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The Shadow Wolf: The Shadow Wolf\Darkness of the Wolf Mass Market Paperback – August 23, 2011


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373618670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373618675
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,441,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bonnie Vanak is a multi-published author of paranormal and historical romance novels. After a career in journalism, she became a writer for an international charity, traveling to poor countries like Haiti to write about issues affecting the poor. When the strain of her job demanded a diversion, she turned to her childhood dream of writing books. Bonnie lives in Florida with her husband and three rescue dogs. Visit her website at www.bonnievanak.com or email her at bonnievanak@aol.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Please, don't throw us to the wolves.

Icy air blasted Megan Moraine as she pulled open Casa del Sol's etched glass door. The hotel's sprawling lobby gleamed with polished wood and mirrored columns. Beneath the cracked soles of her secondhand tennis shoes, the marble floor sparkled.

Motioning the twins to remain outside in the sticky Florida heat, she scanned for threats. The restaurant here was a safe house, but so was the oceanfront Naples, Florida, mansion they'd visited last night. When Megan had exposed the silver crescent moon birthmark, the homeowner's expression had turned ice cold.

"I don't like Shadows, but I'm generous. I'll give you sixty seconds to leave before I call an Enforcer or send my mate after you," the Draicon werewolf had warned.

Sixty seconds didn't allow enough time to reach the car's hiding spot. Chased by a brutish male waving a meat cleaver, she and the girls raced down the beach. Megan spent the night guarding the twins, two seven–year–old girls who should have been tucked into soft beds instead of curling up on wet sand. As dawn streaked the gray skies, they'd snuck back to fetch the car.

More hostile Draicon could be inside, but she had no choice. Her jeans pocket held a few crumpled dollars. The aging Ford she'd hot–wired was running on fumes. She needed help to reach New Orleans and Alexandre Robichaux. The kindly Draicon secretly gave escaped Shadow Wolves new identities. He wasn't a soulless creature like his legendary Enforcer brother, Gabriel, who liked to make his captives bleed.

The girls' blue eyes widened as they scurried past the hotel lobby into the arched hallway. Megan felt more conspicuous when she saw the restaurant's linen–draped tables and polished silverware. The trick to blending was all in the act. Act like you belong, and people treated you that way. In a voice as impervious as a Palm Beach matron, she asked for seating on the terrace.

Their granite–topped table was half–hidden by a terra cotta planter. The terrace overlooked a lush garden of palms, ferns and tropical flowers. Best, she had a good view of the hotel entrance to eye new arrivals.

A smiling waitress in black trousers and starched white shirt sailed over, pen and pad in hand. Her gaze fell to Megan's right hand.

Damn. Megan clapped her left hand over the birthmark she'd forgotten to cover with cosmetics. She couldn't risk exposing her identity until they knew this was a safe house. But the waitress only smiled.

Megan glanced down at the heavy leather menu and cringed at the dollar signs. "One small glass of milk for them, and water for me, please."

"Cousin Megan, can't we have sausage and eggs?" Jenny pleaded.

"We can share," piped in Jillian.

"Maybe later."

The girls stared at the tabletop. Her heart broke at their crestfallen expressions. I'm doing the best I can. I'm sorry I can't do better.

The waitress hesitated. Megan lifted her chin. "That's all, thanks."

A lump clogged her throat as she studied her young cousins. Hair dye had turned their soft white–blond curls coarse and dull.

Their shoulders were thin, their blue eyes glazed with sleeplessness. The matching strawberry shorts and flowered shirts she'd bought at a thrift shop were faded and ragged. Ever since they'd escaped the island prison, they'd been too quiet, forced to act far too old.

Soon. Sausage and eggs and heaps of whatever you want to eat. If we can just make it until our escort shows up.

Searching for hostiles, Megan scanned her surroundings. Only one customer had looked up at their arrival. The silver–haired man seemed more absorbed in his newspaper. Resentment and old hurt surfaced as she scented Draicon werewolves. Clustered together at a large table, they laughed as they dug into a big plate of sausage. They were her people, yet not.

Why do you hate us so much? We 're not so different.

Not different, but feared, taunted and shunned by ordinary Draicon. Tired of being treated as inferior, Shadow Wolves had retreated to a small Caribbean island to raise their young. Six years ago, rogue Shadows—hoping to force their Draicon brethren into acknowledging them as equals—nearly exposed their race to humans. Worse, they sold their story to a popular American talk show. The program was stopped before it aired and a Draicon with the ability of mind control convinced network executives the story was fake.

Afterward, the influential Council of Draicon feared that all Shadow Wolves wished to embrace sedition and establish a new order. To contain Shadows, they raised a force field around the island. A steep bounty was placed on the heads of any escaped Shadow.

The waitress returned with a tray on her outstretched palms. She set down two large glasses of milk, a mug of steaming coffee, and three plates piled with sausage and eggs. Megan protested. The woman held up a hand.

"Someone canceled an order. Can't let good food go to waste. It's on the house." She winked.

The girls beamed and a chorus of thank–yous followed. Megan swallowed past a sudden lump in her throat at the woman's compassion.

"Thanks," she managed to say.

Caution returned as the waitress scribbled on her pad, then handed the check to Megan. "Enjoy. My name's Mitzi."

When the waitress walked off, Megan read the note. "You're among friends. Remain here and someone will be along to help you get out of shadow."

Even though the code phrase was correct, Megan hedged. There was a fat reward for capturing an escaped Shadow Wolf. Enforcers didn't care if the escapees were beaten and raped before being turned over.

Hot coffee burned her mouth as she took a deep swallow. Megan took a bite of the food. It was delicious, but she had no appetite.

The roar of a powerful motorcycle drew her attention to the hotel entrance. A man parked the Harley, drew off a black helmet and swung a muscled leg over the saddle. Megan's heart raced. The rider's face was permanently stamped into memory from the photos circulated among Shadows of their worst enemies.

Black liquid sloshed as she slammed down her coffee cup. Her mouth opened and closed like a fish gasping for oxygen.

Gabriel Robichaux.

Oh God. She'd walked straight into a trap.

Megan looked around, desperate to escape, but it was too late. If they left now, surely he'd see them. She slid down her seat.

The power and raw charisma he exuded felt like a tornado as he ambled onto the terrace. Tight black leather pants hugged each inch of his rock hard thighs and taut buttocks. A Harley–Davidson T–shirt and steel–toed scuffed boots gave him a dangerous air. Stubble shadowing his angular jaw contrasted with his classical good looks, like a biker with the face of an angel. Dark brown hair curled down to his wide shoulders. His mouth was sultry and mobile. Four women sitting at a nearby table gave him the twice–over.

If they only knew what exactly he was, they'd run away screaming. Draicon, like her. Only not like her. Not Shadow, outcast and shunned. He was an Enforcer, who returned escaped Shadow Wolves to their island prison.

No Shadow ever escaped the powerful Gabriel.

Megan glanced at the girls.

"Jenny, Jilly, remember how I told you Enforcers are the bad ones? How they hunt down our people and return them to the island prison?" When they nodded, she whispered to the girls. They nodded. Plan all set.

Megan sauntered toward the restroom. She had to pass him. Her palms went clammy as she felt him glance in her direction. Peripheral vision caught Mitzi nudging Gabriel.

Palms sweating, she raced into the women's room. Megan drew in a trembling breath. He could inconspicuously follow her in here, but at least she had a few moments.

Bracing her palms on the counter, she studied her reflection. The face in the mirror was strained and framed by dull black hair that hid her natural honey blond. Shadows edged eyes the color of deep lake water. The secondhand clothing was streaked with sand, but at least it wasn't the hated purple tunic Shadows were required to wear.

Megan summoned her magick. Unlike the twins, she was a Halfling and required energy to shift. Her body screamed, the starved cells needing nourishment from rare meat. Burning pain scraped across her raw flesh, but she focused. For the girls, she had to do this, had to become…

Shadow.

As if in slow motion, her hands and arms vanished. Megan squeezed her eyes shut. When she opened them, nothing showed in the spotless mirror.

She was invisible.

Until someone else came to use the restroom, she was stuck. A door opening by itself would raise suspicion.

