Monday, July 29, 2013

Spotlight Review:

WEREWOLF IN ALASKA – Vicki Lewis Thompson
A Wild About You Novel , Book 5
Signet Eclipse
ISBN: 978-0-451-41567-7
July 2013
Paranormal Romance

Present Day Polecat, Alaska

Talented and successful wood carver Rachel Miller lives in the isolated lake cabin left her by her grandfather. This former veterinary intern owes her decision to concentrate on her artistic career to a moment three years ago while grocery shopping in the nearby store where some of her work was on display. She silently observed the attractive man who lives across the lake—the man she would watch swimming nude each evening—buy the carving she did of the wolf she'd been lucky enough to photograph. Rachel and the man, wilderness guide Jake Hunter, were not to meet face-to-face again until her life was threatened.

Over time, Jake was not able to forget the woman who carved his father's likeness into the wood. His father? Yes. You see Jake is a werewolf, a descendant through his mother of the wealthy Wallace pack who made their fortunes in the Alaska gold rush before dispersing southward. Jake loves Alaska, though he's a member of his father's Hunter pack of Idaho, and moved to Polecat after his parents perished. Though something of a “lone wolf,” Jake keeps in contact with the packs in the lower forty-eight. In fact, he's founder of WARM, Werewolves Against Random Mating, an organization that strongly opposes the movement that wishes closer ties to ordinary humans lest the world learns that Weres exist everywhere and are amongst the world's financial and social leaders. This belief means that he must fight his strong attraction to Rachel, yet he hasn't come close to feeling like this for any Were female. But fate is against him…

Jake can't keep himself from watching Rachel, and one day sees a mama grizzly bear and cub near her cabin. He sees Rachel inadvertently get between mama and baby. His best chance at rescue is to shift into his wolf form. Weres are able to communicate telepathically with each other and other animals, but mama is too frantic to listen to Jake; he must stop her physically. He eventually gets through to her that Rachel is harmless, but not until she claws him badly. Now, Rachel has a big heart and it goes out to the wounded wolf who saved her life. She coaxes him into her cabin to treat his wounds. What can Jake do? Though shifting would release Were healing powers, he can't shift in front of Rachel, and he's too weak to escape her…

This is the bare beginning of the tale between a sweet and generous ordinary human woman and a strongly conservative traditionalist Were during unsettling times in the Were community. (Two of his acquaintances have actually mated with and married humans. See earlier books in the series.) Eventually Rachel catches on to why Jake is so cool to her when their mutual attraction is so obvious. Life becomes extremely complicated. (You can imagine the reaction if more and more humans become aware of Weres living among them. And I must add that little of the folklore about werewolves is true. They are no danger to humans and a bite will not change a person into a wolf.) More events throw the two together and the relationship grows. While Rachel is able to throw her whole heart into it, Jake can't bring himself to envision a happy ending. They must eventually part for good though he hates that Rachel will be hurt. Jake just becomes more lovable as time goes on.

WEREWOLF IN ALASKA is just as fascinating a story as the first four: WEREWOLF IN MANHATTAN, WEREWOLF IN THE NORTH WOODS, WEREWOLF IN SEATTLE, and WEREWOLF IN DENVER, where the first international conference of Weres took place last year. You can search for their reviews from RRT's home page.

There are few other characters in WEREWOLF IN ALASKA: Rachel's well-meaning young helper Lionel is one, and Ted, the storekeeper friend of both, is another. But Rachel and Jake have no trouble carrying the bulk of the plot with their affecting interactions and dialogues and they're very sensuous love scenes. Humor is allowed to lighten what could be a sad story that comes to a rather stunning conclusion.

WEREWOLF IN ALASKA can stand alone, but every book in the series is equally rewarding and reading them all can only enrich the whole experience

Jane Bowers

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