Dark Wolf Running (Bloodrunners)
Author: Rhyannon Byrd
Publisher: Harlequin/Harlequin Nocturne
Date of Publication: December 3, 2013
With his sharp gaze locked on the most magnificent female he’d ever seen, Wyatt Pallaton did his best to hold himself back. Of course, Elise Drake was hardly just any female. Fiery and cool, strong, yet at the same time achingly vulnerable, she’d turned his entire world on its head.
No matter how bloody difficult it proved to be, he was done letting her pretend he didn’t even exist. Done with letting her fight her own battles. Done driving himself slowly into this maddening state of frustrated desire. One way or another, things were about to change.
Come hell or high water, she was done running….
How on earth did I not find this woman’s work before now? Okay, that’s easy enough – I don’t routinely scour the category romance section in bookstores on the rare occasion I go to one these days (don’t judge – I don’t get to escape the family very often and it’s impossible to read/browse with two toddlers running around). But wow, I’m so glad I have now!
First the world-building. This was awesome. Set in the real world (at least so I presume), but a completely separate community from it in a way. I liked the werewolf communities and the idea of rival/enemy packs. The concept of the Blood Runner (half-breed werewolves who have to earn the right to be considered part of the pack by killing a specific number of pack enemies) is great, and I found it believable that wolves would have such a requirement.
Wyatt – a strong guy and Blood Runner, who did have a tendency to be too strong, at least as far as El was concerned (he liked to give her orders about where she’s going to stay). However, when it came to dealing with her intimacy issues (she was raped 3 years before this book), he was incredibly patient and determined not to make things worse. I loved him for this. He has a tragic story in his past and I ached for him when his secret was finally revealed.
El – very strong in that she’s fought back against the nightmare that happened to her. She has lost touch with her inner wolf since the rape, and fears she might never get it back, and because of that, she doesn’t believe she’ll ever have a family of her own. But as we find out, don’t mess with El’s loved ones. She’ll kick your butt. I liked how, once Wyatt got past her initial barriers, she was just as aggressive about sex as he was, without too many shadows of the nightmare. She wouldn’t just let her brother or Wyatt lock her away despite the clear threat against her, although she did have a stupid moment after her house burns. But, I’ll forgive her that because of her emotional distress – we all can do stupid things when we’re upset.
Wyatt and El were fantastic together. I loved them as a couple, and how they grew individually and as a couple in this book.
There were two plot lines (beyond the growing romance) in this book – one a continuation (I presume) of the series arc, the growing isolation of the Silvercrest pack (they’ve been top, er, wolf for a while) as its rivals sense potential weakness and strive to exploit it now that the pack’s evil leader was dealt with (El’s father), and the truth behind the assault on El. Both were handled with commendable skill and found adequate resolution. I say adequate because the series plot didn’t wrap up of course, but it did have a conclusion as far as it tied in with the secondary plots.
Now I have to go back and find other books in this series, along with watching out for the next one. Thanks, Harlequin & Ms. Byrd!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.