By now the twins, shadows themselves, would be waiting by the car. Even though they were young, their powers were far more advanced. Come on, come on, Megan silently implored. Someone use the restroom.

The door creaked open and she started forward, then stopped. Her knees felt like cooked spaghetti. Megan trembled wildly.

Hardened with ruthless intent, the face of a male Draicon poked inside. Gabriel.

He entered, looking beneath the stall doors. Stunned, she inched backward until hitting the wall. His nostrils flared as he straightened.

Oh dear heavens, he'd caught her scent.

Panic flared as he strode in her direction with smooth grace and stealth. Gabriel's dark brown eyes widened. They flashed amber, signaling the emergence of his wolf. Her gaze traveled from the chiseled jaw and hollowed cheeks, down to the T–shirt stretched tight over his broad chest, to his long, muscled legs.

Tight leather snugly cupped his bulging sex. Megan acknowledged her sudden flare of sexual interest. Sheer biology. He was the enemy, the one she feared most, but striking in his innate masculinity. The air sizzled between them, the chemistry so intense she couldn't ignore it.

Biting back a hiss, she b...


More About the Author

I'm the author of Egyptian historicals and werewolf paranormal romance novels. You can find excerpts and book information on my website, www.bonnievanak.com

On the self-publishing front, I have a new series called Werewolves of Montana. The books are in order:

Prequel: The Mating Heat, available in Dark & Deadly, 8 bad boys of paranormal romance.

#1 The Mating Chase (Dale and Beth)
#2 The Mating Hunt (Kyle and Arianna)
#3 The Mating Seduction (Jackson and Lexie)
#4 The Mating Rite (Darius and Sam, available May 20)
#4.5 The Mating Intent (Sienna and Gabriel, available June 2014)
#5 The Mating Challenge (Aiden's story)
#6 The Mating Season (Tristan's story)

I also write paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne. The latest mini series is called the Phoenix Force, featuring Navy SEALS with paranormal abilities. Demon Wolf is the last book in that series and will be out June 2014. The first book in that series is The Covert Wolf and is about Matthew Parker, a werewolf who first makes a guest appearance in Taken by the Alpha Wolf. This is the short story where Matt first get the idea to join the Navy and become a SEAL.

I also self-published The Patriot's Conquest, a new, original historical about an American patriot prior to the American Revolution. My backlist Egyptian historicals are now available on Kindle. These are The Falcon and the Dove, The Tiger & the Tomb, The Cobra & the Concubine, The Panther & the Pyramid, The Sword & the Sheath, The Scorpion & the Seducer and The Lady & the Libertine.

For the latest updates, please check out my website at www.bonnievanak.com or check out my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/bonnievanakauthor
Happy reading!

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Customer Reviews

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This is an exciting entertaining read.
Harriet Klausner
She's beautiful and has a few secrets of her own, but the one person she fears the most is Gabriel.
I Heart YA Books
At the end she did what she was supposed to do but for me she has already lost her points.
Marcela - The Bookaholic Cat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jen TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 22, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Megan is part Shadow-Wolf, a breed reviled by the regular werewolves known as Draicons. Her kind are forced to live in exile, on an island, with their powers forbidden. But Megan has escaped and taken her two young cousins with her. She's trying to find the girls' father, in hopes of giving them a better life. But she doesn't get far before Gabriel crosses her path. He is an Enforcer with a reputation to make any Shadow Wolf tremble. But after a short time in his custody, it becomes clear that his reputation is merely a ruse designed to hide the fact that he really a champion to Megan's race. He's been working for years to free her people with an underground railroad he has helped create.

It's hard for Megan to trust him, though. And things get even more complicated when the two of them discover they are really fated mates. That would be enough to deal with all on its own, but Gabriel's organization has been compromised and someone is tracking them, targeting Megan, Gabriel or both of them.

I found I really enjoyed this story... especially first two-thirds of it. Gabriel has a dark secret and some pretty serious self-loathing. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love a tortured hero?) And Megan has such potential to be the one person who can take away his pain and allow him to see the good in himself. She does make a pretty significant blunder that was hard to forgive her for... but these things rarely go smoothly.

