I'm thrilled to be part of the tour for the first book in a new NA paranormal series by Alyssa Rose Ivy - the Dire Wolves Chronicles.
Published September 15, 2014
Format: e-book, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: new adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * iTunes
Rating: 3.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) Gage was the first guy I ever wanted. He was my first crush and my first fantasy, but he wasn't my first in any other way because he never saw me as anything more than a friend— at least not until the night that changed everything.
It was all Gage's fault. He insisted we drive through the storm and take the back roads. By the time the storm hit full force we had no chance. One night of snowbound sex changed our relationship forever. The problem was at the same time I caught another guy’s attention. This other guy happened to be the alpha of a pack of shifter wolves. I thought the wolves were the worst of my problems, but I was wrong. When things went from bad to worse I had to make a lifelong sacrifice to save Gage, but what price is too much to save the one you love?
I've been seeing more and more new adult books branching out into genres other than contemporary. Dire was a perfect example. It's an edgy, sexy shifter story that verges on creepy at times. It was an interesting combination.
Mary Anne is in heaven. She is riding home from college with the object of her desire, Gage. Then, in a blizzard, his truck goes off the road in a remote area, and they are trapped. After making the most of their predicament for a day or so, they realize they can't stay, and instead leave the truck and try to find help. And, just like that, heaven becomes hell. Mary Anne and Gage find mysterious Hunter and his "friends." They treat Mary Anne like a queen and Gage like he's scum. And, they won't let either of them leave. The explanation of why soon becomes apparent when they all turn into wolves. But, Mary Anne and Gage have formed a dedication to each other, and to getting out. Success, though, is harder then they ever thought it would be.
In all the shifter stories I've read, there's a hunky alpha male that has this sexy, take charge attitude that is just so alluring and hot. It's impossible to resist, and I get why female after female falls at the feet of men like that. In Dire, Hunter is absolutely that alpha male that I usually love. He's hot and super protective and extra attentive to Mary Anne's needs. He seems willing to promise her just short of the world if she would be his.
All that just made him that much more confusing, though.
See, Hunter may be hot and protective and attentive, but he's holding Mary Anne and Gage prisoner. As in, refusing to let them leave and even tell their families they're alive. It's clear from the beginning that Mary Anne isn't into him like that, and yet, Hunter forces her to stay in his bed. To be fair, he sleeps on the floor, but he does remain in the room. It was... weird. And, creepy. And it absolutely did nothing to endear him to me at all.
And, then there was Gage. Dire was told in dual POV - Mary Anne's and Gage's. We see from the beginning that he likes Mary Anne. He's not passionately in love with her, but he thinks she's nice and really pretty. After they hook up in his truck and then are kidnapped by a pack of werewolves, though, his feelings for her change. He has them for real. And, he never, ever abandons her. He does all he can to protect her too, so in his way, Gage was just as alpha male as Hunter was. He just didn't turn into a big dog every now and again.
The reader has a lot of time to spend in Gage's head before we even meet Hunter. So, there was plenty of time for me to fall in love with him. He and Mary Anne made such a great couple. But, when they met up with Hunter and his pack, Gage was figuratively cut off at the knees. It was incredibly frustrating. I felt terrible for Gage.
And, this was the really hard thing for me. I'm used to the alpha male shifter being the hero of the story. And, truth be told, there's a lot about Hunter that could make him the hero. But, there's also Gage. I kept expecting him to do or say something that would bring out his true asshat colors, but that never happened. So, I'm confused. Which is the right guy? The sexy, take-charge, alluring shifter or the sweet, weaker, dedicated jock?
The end of Dire was chock full of twists and turns that I didn't expect. And, the last few paragraphs brought about a HUGE event that will undoubtedly shape all the events of the last two books in this trilogy. It was shocking and the implications will be big.
Alyssa Rose Ivy's writing is fantastic. I was kept on the edge of my seat, and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. And, after the cliffhanger at the end of Dire, that's especially true. This was an exciting, suspenseful book peppered with sexiness. It has a few pretty hot moments that broke up the feeling of unease you have through most of it. I can't wait to see where the rest of the series goes from here!
A single howl made me stop short. “The wolves!”“Let’s hope they are farther away than they sound.” Gage tightened his hold on my hand and pulled me forward.Three more howls filled the night. “They sound closer.”We picked up the pace, and I chanced a glance behind me. That was a mistake. Several large grey wolves came into view. “Run!”Gage didn’t need to be told twice. He broke into a run without letting go of my hand.I ran as fast as possible over the frozen snow, but we didn’t get far before the wolves started circling around us. “Oh my god.” Could things get any worse?“You have to make a run for it.” Gage’s voice quivered. “They’re going to kill us.”“I’m not leaving you.” I tried to stay strong, and I kept my eyes locked on the wolves. There were five of them. All of them were massive, much larger than any wolf I’d seen before, but one of them was even bigger and had a large silver streak running down its back. That wolf seemed to be staring right at me.“I’ll distract them. You run. I’ll catch up.”I spotted an opening next to one of the smaller of the wolves and went for it. I didn’t make it far before one of the wolves stepped in front of me. I froze, paralyzed with fear, before my legs were knocked from under me. Suddenly, I was lying in the snow with a giant wolf hovering over me.“We’re fucked.” Gage voiced exactly what I was thinking.The silver streaked wolf stared down at me. It’s almost glowing eyes bored into mine. Was I really going to die as half-frozen food for a giant wild animal?Then things got hazy and the air seemed to buzz. Moments later it wasn’t a wolf on top of me—it was a man. A completely naked man with a faint scar across his face.“What the heck?” I tried to scurry back, but Hunter didn’t move. His very exposed parts nearly touched me. I didn’t want to notice his size, but I did. He was huge. He also didn’t look remotely concerned with the cold.His lips brushed against my ear. “Were you going somewhere?”
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