Monday, May 20, 2013

4.5 stars for Phantom Wolf!

4.5 stars for Phantom Wolf, my June Nocturne, release date June 4!
“The Phoenix Force miniseries continues with another original story about a very special team of navy SEALs who possess paranormal abilities. In the second book, numerous Mages have opposing views on what action needs to be taken against threats to their kind. Now two individuals must risk their futures and possibility their lives in order to keep the situation from claiming innocents. The gifted Bonnie Vanak has constructed an intriguingly believable world for her supernatural beings, and PHANTOM WOLF is packed with hidden dangers throughout.
When Sam Shaymore and Kelly Denning were much younger, they thought their feelings were more important than what society dictated for their Mage classes. His Elemental Mage status meant he was seen as powerful while those who had Arcane standing like her had very few rights, but they were not going to let their hearts be ruled by these guidelines. Sadly, an unthinkable event was too much for their relationship to withstand and they parted ways.
Both have put their whole lives into their careers and not let anyone get close again. Sam is a navy SEAL on the Phoenix Force team, where his shape-shifting capability plus other talents often comes in handy. Kelly continuously tries to help Mage children, and hearing about the kidnapping of several has her going to rescue them. When her plan does not going according to her wishes, she comes to realize Sam is the only one who can help her. However, he and his teammates have been sent to Honduras to bring her back for not doing as commanded. Kelly tries to make Sam understand the allegations she has made are true, yet much in his life could be lost if he decides to assist her.
Stories where lovers are reunited are some of my favorites, and the emotional ties between Sam and Kelly are some of the strongest I have read. The incident that destroyed their relationship would be difficult for anyone to overcome, and so many of their conversations in the present have a connection to their past. The many disagreements they have over the differences in their classes are often conveyed with extremely earnest feelings, and I certainly felt the serious intensity of each word. The author makes it very clear as to how the perception of someone can cloud the judgment of another person, even when no personal knowledge is actually known. Bonnie Vanak has a knack for creating likable characters, and this couple touched me on so many levels at different times during the story. They made me feel the sadness over what happened in their lives, and some of these moments are especially poignant. When they shed a tear, I wanted to right along with them. There are also several light-hearted scenes, and the one where there is a reversing of roles really had me chuckling because of what they experienced. 
Both of them are very determined and stubborn, and I liked how Kelly never gave in regardless of the circumstances she had to face. She is a gutsy woman with commendable values, and her responses to each new incident had me enjoying her character even more. When she and Sam interact, I came to know him much better, too, and discovered just how much he keeps hidden from others. While they try to make themselves believe the emotional ties between them were severed while apart, it along with their sexual desire is just as strong as in the past. The eagerness they express when sexually intimate is off the scale, and just proves how much they still care. Some twists in the story are unanticipated and took me completely by surprise, proving Bonnie Vanak is skillfully clever. PHANTOM WOLF is constantly entertaining and remarkably fascinating. With so many hunky Phoenix Force team members, there will hopefully be quite a few more books in this enthralling series.”

Amelia Richards for CataRomance

Click here to purchase Phantom Wolf on Kindle.

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