There's a big cast of supporting characters, drawing on the obviously rich history of this series. I haven't read any of the previous books, but I didn't feel lost. In fact, I think I'd like to go check out some of the backlist if I ever get my TBR pile under control. A little over 4 stars.

P.S.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I Heart YA Books on August 22, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Megan is a Draicon Shadow wolf. She can turn invisible, which isn't normal Draicon powers. This causes the others to fear Megan's kind.

The Draicon council has put all shadow wolves in prison on Shadow Island. There's no way Megan can raise her two twin cousins in this prison. She escapes and is on the run with her two seven year-old cousins, Jillian and Jennifer, trying to get to a safe house. Gabriel--an Enforcer working for the Draicon council whose job is to go after runaways--brings them back to prison. Gabriel is gorgeous and sexy and dangerous. He carries a dark secret, which means he can't claim a destined mate, because she'd become one in power, spirit, and body with him. Gabriel's okay with this, until he meets Megan. She's beautiful and has a few secrets of her own, but the one person she fears the most is Gabriel. As fate would have it, these two are destined to be mates, but neither one is ready to surrender their fears, trust issues, or heart. If they can overcome, their love has the power to set all the shadow wolves free.

The Shadow Wolf is a steamy, hot romance, but it's also a heartwarming love story. Gabriel and Megan had me biting my nails for them to get together. And another thing I love about Gabriel is seeing his love for the twins. It just makes him even sexier. The Shadow Wolf is a beautiful love story that I would recommend as a must read for all who love Paranormal Romance. I also love the book cover and there is a novella at the end about Guy and Kayla's love story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DEBRA on November 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Books great short to the point great story line! Characters easy to fall for needed to have a bit more detail about the small child but good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christine on September 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Vanak's story incorporates all the best of paranormal romance along with several clichés. Overall, the story is smoothly written but halts here and there with writing that is so dramatically over the top it feels like a day time soap opera. The main characters are typical including the sexy experienced lone wolf male (replete with cowboy hat) who only needs to find his mate in order to solve all his problems and conversely the young virginal female who will be forever completed by sexually bonding with her destined mate. Vanak liberally sprinkles the book with "Cajun French" and at time it becomes a distraction.

Vanak shines when creating her world and explaining the mythology around it. Shadow wolves, draicon, demons, vamps, fae, morphs - the list is long and intriguing. I quite enjoyed learning about the rules that governed the supes in her novel. I regret that the end of the novel was so trite but clearly Vanak favors big happy endings. As a side note, I wish Vanak had addressed the issue of birth control and STDs in her novel especially since it was so full of sex.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MNix on January 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Shadow Wolf
Megan Moraine just escaped Shadow Island with her two twin young cousins. Megan and her cousins are shadow wolves. Shadow wolves are considered the blight of the Draicon wolf society and they are kept on Shadow Island far away from the world. Megan can no longer take the mistreatment from the guards and devised an escape plan. All she has to do once off the island is contact someone from the secret underground network that helps shadow wolves. She never counted on her contact turning out to be her mate.

Gabriel is well known as an Enforcer. It is his job to catch the escaped shadow wolves but everything is not as it seems. Gabriel is actually with the network helping escaped shadow wolves and he's there to help Megan. However, Megan is reluctant to believe he's here to help her. Gabriel will have to convince Megan he's good while hiding a dark secret that could cause everything to go up in flames; all while battling the need to mate with the beautiful woman.

Suspense and spice make The Shadow Wolf an irresistible read! The Shadow Wolf is an exciting pulse-pounding read. From page one you are taken on a non-stop thrill ride as Megan and the twins try to escape capture and decipher who to trust. Gabriel is terrific as the dark and brooding hero. As Gabriel and Megan meet it's impossible not to feel the amazing chemistry between these two heroes. I really enjoyed this story. It is thrilling and fresh. This is the first book in the series for me and I can't wait to go back and read what I've missed. The Shadow Wolf can be read as a stand-alone. I didn't have any problems following this clever story. Gabriel and Megan's sizzling romance combined with Bonnie Vanak's action packed plot will keep you glued to the pages of The Shadow Wolf!

Miranda
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