26 January 2014

Review: Three stars for Kate Douglas’ Spirit Wild series that explores the sexy, suspenseful world of the Chanku shifters

I love a good erotic romance. Throw in some paranormal elements and I’m even happier. When I received Kate Douglas’ Dark Moon (Spirit Wild Book Two) for review from her publisher, I was aware that it would have adult content. Knowing it was the second book in a series, I tracked down Dark Wolf (Spirit Wild Book One) to read first.

I really, really enjoyed Dark Wolf. I’d never read Douglas’ paranormal romances about the shapeshifting Chanku, so this was a totally new world to me. Both the romance between the two main characters (Lily and Sebastian) and the suspense-filled story as they track down a rapist-murderer was engrossing. I was surprised to find that “adult” in this case meant not just pretty explicit sex scenes, but foursomes. However it was all handled naturally within the story and never felt like it was sex for just the sake of titillation.
That said, I can’t make the same statement about book two, Dark Moon. Igmutaka, a Chanku Spirit Guide, and his former charge Star get together as well as Igmutaka’s lover Sunny and her new found mate. Then they all get together and have sex - and have a lot of sex. As Igmutaka says at one point, it’s not that they're bisexual or homosexual - the Chanku are just sexual. Yes, got that.

And my problem with book two isn’t the Chanku sexuality, I enjoyed it in book one, but the fact that the story of Dark Moon seemed to take a back seat to the sex scenes. This, in my opinion, moved this book from the “erotic” to the “erotica” shelf.

As a dear friend said, who loved 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy, “I just started skipping the sex scenes. When you’ve read one, you’ve read them all.”

I burst into laughter at her statement, but do admit that when sex seems to dominate the story, I’ll start skipping pages. I know authors spend a great deal of time writing these scenes, and for most, I won’t skip. But when it’s just sex? Or when it all starts to sound and look the same? The pages of the Kindle just fly by pretty much unread till the "story" recommences.

In all honesty, I have to say that the pages Dark Moon flew by at an alarming rate. There is a sub story to the sex scenes that deals with another set of related killers to those from the first book who are preying once again on the Chanku. But it seemed such an afterthought that I barely realized it was there.

Now, my ultimate test for a book. Would I read this again? No. Would I recommend it to a friend. Well that depends. It’s well written and if my friend likes paranormal erotica - absolutely. It’s just not to my own personal taste. Frankly, I think I was most disappointed as I had really enjoyed Dark Wolf: 1 (Spirit Wild Book One) and wanted to know more about the Chanku. I didn’t feel the second book really elucidated that much.

Would I read other books in this series? Absolutely! In fact, I would like to go back and read the earlier series that dealt with many of the characters who serve as parents to this generation of Chanku. In addition, Douglas has just published another title in this series, Dark Spirit (Spirit Wild Book Three), that I’m curious about.

In conclusion, I’m awarding three stars for Kate Douglas’ Spirit Wild series that explores the sexy, suspenseful world of the Chanku shifters.








My individual ratings for the two books are: 

Four stars to Kate Douglas’ Dark Wolf: Spirit Wild Book One





Two stars to Kate Douglas' Dark Moon: Spirit Wild Book Two





From the Publisher



Spirit Wild Book 1
Dark Wolf by Kate Douglas
Kensington Books
ISBN 0758288182
Price $15.00
Publication Date: April 30, 2013

"Kate Douglas is definitely NOT for the timid reader." --Anne McCaffrey, New York Times bestselling author

It is a new beginning for the Chanku. For so long they kept their shapeshifting ability secret, but now they have assimilated into the world in ways they once never thought possible. Still there are those who want to destroy them, with dark powers of their own. . .

A Bold New Beginning
The CEO of Cheval International, Lily Cheval chooses to live alone, but a series of rapes and murders leave her wary and worried for her fellow Chanku. Then she meets Sebastian Xenakis and the connection is intense and immediate. The son of a charismatic cult leader, Sebastian is a mysteriously sensual man who uses magic to shift into wolf form. He and Lily come together in a moment of supreme ecstasy, succumbing to a primal passion that leaves Lily shaken but utterly alive. Is Sebastian her lifetime mate or is he her worst enemy?



Spirit Wild Book 2
Dark Moon by Kate Douglas
Kensington Books
Kensington
Pub Date Jan 28 2014
ISBN 9781617734748
Price $15.00

Edgy and intense, infused with sensuality and danger." --Jayne Ann Krentz

Shapeshifting creatures of amazing strength and sensuality, the Chanku now live openly all over the world. Yet the primal power of the pack beckons, calling each one home to surrender to pure pleasure. . .

Return To Surrender

Igmutaka is her Spirit Guide and protector. But Star desires so much more. She wants to take him as her mate. Years away have not diminished her craving for him and so she is returning home, to face the past and experience the exquisite rapture that only one of her kind can give.

Despite the passion she and Igmutaka share, Sunny knows she has yet to find her one true mate. And when she comes upon carnage in the forest and sees the massive wolf standing proud before her, she wonders if this is the one who will finally satisfy all her carnal needs. . .