3.5 star review

Review – Black Gold by Vivian Arend Book 1 Takhini Wolves

Black Gold

Ok, so that cover is not very appealing. Seriously, don’t really look at it. Fortunately for me, this was not my introduction the Vivian Arend, that was Wolf Signs, which enchanted me. This book is the start of the Takhini Wolves series which is a spin-off from the Granite Lake Wolves, to which Wolf Signs belong. Same world and occasional overlapping characters, but a whole different pack.

And I mean this is REALLY a whole different pack; different types of characters, definitely different management styles, and a whole new set of character conflicts. Shaun Stevens is a discontented wolf, although he doesn’t really realize it. So his alpha does what is reasonable (to him), and gets to the root of the problem by getting Shaun all liquored up on moonshine and giving him some pretty good advice. Unfortunately for Shaun, this is when his mate walks right into his life. Gemmita “Gem” Jacobs, is as southern as he is northern, as classy as he is brash, and every bit as dominant of a wolf. She’s not precisely running away, but she is trying to step out from her father’s loving (and smothering) protection. At first these two seem all wrong for each other, but it turns out it is for all the right reasons. And when opposites attract this hard, there are bound to be sparks, and these sparks started quite the blaze.

Overall, this was a really fun story. It was easy to get in the main characters heads, and to like them. Their motivations were clear, and while there were a few small misunderstandings, there weren’t any really big ones. Mostly, this is about two people growing into themselves and finding ways to make their differences into a match that is strong and stable.

There is also a small subplot with the alpha that is used to tie this series together, but it doesn’t over shadow the main romance. And there is a whole section on pack politics and inter-pack politics that serves to set this pack in the wider world and serves as a growth opportunity for Shaun. That sort of stuff I really enjoy, because it makes a paranormal story more than just main characters with a few quirky traits, it sets up a whole different world that I love to explore. And there is a small bit of intrigue that furthers the relationship, but honestly it was a bit of a McGuffin and I just didn’t care because I enjoyed the relationship so much.

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