I’m so pleased to be part of the Cloaked in Fur Blog Tour, hosted by Bewitching Book Tours! Please keep reading below for my review of Cloaked in Fur, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end for some very cool wolf goodies!
Cloaked in Fur
Genre: Paranormal Suspense with strong romance elements
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Date of Publication: August 5, 2013
Number of pages: 149
Word Count: 73,000 approx.
Cover Artist: Stephanie Hannus
As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.
A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature. She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.
In a word: a gripping story with unusual world-building, descriptive writing that plunges the reader into Walsh’s world, a dangerous romance and an exotic setting.
Cloaked in Fur has so many elements that made it successful for me, and I’m glad I had a chance to read this very different werewolf story. Walsh has obviously researched wolf behavior, and she incorporates it nicely into the story by letting her wulfkin characters behave as wolves in a pack, even when they are in human form. Set in Romania, the story jumps right into the action and doesn’t let up until the end. I enjoyed both the international flavor of the story and the exotic locale of the Carpathian Forest, and I thought it worked really well for this dangerous and bloody tale of family bonds, misplaced loyalties and the consequences of breaking promises.
Daci is a moonwulf and is half-human. She is about to turn into a full-fledged wulfkin with the next full moon, but the twist to this is that Daci has fallen in love with a human man, and she yearns to become human herself so that she can be with him. One of her pack mates, a wulfkin named Radu, is trying to help her locate a recipe for a secret elixir that may be able to stop her from transforming for good, and give her the human form she desires. But the demanding and sadistic alpha of the pack named Sandulf has other plans for Daci, and getting the elixir in time to transform her is going to be nearly impossible, not to mention keeping her real identity and whereabouts a secret from her human boyfriend, Connell.
As Daci dodges questions from Connell, who is losing patience with Daci’s lies, a dangerous and impossible creature has come to town and is killing and eating humans. This isn’t good news for Daci, who is already stressed out about her impending change. But killing the creature is harder than she thought, and she’ll need the help of her pack if she wants to stop it for good.
Walsh has the most sensual writing style, which gives the story a depth that brings the wulfkin to life for the reader. All of the wulfkin have heightened senses, especially their sense of smell, and Walsh gleefully describes the scents that batter Daci on a daily basis, even when she isn’t in wolf form. Because Daci is a moonwulf and not fully turned yet, she can often feel her wolf inside her, struggling to get out. These were some of the most descriptive passages for me, when Daci experiences this struggle. The wolf is part of her, and yet it is separate too. The hardest times for her are when she can’t control the wolf, and the author does a great job of allowing the reader to experience the clash between Daci’s human and animal sides.
The romance between Connell and Daci was fraught with tension, which was interesting for a while, but soon became a bit strange for me. Daci declares her undying love for Connell, and she’s willing to give up her life with the pack for him. Yet they spend most of the story fighting and bickering, and I had a hard time imagining why Connell wanted to stay with Daci, especially since she has been lying to him for the past year. A wulfkin named Enre is also battling for her affections and wants to be her mate, which added a kind of love triangle to the story. I didn’t mind it though, since Enre’s presence added more tension between Daci and Connell, and for me made their weird relationship more tolerable.
The story is fairly short, and I would have loved to see a few things expanded upon, especially the origins of the wulfkin and how Daci became a moonwulf. The author hints at Daci’s human mother, but she never delves into it. Perhaps another book in the series is in the works, which would give Walsh more room to explore her thoroughly fascinating and addictive world. For fans of werewolf stories filled with moody atmosphere and lovely descriptions, Cloaked in Fur is a real treat.
Opening of Chapter Four:
The phone’s strident ringing woke me up, and I glanced over at the bedside clock blazing 5:13 A.M. Too damn early for anything.
Tempted to dive back under the covers, I checked the caller ID: Connell. Crap. The previous night’s events came pouring back: me turning into a wulfkin outside the full moon, running with the pack all night, collecting my keys from the woods, and ditching Connell again. On top of that, I never retrieved the old books for the elixir. Double crap.
I pushed my legs over the edge of the bed, scrunched the sheet in my fist and answered the call. “Hi.”
“Where are you?” The panic in his voice turned my stomach.
“What happened to you last night?”
My throat dried up as my mind whirred with excuses. “I uncovered something in my research and got stuck into it, not realizing it was past midnight when I checked the clock. I didn’t want to wake you and went straight home. I’m sorry.”
“I suspected you wouldn’t come. Looks like I was right.”
“Come on, Connell, give me a break. I’m working on something majorly important. When you’re on a case and spend nights in the office, I don’t give you shit about it.”
“That’s not what pisses me off. It’s that you never tell me anything. Send me a message if you’re going to be late or not turn up, anything to let me know what’s going on. It feels like you’re only staying with me or until something better comes along.”
“That’s not true. I only want you.”
I lowered my head and stared at the dirt beneath my toenails from the previous night’s run.
“I don’t want to talk about this now,” he said. “We found two more bodies this morning. The victims were located on the opposite sides of the city.” He paused. “Why would a wolf bolt across the city after a kill? They attack in packs, don’t they?”
A shiver rippled down my spine, the possibility of two more dracwulf kills made me furious. There was no convincing myself the attacks weren’t related to the others; I felt the truth in my gut. Worse yet, I wondered whether the dracwulf was simply hungry or territorial, and Sandulf had to know. I flopped onto the bed and curled into a ball.
When I gave no response, Connell continued. “I need you to review the reports from the previous attacks today and visit the new scenes to see if you believe it’s the same animal.”
I cringed at the innocent wolves who could lose their lives over Sandulf’s stupidity.
“Your team can test the evidence and see if it’s the same predator without me.”
“We have limited testing resources in this country, so we need your expertise to move things along.”
The way he said “your” sounded full of contempt, and it pained me to hear him talk like that.
“The chief wants a hunting party issued this weekend, preferably with Romania’s Animal Research Institute’s approval. He’s already spoken with your boss, Vasile.”
I climbed up and paced the room, shaking my head. Typical Vasile to agree to anything the cops asked.
“If I could leave you out of this, I would, but I can’t. Trust me, I tried.”
“I appreciate that. Where should we meet?”
“Piaţa Square. Half an hour?”
“I can do that.”
He hung up.
A snarl ripped past my throat at the terrible start to the day. Who could blame Connell for being upset? I’d be livid if he kept avoiding me.
I threw on a pair of Levi’s, boots, and a gray hooded top. The bathroom mirror reflected gray wolf eyes from my recent transformation, and already the silvery color was fading into a darker shade. I pulled every strand of my nest-style hair into a ponytail and rushed outside into the morning twilight.
About the Author:
T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she’s always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.
And now for the giveaway! The author is giving away a set of (6) wolf wine glass charms and (4) wolf key chains (U.S. only)! Simply click the Rafflecopter button below to enter: