a place no human has ever been, she knows she's gone over the edge.
And when he, at last, marks her as his own, she discovers that only one wild heart can claim another.
Note To Readers: This is the extended version with over 10K words of new material and a BONUS epilogue and preview of the SEQUEL.
I stumbled across this book in searching for a Highlander romance in the Audible Romance Package, and I grabbed it up because the blurb sounds so unique and different and even though I hadn’t ever heard of this author before, I am always up for trying out a new author and I was hooked pretty quickly.
The story begins when Sibyl Blackthorne, is betrothed to a Scottish Laird that is rumored to be one of the most cruelest of them all…a man she has never met. But Sibyl has no choice in the matter, and so she attempts to make the best of it. While accompanying her bethrothed on a hunt with his men, she comes across a beautiful wolf trapped in a cage…a wolf that is very close to birthing pups. And learns that her bethrothed is planning on killed this animal cruelly including her pups, and Sibyl has to make a difficult choice. She sees the true character of her betrothed and so she takes quick action….releasing the wolf and shooting her bethrothed with her bow and arrow. She is then rescued by a black wolf and taken to a secret hideaway of caves and she discovered that these aren’t normal wolves…they are known as “Wolvens” part human and part wolf. Sibyl knows that she has no choice but to stay in these caves, because her life is in danger but the longer she spends time with these Wolvens, the more she becomes attuned to them in friendship and feeling a part of their pack including her growing feelings for their leader….Raife.
What a story that this turned out to be and honestly I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did especially when listening to a new narrator and author. However I feel like this book is one of those undermined treasures that gets overlooked. The plot of the story was so fascinating and I was pretty addicted to their romance. The world-building of this story is so superb. It takes place when King Henry VII is in charge, and I found the historical elements really intriguing. There is something so much more fascinating in reading a historical/paranormal mix. Then we have elements of a evil Scottish Laird that is going behind King Henry’s contract with the Wolvens to kill them. We see some build up in politics here especially in the clan politics and I found many dynamics that come into play here.
We also see the difference in the Wolven clan, seeing how well Raife treats his people. He is not only the strongest of them, but he is also the most level headed of them all. He sees the bigger picture and doesn’t react out of rage. He knows how important the pact with King Henry is, especially since he knew how much his parents sacrificed for it to happen and he refuses to let their sacrifice be for nothing. View Spoiler »Basically the “sacrifice” I am mentioning, is that Raife’s mother was raped by the King and Raife was the result. His wolven father knew and raised him with love even knowing what his wife suffered. Because he knew how important peace was. « Hide Spoiler
“King Henry wants lands an’titles, like all the English.”
“What do Scots want?” she asked, glancing over her shoulder. Darrow was far more sure footed than she was.
“A good woman, a warm bed, and food in their bellies.” He grinned at her and she couldn’t help but laugh.”
The romance that builds between Raife and Sibyl was most interesting and one of my favorite tropes. It involves a slow burn romance, with a bit of forbidden love and enemies to lovers. Wolvens and humans don’t like each other at all. And especially Raife’s brother doesn’t like her even though she has saved his mate twice (his mate is the wolf she saves in the beginning of the story) and also it isn’t highly looked upon for the leader of the Wolvens to mate with a human. But Raife has had no interest in a mate until he meets Sybil. And yes this is most definitely a slow burn romance, which I loved seeing because we see their relationship become more through each chapter. But boy does their story mess with your emotions at times. Because they both really like each other and even come to “love” each other, but Raife keeps pushing her away because he isn’t sure that he can have her due to his responsibilities. But basically Raife has to fight for Sibyl and his right to be with the one that he loves. I found I couldn’t put their story down, and seeing them finally fight for each other, even if it is difficult at times for them both emotionally and seeing them finally find that love and claim it was purely satisfying.
“We are what we are. That’s what Raife said and it was true. They simply were. Animals were animals, humans were humans and wulvers were… wulvers. They were all God’s creatures.”
The narration of the story was simply superb….he is very new to me, I have seen his name around a bit among Highlander romance audiobooks such as Vonda Sinclair, Amy Jarecki, Susan King and Madeline Martin. He handled the Scottish Brogue so well and I loved his inflections…they seemed just right. So great job and I will be looking for more books that he has narrated because I was impressed.
I highly recommend this book especially if you are a member of the Audible Romance Package because its a treasure!!!